FULLERTON, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton had the tying-run thrown out at the plate in the bottom of the ninth as they dropped a 6-5 non-conference decision to San Diego Tuesday night at Goodwin Field.
Trailing by a run, the Titans (21-18) got a one-out single from Clay Williamson in the ninth to put the potential tying run on base against the Toreros (29-16). Catcher A.J. Kennedy, who came in as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning, unleashed a double to left field off Toreros closer Josh Goosen-Brown. Williamson rounded the bases and was sent home as Toreros shortstop and cut-off man Kyle Holder.
The shortstop then fired a one-hop throw to catcher Jesse Jenner that beat Williamson to the plate and preserved the lead for the Toreros. Goosen-Brown then secured the win by getting Jake Jefferies to ground out to first base.
Williamson finished 1-for-1 on the night with a walk and an RBI while Kennedy was 1-for-2 after entering the game in the sixth inning. They were part of a nine-hit offensive output from the Titans from eight different players. David Olmedo-Barrera was the only player with multiple hits, going 2-for-4 with a run scored and a RBI. It was also his first career multi-hit game.
Phil Bickford took the loss for the Titans. He went four and 1/3 innings and gave up six runs, just three earned. He struck out one, just the third time he's struck out a single batter this year and the first time in a start.
The Toreros were led offensively by the top of their order as lead-off hitter Austin Bailey went 2-for-5 with a run scored and Connor Joe going 2-for-4 with two runs hitting right behind Bailey.
Drew Jacobs got his second victory of the season after entering the game in the fourth inning to relieve starter Ryan Olson. Jacobs went two and 1/3 innings and allowed one earned run on one hit. He walked one and struck out one.
Olmedo-Barrera, making his fifth start of the season, got the Titans on the board in the first inning. Matt Chapman laced a two-out double to left field and then the Toreros elected to intentionally walk J.D. Davis to face Olmedo-Barrera.
The sophomore from La Canada, Calif. then roped a single to right field off Olson to bring in Chapman and put the Titans on top, 1-0.
The Titans tacked on another run in the third thanks to the Toreros shaky defense. Chapman reached on a fielder's choice and then advanced to second on a pickoff throw that bounced off the glove of Toreros first baseman Josh Goosen-Brown. Davis then followed with a single up the middle to plate Chapman and give the Titans a 2-0 advantage.
But the Toreros responded in the fourth inning, sending eight men to the plate and scoring four times to take the lead. Connor Joe led off by getting drilled by a Bickford 0-2 offering and then Louie Lechich hit a one-out single to move Joe over to third base. Jesse Jenner then hit a check-swing chopper along the first base line and Bickford could not come up with the ball, allowing a run to score and Jenner to reach on the error.
Goosen-Brown then singled to drive in Lechich and tie the game. Kyle Holder then laid down a squeeze bunt allowing Jenner to come in with the go-ahead run. Ben Wylly followed with a double to give the Toreros a 4-2 lead.
They added a pair in the fifth to take a 6-2 lead before the Titans began to chip away, scoring one in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to make it 6-5. But the Titans let chances slip away, leaving the bases loaded in the seventh and seven men on base in the last four innings.
The Titans will return to action Wednesday to take on Fresno State with first pitch scheduled at 6 p.m. It will be the last game of the team's current five-game home stand.
Notes: The Titans were issued 11 walks on Tuesday night, the first time they've drawn at least 10 free passes since May 19, 2012 against UC Riverside… Williamson has now reached base in 12 consecutive games… Keegan Dale went 1-for-1 with three walks, extending his hitting streak to a team-high six games… Pinkston's stretch of five-straight multi-hit games came to an end Tuesday, although he did go 1-for-4 on the night… The Titans are now 9-10 in one-run games this season.