Cardenas Comes up Clutch in Ninth Inning Comeback Win for Titans

Houston vs. Cal State Fullerton (2/25/18)
Photo Credit: Matt Brown

Box Score

NEW ORLEANS – After leading most of the game, the Titans trailed by a run with just three outs to play, but Cal State Fullerton rallied for four runs in the ninth to earn a 9-6 comeback victory over Tulane to clinch the series win, Saturday afternoon at Greer Field.

For the Titans (3-7), the win clinches their first series win of the year, as the bats once again stepped up, recording a season-high equaling nine runs on a season-best tying 15 hits.

Andrew Quezada proved why he's considered one of the top prospects in the nation, as he pitched 6.0 strong innings, while scattering nine hits and giving up just two earned runs, while fanning five and just walking one. Brett Conine also recorded his first save of the inning, as he pitched a shutdown ninth. Dillon Brown recorded the win.

Ruben Cardenas took over offensively once again, notching his second straight three-hit game, while recording a career-high three doubles, a run scored and an RBI. The RBI turned out to be the biggest of the game, as his one out double in the ninth drove in Sahid Valenzuela from second base to tie the game at 6-6.

Chris Prescott came through a with a huge pinch hit knock through the left side to drive in Cardenas from third in the ninth, in what would be the winning run. He was 1-for-1 with a run scored and a run driven in.

Daniel Cope put together yet another two-hit night, going 2-of-4 from the dish with two runs scored and a walk. Mitchell Berryhill extended his team-best hit streak to seven games, as he recorded a base hit a run scored and a career-high three RBI in the win. Jacob Pavletich notched a season-high three hits, while scoring a run and recording an RBI.

Hank LoForte also had himself a productive day, picking up two hits and scoring two runs. Zach Weisz chipped in with a knock and an RBI. Brett Borgogno also picked up an RBI

For the second straight game the Titans capitalized early, this time striking for two runs in the top of the first. Berryhill got the action started, as he was plunked with a pitch on a 2-1 count with one away. Then just as it did in yesterday's opening frame, all the damage was done with two outs. Cope sent a rocket to left center to put runners at the corners, then Chamberlin was hit by a pitch to load them up.

Borgogno then drew a bases loaded walk to drive in the first run, then Weisz came through with an RBI single through the left side to extend the Fullerton advantage to 2-0.

Tulane pitching surrendered three free bases with a walk and two HBPs in the inning after giving up five free bases in the first inning on Friday night.

The Titans kept up the offensive pressure in the second inning, as LoForte led off the frame with a single to right center. Valenzuela then advanced him to second with a sacrifice bunt before LoForte eventually ended up at third base after a passed ball. Berryhill then rolled one to the right side to pick up the RBI groundout and make it a 3-0 Titan lead.

Tulane responded with a two spot in its bottom half of the second to cut the Titan lead to just 3-2.

However, just like Friday, when Tulane got close, Fullerton responded. Pavletich led off the top of the fourth with a two-strike single to left center. LoForte laid down a bunt and reached on a fielding error, thanks to his hustle down the line. Valenzuela then laid down his second sacrifice bunt on the game to advance the runners to second and third. Berryhill then took advantage of the scoring opportunity and singled up the middle to drive in two runs and make it a 5-2 Titan lead.

But this game was far from over, as Tulane struck for four runs on five hits to take an improbable 6-5 advantage into the ninth. It was the first lead the Green Wave claimed all weekend.

Their lead didn't last long though, as Fullerton strung together an epic comeback of its own in the ninth. Valenzuela led off the frame with a walk and then advanced to second on a passed ball. Then with one out, Cardenas shot a rocket all the way to the left center field wall to score Valenzuela and tie the game at 6-6.

The Titans didn't stop there though, after a wild pitch and a Cope walk, Prescott came through with his pinch hit single through the left side to drive in Cardenas and put the Titans on top again 7-6. Fullerton capitalized on a few more miscues, eventually scoring four runs off of three hits in the ninth.

The Titans aim to sweep the series tomorrow, as they'll take on Tulane at 11 am PT.

Fans can purchase tickets for various Cal State Fullerton athletic events by visiting The Athletic Ticket Office can also be contacted by phone at 657-278-2783 or by email at The Ticket Office is located at the Titan House off of Gymnasium Drive at the eastern end of the Intramural Fields and is open from 10 am – 4 pm PT, Monday – Friday.

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