FULLERTON, Calif. - In a near mirror image of their game during the 2015 Fullerton Regional, Cal State Fullerton and Arizona State played a marathon game Wednesday night with the Sun Devils pulling out a 2-1 victory over the Titans in 14 innings at Goodwin Field.
The Titans (6-6) played their second 14-inning game in the last 12 days Wednesday night and their second 14-inning game against the Sun Devils (10-3) in the last three meetings.
After 13 scoreless innings, the teams finally broke through in the 14th to get on the board. David Greer launched a leadoff homerun in inning to finally break the scoreless tie. Colby Woodmansee walked and then Brian Serven doubled to left-center off Fullerton reliever Gavin Velasquez to plate the Sun Devils shortstop and put Arizona State 2-0.
The Titans mounted their stand in the bottom half of the inning as Dalton Blaser smoked a double to right field. Scott Hurst then chopped a single to short, where Woodmansee got himself crossed up and could not decide whether to go to first or third base with the throw and held on to the ball, putting the game-tying run on base. Chris Hudgins then hit a grounder to short that was booted by Woodmansee, scoring Blaser and putting the winning-run at first base.
Taylor Bryant stepped up and laid down a bunt back to pitcher Seth Martinez, who went to third for the out. Pinch-hitter Turner Buis then struck out and Josh Vargas flied out to left field to end the game.
Blaser finished the game 1-for-5 with a walk and extended his hitting streak to five games, although his multi-hit streak came to an end at four games. Hurst went 2-for-4 while Tyler Stieb also recorded a multi-hit game, going 2-for-6 on the night.
It was a story of pitching on Wednesday night as the teams combined to give up just nine hits through the first nine innings of play and 16 hits overall. The pitchers also combined to strike out 26 batters on the night, with the Titans pitching staff punching out a dozen.
John Gavin, Dylan Prohoroff and Chad Hockin surrendered six hits and struck out six through the first nine innings while Arizona State used five pitchers to shut down the Titans offense, allowing just three hits.
Maxwell Gibbs went one inning of scoreless relief with a strikeout and Velasquez pitched a spotless 13th before he was touched up for two runs in the 14th, taking the loss.
The Titans had a golden opportunity end the game before extra innings, putting the first two batters on in the bottom of the ninth. Bryant stepped in and showed bunt but then swung away as the infielders were charging in. Bryant chopped the ball to the third baseman Jeremy McCuin, who turned and threw to Woodmansee covering at third to get the out. Tristan Hildebrandt then walked to load the bases, but Vargas flew out to shallow center, forcing Hudgins to hold at third. Stieb then fouled out to the catcher to end the threat.
The Sun Devils also had runners in scoring position in the 10th and 11th innings but failed to cash them in. Overall, both teams combined to strand 21 base runners on the night.
The Titans will look to regroup this weekend as they host Wichita State for a three-game set beginning Friday night at 7 p.m.
Notes: The Titans are now 27-32 all-time against Arizona State, one of just three teams from the current PAC-12 conference to have a winning record all-time against Fullerton… This was just the third extra-inning game between the two teams in 59 all-time meetings since Fullerton began playing NCAA Division I baseball in 1975… The Titans are now 1-4 against PAC-12 teams this season.