FULLERTON, Calif. – It was another one-run game and another Titan win, as Cal State Fullerton rallied to defeat Pepperdine, 3-2, notching its sixth consecutive victory Tuesday evening at Goodwin Field.
The win puts the Titans (16-15) over .500 for the first time this season after beginning the year 1-7, while they've now defeated Pepperdine (14-17) in seven consecutive meetings, which is the longest winning streak against the Waves in program history.
Overall, four of Fullerton's last six victories have been one-run wins, while it improved to a convincing 12-3 when scoring first this season.
Timothy Josten was spectacular once again in just his second career start, as he carried the Titans for 3.2 innings, while surrendering just one run in five hits and striking out three. Tanner Bibee (2-3) earned the win in relief, with yet another dominating outing out of the bullpen. The Mission Viejo, California native went 4.1 innings, while surrendering just one run on two hits and striking out seven. He fell just one punch out shy of equaling his career high, which he set last week at Arizona State.
Blake Workman then came on to shut the door in the ninth, as he struck out the side to earn his first save of the season.
Seven different Titans combined for the team's seven hits tonight. Ruben Cardenas led the way, picking up a knock, a walk, hit by pitch and two RBI, while Jacob Pavletich scored a run and blasted a double. Hank LoForte recorded a knock, a run scored and the game-winning RBI from the leadoff spot.
Sahid Valenzuela also recorded a single, while Mitchell Berryhill also came up with a hit. Ryan Williams scored a run and drew a pinch hit walk, while Brett Borgogno came through with a pinch hit knock.
The Titans wasted no time getting on the board, as LoForte led off the game with a perfectly placed bunt single and then advanced to second on a balk. Berryhill then laid down a bunt single of his own to put runners at the corners with no one out. Cardenas then came up with the first of his two RBI, lifting a sacrifice fly to right field, putting the Titans on top 1-0.
Pepperdine bounced back with a run in the fourth to tie the game at 1-1 and then scored another in the sixth to go on top 2-1.
However, the Waves' lead didn't last long as the Titans responded in the bottom of the sixth. Williams reached on pinch-hit leadoff walk and then advanced to second on a passed ball. Williams then moved to third on a Berryhill groundout, before Cardenas drove as he hustled out a chopper to third for an infield RBI knock, tying things at 2-2.
Fullerton then grabbed the lead for good in the bottom of the seventh, after Pavletich got things started with a one-out double to straight away center. Borgogno then came through with a clutch pinch hit single to left to put runners and the corners. Daniel Cope then drew a walk to load them up. LoForte then delivered the game-winning RBI, a hard-hit sacrifice fly to right field to drive in Pavletich from third.
The Titans will get back on the road, as they travel down south take on San Diego State in a three-game weekend series, beginning Friday at 6 pm PT.
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