SANTA BARBARA, Calif. – The Titans were able to rally on two separate occasions, but they just couldn't get over the hump, as UC Santa Barbara was able to edge out a 6-5 win to even up the series, Saturday afternoon at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.
Ruben Cardenas recorded a 1-for-3 day with an RBI and two runs scored, while Sahid Valenzuela came through with a double from the leadoff spot. Hank LoForte also came through with a knock, an RBI and a walk.
Jordan Hernandez picked up the first hit off his collegiate career and scored a run.
The Gauchos struck first in this one, as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead through the first two innings, but Fullerton showed guts and responded in the third.
Cardenas was plunked by a pitch with one out in the third, then Cope singled to left to give the Titans a scoring threat, with runners at first and second and just one out. Tyler Lasch then grounded out, but the runners advanced to second and third. Pavletich then came through with his biggest knock of the day, as he placed one perfectly in left center for a two-RBI single to make it just a 3-2 deficit.
UCSB tacked on one more in the fifth to push it back to a 4-2 lead. Fullerton refused to quit though, as it loaded the bases and eventually capitalized on a LoForte two out walk to force in a run and make it 4-3.
The Gauchos once again tried to distance themselves with a run in the bottom of seventh, but once again the Titans responded, and this time in an even bigger way.
With Fullerton trailing 5-3 entering the eighth, the Titans are able to engineer two runs in the frame to tie up the ballgame.
Hernandez singled to left, followed by a Valenzuela double down the left field line. Cardenas then came through with a sacrifice fly to right field, before Cope came up clutch, with a two-out single that bounced up the middle, allowing Valenzuela to score and tie the game.
Unfortunately UCSB managed to get one in the bottom of the eighth to take the lead for good at 6-5.
Fullerton will go for the series win tomorrow at 2 pm PT.
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