FULLERTON, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton took a one-run lead in the fourth inning and made it stick as the Titans scored a 2-1 Big West Conference win over CSUN Saturday night at Goodwin Field.
The Titans (15-11, 2-0) got a clutch two-out single from Timmy Richards in the bottom of the fourth to break a 1-1 tie and the Fullerton pitching made it stand up.
Connor Seabold picked up his second win of the season, holding the Matadors (20-7, 0-2) to one run on six hits. He struck out eight, a new season high.
John Gavin followed Seabold and pitched three innings of scoreless relief, allowing just one hit to pick up his first career save.
The Matadors best threat to tie the game came in the fifth inning. Jose Ruiz led off the frame with a single. After a fielder's choice erased Ruiz, Seabold pelted Fred Smith and Yusuke Akitoshi on consecutive pitches to load the bases for Branden Berry. But Seabold struck out Berry and Justin Toerner to end the threat and keep the Titans out in front for good.
Fullerton struck first for the second straight game against CSUN, jumping to a 1-0 lead in the second. Vargas led off with a walk and then Hudgins followed with a single. Scott Hurst laid down a sacrifice to move the runners over and then Hank LoForte hit an RBI groundout to second to plate Vargas and put the Titans on top early.
The Matadors tied the game in the fourth after Akitoshi led off with a triple to right-center and then scored on Berry's ensuing single to center.
In the fourth, Vargas led off with a walk and then Hudgins singled. Matadors starter Conner O'Neill then struck out Hurst and LoForte and got ahead 1-2 on Richards. But the Titans shortstop hit a jam-shot single to bring in Vargas and put the Titans back on top, 2-1.
Fullerton will go for the sweep Sunday afternoon at Goodwin Field with Colton Eastman getting the start for the Titans while Rayne Raven goes for the Matadors. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.
Notes: Dalton Blaser went 1-for-4 on Saturday night, extending his hitting streak to seven games… Fullerton is now 4-7 in one-run games this season. Saturday night was the Titans first win by one run since a walkoff victory over Maryland on March 18… The Titans are now 12-2 when scoring first in a game… Fullerton did not hit a home run on Saturday night, snapping a streak of four straight games with at least one Titans round-tripper. The last time Fullerton had a home run in five straight games was in 2010 when the Titans hit a homer in eight straight games from March 27-April 10… The Titans have not lost a three-game series to the Matadors since April 26-28, 2002. The Matadors swept the Titans at Goodwin Field. CSUN has won only one other series against Fullerton, also a three-game sweep on Feb. 15-17, 1991, with two of those games played at Fullerton.