FULLERTON, Calif. - Junior Timmy Richards smacked his fourth home run of the season in the bottom of the eighth inning to break a 2-2 tie and Cal State Fullerton went on to defeat No. 20 Long Beach State 4-2 Friday night at Goodwin Field.
Richards stepped up with one out in the eighth inning and unloaded on the first pitch he saw from Dirtbags (15-7) reliever Ty Provencher to break a 2-2 tie. The Titans (12-10) would add another run in the inning and Chad Hockin closed the game out despite allowing a couple of hits, striking out Zack Domingues with runners on the corners to end the game.
Miles Chambers picked up the win as he tossed three innings out of the bullpen in relief of starter Connor Seabold. Chambers allowed just two hits and struck out two after Seabold surrendered a pair of runs on four hits in five innings of work. He struck out four.
The Dirtbags took a 2-0 lead in the second, scoring both runs with two outs. Daniel Jackson started the rally with a single and then Domingues lined a ball to right field. Ruben Cardenas lost it momentarily and the ball dropped for a hit, putting runners on the corners. Catcher David Banuelos then ripped a double to left-center to clear the bases and put Long Beach State on top.
Fullerton got one back in the fifth inning after Jerrod Bravo was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded and two outs in the frame, allowing Pinkston to score to trim the deficit in half.
The Titans tied the game in the sixth inning, mounting a two-out rally. Pinkston singled and then Blaser worked a walk to put the tying run in scoring position. Hudgins then smacked the first pitch he saw from Dirtbags starter Darren McCaughan through the left side for a base hit and Pinkston beat the throw from left field to tie the game 2-2.
McCaughan would go five and 2/3 innings and allowed two runs, one earned, on four hits. He walked one and struck out five.
The teams will tangle in the rubber match on Saturday afternoon at Goodwin Field with freshman Colton Eastman taking the mound for Fullerton while Tanner Brown gets the start for the Dirtbags. First pitch is set for 1 p.m.
Notes: Richards' home run gave him his third game-winning RBI of the season, the last coming on a walk-off home run against Maryland on March 18… The Titans avoided their fifth straight loss on Friday night. Fullerton has lost five-or-more consecutive games just five times in its 42 seasons at the Div. I level – and just twice contained within one season… Pinkston notched his fourth three-hit game of the season while Blaser had his team-leading eighth multi-hit game of the year.