FULLERTON, Calif. – Sahid Valenzuela recorded his best offensive performance of the young season, picking up a game-high three knocks, but it wasn't enough as No. 24 Houston outlasted No. 22 Cal State Fullerton 9-4 to even up the series, Saturday evening out at Goodwin Field.
Fullerton (1-5) picked up a season-high matching eight knocks and earned five walks, but the Titans left six runners on base for the game.
Valenzuela went 3-of-4 from the dish with a double and a run scored. Ruben Cardenas went 2-of-5 from the plate with a double and an RBI, as he extended his hit streak to six games to begin the season.
Houston (3-2) starter Aaron Fletcher (2-0) earned the win going 6.0 innings, while surrendering five hits and two earned runs. Fullerton's Andrew Quezada (0-2) started the game for Fullerton and took the loss.
The Cougars struck early, striking for three runs in the top of the first and then two more in the second to take an early 5-0 advantage.
Fullerton responded in the bottom of the second, as Chris Prescott led things off with a walk, then Valenzuela followed with a base hit through the left side. Jacob Pavletich then put down a perfect sacrifice bunt to move the runners up to second and third. Brett Borgogno got the Titans on the board with an RBI ground out to cut the lead to 5-1.
The runs kept coming for UH, as it put up a two-spot in the top of the fifth. Down 7-1, Cardenas doubled down the left field line to score Pavletich, who led off the inning by getting hit by a pitch and then advancing to second on a Berryhill sacrifice bunt.
The Titans would get as close as 7-3 after Valenzuela eventually scored after leading off the seventh with a knock up the middle, but couldn't manage to scratch any closer.
Fullerton will go for the series win tomorrow at noon.
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