FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton gave it all it had, holding a lead in both the ninth and 10th frames after trailing most of the game, but Washington held on to win 6-5 to advance to the College World Series and end the Titans' season, Sunday night at Goodwin Field.
The Titans made a valiant comeback, scoring three runs in the top of the ninth inning to take a 4-3 lead before Washington was able to tie the game in the bottom half to send the game into extra innings.
Jordan Hernandez got the ninth started off being hit by a pitch to get the leadoff batter on base. Two batters later Mitchell Berryhill singled through the right side to advance pinch runner Zach Weisz to second. After a sacrifice fly from Ruben Cardenas to advance the runner to third, Sahid Valenzuela come up clutch once again with an RBI single with two outs to drive in Weisz and cut the lead to 3-2.
With runners on first and third with two outs Jacob Pavletich then singled to the pitcher to drive in Berryhill and tie the game at 3-3. Then it was senior Chris Prescott coming through with the biggest hit of his career, blasting a rocket through the right side to score Valenzuela and put the Titans in front 4-3.
However, Washington was able to tie the game up in its half of the inning.
In the 10th inning, Hank LoForte hit a heroic two-out solo home run to right field to once again give Fullerton a lead. The home run was LoForte's second of his career and first in the postseason. In addition to his home run, LoForte picked up a hit to extended his on-base streak to 45 consecutive games. He also extended his hit streak to 22 straight games while picking up a hit in 33 of his last 34 games.
Unfortunately, the Titans couldn't hang on to the lead, as they recorded two errors in the bottom half of the 10th leading to the Huskies walking off with a sacrifice fly to left field to score Levi Jordan to make it the final of 6-5.
LoForte collected the lone multi-hit game for the Titans, going 2-for-5 with a home run, double, an RBI and two runs scored. Sahid Valenzuela came through with huge single through the left side, scored a run and drove in a run.
Berryhill went 1-for-5 with a run scored. Pavletich went 1-for-4 with an RBI, while Prescott came through with a huge knock in the ninth. Cardenas came through with an RBI as well.
Freshman Tanner Bibee started the game on the mound for the Titans and went four innings, giving up 6 hits and two runs and two solo home runs. Blake Workman came in for relief of Bibee and gave up two hits and one earned run in two innings of work.
Brett Conine came to the mound in the seventh inning and went 3.1 innings, giving up six hits and three runs (two earned) while striking out six batters.
The Titans finish the season 36-25, just one win short of its 19th trip to the College World Series.
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