FULLERTON, Calif. – No. 18 Cal State Fullerton put together a three-run fifth inning and it proved to be enough as they scored a 4-3 comeback victory over UCLA Tuesday night at Goodwin Field.
Matt Chapman and Tanner Pinkston each went 2-for-4 and drove in three of the Titans (17-11) four runs on the day and Miles Chambers picked up his second victory of the year as he shut down the Bruins (18-13) for two and one-third innings in relief on a day the Titans used six pitchers.
J.D. Davis picked up his team-high fourth save of the season, going two innings of hitless relief and striking out three of the six batters he faced.
Titans' pitchers allowed eight hits through the first four innings but were able to keep the damage to a minimum as they stranded nine Bruins runners, including leaving the bases loaded in the second and fourth innings. Once Chambers entered in the fifth, the Titans held the Bruins offense to just two hits the rest of the way and retired 15 of 16 batters they faced.
Grant Dyer took the loss for the Bruins as he surrendered four runs on five hits in five innings of work. He walked two and struck out four. Christoph Bono, Shane Zeile, Chris Keck and Brett Stephens paced the Bruins offense with two hits apiece.
The Titans fell behind in the third inning after the Bruins plated two runs in the frame. Bono led off with a single and then Zeile got aboard after he was hit by a Chad Hockin offering. Ty Moore sacrificed them over into scoring position and then Koby Gauna came in to pitch for the Titans. He got Luke Perisco to go down swinging but Justin Hazard salvaged the scoring opportunity for the Bruins, belting a single up the middle to plate the two runners and give the Bruins the early 2-0 lead.
The Titans cut that lead in half in their portion of the inning. Keegan Dale led off with a single and then moved over on Jared Deacon's sacrifice bunt. One out later, Pinkston cashed him in with a cue-shot single through the left side to make it 2-1 Bruins.
Cal State Fullerton then took the lead for good in the fifth inning. Deacon led off with a walk and then Pinkston got aboard with a single an out later. Third baseman Matt Chapman stepped up and muscled a triple to the right-center field gap to clear the bases and put the Titans up 3-2. Davis then followed with an RBI groundout to second to make it 4-2.
The Titans will get back to Big West Conference play this weekend when they travel to UC Santa Barbara for a three-game series.
Notes: The Titans failed to score first for the first time since Mar. 21st against Long Beach State… Tyler Peitzmeier made his first career start on Tuesday for the Titans… Dale has a hit in three straight games… The Titans are now 64-30-2 all-time against UCLA and 35-14-1 at Goodwin Field… Davis saw his nine-game hitting streak come to an end Tuesday although he did get on base twice and had an RBI… The Titans are now 7-5 in one-run games this season… Tuesday was the fourth time in 13 games the Titans have won despite getting outhit by their opponent. The Bruins had 10 hits Tuesday compared to the Titans six base hits on the night.