LOS ANGELES - Cal State Fullerton rallied late to overcome a two-run deficit but a solo home run in the eighth proved to be the difference as the Titans fell 3-2 to USC Monday night at Dedeaux Field.
Corey Dempter's solo home run to lead off the bottom of the eighth inning broke a 2-2 tie and put the Trojans (10-9) in the driver's seat. The Titans (11-9) failed to get another runner on base in the last two innings as Jeff Paschke and Brooks Kriskie combined to retire the final six batters in a row.
Miles Chambers took the loss for Fullerton while Paschke picked up the win and Kriskie got the save.
It was the Titans third straight loss after putting together a five-game winning streak.
Timmy Robinson launched his third home run of the season for the Trojans in the bottom of the second inning to open the scoring and put USC on top 1-0.
In the fifth, the Trojans added another run to the lead after Adalberto Carrillo was hit by a pitch. He advanced to second on a fielder's choice, took third on a passed ball and scored on a single by Reggie Southall to make it 2-0 USC.
After 15 consecutive scoreless innings, the Titans offense finally broke through in the seventh. Tyler Stieb led off with a single and then Tanner Pinkston reached on a fielder's choice while Stieb beat the throw to second to give the Titans two runners on base to start the frame.
After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners over, pinch hitter Tristan Hildebrandt drew a walk from USC reliever Bernardo Flores to load the bases. Cardenas then drew another walk to bring in a run and Blaser followed with a single to center to tie the game, 2-2.
The Titans will return home Thursday night for a nonconference three-game set against Long Beach State. First pitch is set for 6 p.m.