Valenzuela's Ninth Inning Heroics Lifts Fullerton Over No. 2 OSU in Upset Win

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

Box Score

CORVALLIS, Ore. – It was by far Fullerton's most impressive performance of the season, while it may have just been the upset of the year in college baseball, as the Titans went into Corvallis and took down previously undefeated No. 2 Oregon State 5-3, thanks to a two-out RBI single by Sahid Valenzuela in the top of the ninth, Friday night at Goss Stadium.

For Fullerton (4-8), the win was its first victory over either a No. 1 or No. 2 team in the nation since defeating No. 1 Florida 8-5 on Feb. 19, 2012. The Titans were 0-3 against top-two teams since then. Fullerton also improves to 3-2 all-time vs. the Beavers and earned a little bit of revenge after last year's College World Series contest.

For Oregon State (13-1), the loss was its first of the season. The Beavers only lost one game at home all of last year.

The game was tied at 3-3 heading into the ninth, but with two outs in the top of the ninth the Titans worked some magic. Hank LoForte drew a big full count walk to get on base and then advanced to second on a wild pitch, before Valenzuela picked up his second knock of the game, this one the eventual game-winner to left field to score LoForte from second to make it 4-3 Titan lead.

Ruben Cardenas then gave the Titans some insurance, as he snuck one right over the shortstop's head to score Valenzuela and make it 5-3.

Brett Conine then shut the door, tossing a shutout bottom of the ninth, while recording two strikeouts to earn his second save on the year.

Colton Eastman didn't figure in the decision, but he sure pitched well enough to win in the start. He went a career-high tying 7.0 innings, while scattering five hits and surrendering just three runs and fanning a season-best equaling eight batters in the Titan win.

Tommy Wilson (2-0) picked up the victory in relief, as he tossed a scoreless inning.

Daniel Cope continued to tear it up at the plate, as he recorded two knocks, including a double and home run. The dinger was his third over his last four games. Valenzuela also had himself a multi-hit game, going 2-of-5 from the plate with a run scored and an RBI.

Cardenas picked up a knock and an RBI, while Jake Pavletich also recorded a single and scored a run.

LoForte scored a run and drove one in.

Cope opened the scoring with a solo shot to left field to leadoff the second to put the Titans up 1-0.

Oregon State tied things up with a run in the third, but the Titans put together a rally in the fifth. Pavletich got things started with a double down the right field line. Chris Prescott then reached on a throwing error and Brett Borgogno put together a gritty at bat to draw the bases loaded walk. Pavletich then scored on a wild pitch and LoForte drove in a run with a groundout to put Fullerton up 3-1.

The Beavers plated runs in the sixth and seventh to tie things up at 3-3 before Fullerton came up with the heroic ninth to cap off the win.

The Titans will go for the series win tomorrow at 1 pm PT. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

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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