Titans Fall to Mustangs in Extra Innings
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton managed one hit in the final nine innings as they dropped a 4-3 Big West Conference decision to No. 3 Cal Poly in 13 innings Friday night at Baggett Stadium.
The Titans (18-15, 3-5) dropped their fourth consecutive game while the Mustangs (33-5, 10-1) scored their ninth straight victory.
J.D. Davis took the loss for the Titans despite pitching well in relief. He allowed one run on six hits in four and 1/3 innings of work. He walked one and struck out five, the most by any Titans pitcher on the night.
The Mustangs took the game after Mark Mathias led off the 13th with a single to center field. One out later, Nick Torres blasted a double over left fielder Marcus Vidales' head on a hit-and-run and Mathias scored easily to clinch the series for the Mustangs, their first series win over the Titans since 2011.
Mathias was 4-for-7 on the night with two doubles while Torres finished 2-for-7, both of his hits coming in extra innings.
For the Titans, Clay Williamson led the offense as he collected three of the team's five hits on the night. He was a home run short of hitting for the cycle and had one RBI. Matt Chapman and Tanner Pinkston rounded out the Titans offense with a hit apiece.
Thomas Eshelman drew a no-decision for the Titans after going seven innings and allowing just two runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out four.
Chapman got things started in a hurry for the Titans, teeing off on the very first pitch he saw from Mustangs starter Slater Lee and depositing it well over the left field fence for his fifth home run of the season to put the Titans out in front 1-0.
It was Chapman's second leadoff home run of the season and he became the first Titan to begin a game with a round-tripper since Richy Pedroza did it at Oral Roberts on March 16 of last season.
The Mustangs would then take the lead in the second thanks to some two-out hitting. After Jimmy Allen led off with a single, Eshelman got the next two outs before Peter Van Gansen stroked a triple to right center to tie the game at one. Catcher Chris Hoo then promptly followed with a single to plate Van Gansen to give the Mustangs the 2-1 edge.
The Titans would mount their response two innings later as Davis led off with a four-pitch walk and then Pinkston singled through the right side. Both would advance into scoring position on a wild pitch by Lee and then Taylor Bryant tied the score with a one-out sacrifice fly to center, scoring Davis. Williamson then stepped up and ripped a triple down the right field line to plate Pinkston and give the Titans a 3-2 lead.
It was a lead the Titans held onto until the eighth inning, when the Mustangs managed to bring a run across off reliever Phil Bickford.
The Titans will look to avoid the sweep on Saturday as they send Grahamm Wiest to the mound while the Mustangs go with Casey Bloomquist.
Notes: The Titans are now 2-4 in extra innings games this year… Eshelman's walk was his third of the season, matching his total from last season… One night after surrendering a season-high 16 hits, the Titans allowed the Mustangs to collect 17 hits on Friday night… Marcus Vidales made his first career start on Friday night… Chapman hit in the leadoff spot for the seventh time this season and the first time since Apr. 4 vs. UC Davis. The Titans are now 4-3 when the third baseman hits at the top of the lineup… Chapman's homer was the team's 12th of the season.