FULLERTON, Calif. - Tanner Pinkston's walk-off single in the 10th capped off sophomore Thomas Eshelman's 10-inning complete-game as Cal State Fullerton scored a 1-0 Big West Conference victory over Hawaii Friday night at Goodwin Field.
The Titans (19-17, 4-6) snapped a six-game losing streak, tied for the longest streak in the program's history. The Rainbow Warriors (15-23, 3-10) dropped their 10th game in their last 11 outings.
Eshelman was masterful on the mound for the Titans, tossing his third complete-game of the season and recording his second complete-game shutout. He was also the first Titans pitcher to toss a 10-inning complete game since Jason Windsor in 2004. Eshelman scattered six hits and fanned six on Friday night.
The Titans got a flare single from Jared Deacon in the bottom of the 10th with one out off reliever Juliene Jones. David Olmedo-Barrera then stepped up to pinch-hit and lined a one-hopper to short that Austin Wobrock had trouble handling, allowing Deacon to reach second and Olmedo-Barrera to reach first safely.
After Clay Williamson flied out to left, Pinkston stepped up and laced a 1-0 offering from Jones back through the box and into center field to plate Deacon and give the Titans the much-needed victory.
Pinkston finished the night 2-for-5, the only Titans hitter to record multiple hits on the night. It was his 13th multi-hit game of the year, the most on the team.
The pitchers were the story on Friday night as Matt Cooper was outstanding for the Rainbow Warriors. He allowed just four hits in nine innings of work, striking out 11 while issuing just one walk.
Offense was at a premium through the first nine innings as the teams combined to have only nine runners to advance to second base. At one point, Eshelman and Cooper retired 18 consecutive hitters combined until Diemer broke that streak in the bottom of the seventh inning.
The Rainbow Warriors did have a golden opportunity to take a lead in the top of the ninth off Eshelman. Stephen Ventimilia started a rally with a one-out base hit and then advanced to third on Kaeo Aliviado's single to right center to put the go-ahead run in scoring position with one out.
Jordan Richartz then got ahead 3-0 in the count before the Titans' right-hander mounted his stand, striking out Richartz and then getting clean-up hitter Marc Flores to fly out to right field to end the inning and preserve the shutout.
The teams will return Saturday night for the second game of the series with Justin Garza scheduled to take the hill for the Titans while Scott Squier goes for the Rainbow Warriors.
Former Titans great David Bacani will be holding an autograph session for those fans in attendance. It is also the second day of Armed Forces Weekend, with current and former military personnel receiving two free tickets to each game.
Notes: The Titans are now 2-12 this season when they score two runs or less… Prior to Pinkston's hit, the Titans had gone 21 and 2/3 innings without scoring a run… Friday night was the Titans second straight extra-inning game and third in their last four outings. They are now 3-5 this season in extras… Matt Chapman's streak of reaching safely came to an end at 13 games on Friday night.