TALKING STICK, Ariz. – In game two of the MLB4 Tournament, Cal State Fullerton (1-1) fell to No. 1 Vanderbilt (2-0), 14-9, Saturday afternoon at Salt River Fields.
Vanderbilts bats began the game hot, putting up five runs in the first inning with four of them coming on a ground slam with one out in the inning. The Commadores went on to collect 14 hits while putting up at least one run in the first three innings.
Fullerton fought back and made things interesting in the seventh inning as three consecutive batters earned walks before Sahid Valenzuela was hit by a pitch to bring in Isaiah Garcia. One batter later freshman Jason Brandow crushed a grand slam to center field in his first at-bat as Titan to bring the score to 12-6. Two batters later Jacob Pavletich launched a solo shot to left field to make the score 12-7.
Through two games this season the Titans have hit three home runs, showing they have improved power at the plate. The team had 14 home runs through the entire 2018 season
The Titans made another run at a comeback in the ninth inning, starting with Zach Lew being hit by a pitch followed up by Valenzuela earning a walk. One batter later, Brandow advanced the runners to second and third. Kameron Guangorena then drove in Lew on a fielders choice before Pavletich recorded an RBI on a fly ball that got lost in the sun.
Pavletich had a strong game for the Titans as he went 4-for-5 on the afternoon with three RBI and one run. Brett Borgogno also had a solid showing at the plate, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a run.
The Titans had an opportunity to get on the board first in the top half of the first inning as Borgogno and Sahid Valenzuela hit back-to-back singles with one out. Borgogno then advanced to third on a failed pickoff attempt by the Vanderbilt catcher, however, the Titans weren't able to drive in the run.
Timothy Josten started the game on the mound for Fullerton and looked good to begin the game but gave up two walks to load the bases before giving up a grand slam. Josten went one inning giving up five hits and five runs.
Freshman pitcher Titus Groeneweg stepped on the mound in the fourth inning for the first time in his Titan career and looked strong in his first inning, giving up no runs and no hits.
Fullerton looks to bounce back Sunday afternoon in the final game of the MLB4 Tournament against Virginia with first pitch scheduled for 2:00 p.m. PT.
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