FULLERTON, Calif. --- For the seventh-ranked Titans, it was better late than never, as Fullerton struck for three runs in the eighth inning to rally from a two-run deficit to defeat Gonzaga 4-3 and even the series up, Saturday night at Goodwin Field.
The Titans entered the eighth trailing 3-1. For a while, it looked as if the Titans might go down quietly, as Taylor Bryant reached with his third knock of the game to lead off the frame, but the next two batters were retired. However, then the Titans started to grind. Tristan Hildebrandt put together a great at bat, eventually getting hit by the pitch, then Timmy Richards came through with a knock up the middle to score a run. It was his lone hit of the evening in his first game back since Feb. 25.
And then it was Hunter Cullen continuing his miraculous run, as he shot his first career triple down the right field line to clear the bases and drive in two to put the Titans back on top at 4-3, capping off the three-run eighth.
Cullen went 3-of-3 at the dish, collected two RBI and a walk. Overall he's notched seven knocks over his last 11 at bats. Bryant also notched his third three-hit performance of the season, going 3-of-4 at the plate, while scoring a run. He's recorded at least one hit in 11 of his last 12 games.
In the ninth Erik Cha and Brett Conine combined to shut the door on Gonzaga, as the two teamed up to toss 2.0 innings of shutout ball overall, while Cha earned his first career win and Conine locked up his first career save.
Starter Gavin Velasquez didn't take home a win, but battled all night to keep the Titans in it, going 7.0 strong innings, scattering nine hits, while allowing three runs and striking out three. His scoreless innings streak to begin the season comes to an end after 20.1 innings.
Fullerton got on the board early, thanks to a two-out Niko Pacheco knock through the right side, to score Scott Hurst, who worked a one-out walk earlier. The Titans held that 1-0 advantage before Gonzaga came back with a run in the fourth and two in the fifth respectively.
But in the end, it was meant to be, as the Titans improve to 5-0 in the second game of series' this season and 4-0 on Saturdays.
The Titans aim for their third straight weekend series victory, as they'll take on Gonzaga in the finale tomorrow at 1 pm PT.
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