STANFORD, Calif. – For the second straight day the Titans launched a rally late, but for the second straight day, it came up just short, as No. 13 Stanford hung on to defeat No. 17 Cal State Fullerton 6-5, Sunday afternoon in the series finale at Sunken Diamond.
For Fullerton (0-3), the loss marks the Titans' third straight to begin the year. The last time Fullerton lost three straight games to begin a season was the start of the 2006 campaign, where the Titans also lost their first three contests to Stanford at Sunken Diamond, However, that season ended up turning into one of the best years in school history, as Fullerton ended up at the College World Series that year. Their 50-15 overall record that year is still the third most wins the Titans have had in any single season.
Ruben Cardenas led the way offensively, as he went 2-of-5 from the plate, while crushing a two-run home run, recording two RBI and two runs scored. Chris Prescott also played well, picking up two hits and an RBI of his own.
Sahid Valenzuela picked up a hit and scored a run, while Daniel Cope recorded a knock and an RBI. A banged up Hank LoForte contributed as well, earning two walks, picked up an RBI and a run scored. Jake Pavletich went 1-for-3 with a run scored.
The Fullerton pen was fantastic once again, as Blake Workman pitched 4.1 innings, scattered five hits, gave up no earned runs and walked just one. Dillon Brown went 3.1 innings, surrendered just three hits and a run while fanning three.
Things looked promising early for the Titans, as they put up two runs in the first to grab their first lead of the season. LoForte began things with a leadoff walk before Cardenas delivered a one out single to put runners at first and second. Cope then singled to second, eventually allowing LoForte to score on a throwing error.
Prescott then grounded out allowing Cardenas to score from third base.
Stanford responded with a four-spot in its half of the first, but Fullerton kept battling. Pavletich and Zach Weisz drew walks in the frame eventually leading to a run to make it just a 4-3 deficit.
Stanford pieced together runs in the fourth and sixth frames to extend its lead once again to 6-3, but a Cardenas two-run one-out home run to left field in the seventh brought the Titans back to life, down just 6-5.
Fullerton got the tying run just 90 feet away from scoring in the ninth, but unfortunately couldn't pick up the two-out hit it needed.
The Titans will look to rebound on Tuesday, as they'll take on Nevada at 6 pm PT in their home opener at Goodwin Field.
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