FULLERTON, Calif. – The Titans had their chances to rally in this one, but they left the bases loaded in both eighth and ninth frames and ended up falling 10-5 in the series finale to No. 24 Houston Sunday afternoon at Goodwin Field.
Fullerton (1-6) collected a season-high 15 knocks, but only managed five runs and stranded 15 runners on base. Eight different Titans collected at least one hit in the game, while four of them recorded multi-hit performances.
For the second straight day, Sahid Valenzuela led the way offensively for the Titans, as he recorded yet another three-hit game, going 3-of-5 at the plate while scoring two runs, producing a triple and diving in two. Mitchell Berryhill notched a career-best three hits, going 3-of-5 from the plate while driving in a run and scoring one himself.
Ruben Cardenas extended his team-best seven-game hit streak to begin the season, as he cranked out a 2-for-4 game, while driving in a run and working a walk. Jacob Pavletich contributed with a couple of knocks, while Jace Chamberlain also went 2-for-5 from the plate in his first career start.
Blake Workman (0-1) gave the Titans a solid start on the mound, going 4.2 innings, while allowing two earned runs and fanning three. In all Titan pitching only surrendered four earned runs for the game, but five defensive errors put the Titans in a hole they couldn't quite climb out of.
The game was scoreless through three innings, but Houston opened the scoring in the fourth thanks to a Rey Fuentes two-out RBI single to CF to score Lael Lockhart who reached second base on a failed pick off attempt.
However it was the fourth inning that really did Fullerton in, as the Cougars struck for five runs on four hits and two costly errors in the frame to put the Titans in a 6-0 hole heading to the bottom of the fifth.
Fullerton tried to battle back, as it got one back in the bottom of the fifth. Cope singled to right field to drive in Valenzuela from third who originally reached via a hit by pitch.
With the Titans trailing 5-1, they crept a little closer in the sixth, as Valenzuela hustled out a two-out infield RBI single to score Berryhill from third after he himself reached base on an infield single. Hank Loforte then drew a walk and Cardenas followed up with a single up the middle to bring Fullerton within 6-3.
However that's as close as the Titans would get in this one. The offense mustered up two more runs in the ninth, but it was too little, too late.
Fullerton aims to get things on track, as it'll close out its five-game homestand vs. UCLA, Tuesday at 6 pm PT.
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