DAVIS, Calif. – Ruben Cardenas recorded his fifth three-hit game of the season, while Colton Eastman was absolutely filthy on the mound, as the Titans held on to defeat UC Davis 5-4, Friday afternoon in the series opener at Dobbins Stadium.
Overall, Fullerton (23-20, 10-3 Big West) has now won four straight games and improve to 17-4 when scoring first this season.
Eastman (W, 7-3) was superb, as he tossed a no-hitter in to the sixth inning, marking the third time he's taken a no-hit bid in to the sixth inning or later this year. He went 7.0 innings, surrendered one hit and one run on the day while striking out five.
Blake Workman was big out of the bullpen, as he entered the game in a tough situation in the ninth to notch his second save of the season.
Cardenas went 3-for-5 from the dish, scored two runs, drove in one and belted two doubles. Jacob Pavletich also went 3-for-4 from the plate and racked an RBI and scored a run. Hank LoForte kept his 27-game on base streak alive, as he recorded a hit and an RBI. Daniel Cope produced a double and an RBI. Jace Chamberlin picked up a hit off the bench and Chris Prescott scored a run.
It surely wasn't a conventional way to get on the board, but it worked just the same in the first. Cardenas doubled to left center with two away in the first. Cope then drew a full count walk before Cardenas stole third.
Prescott then struck out in what should have been the third out, but pitch rolled all the way to the backstop, allowing Cardenas to score from third to put Fullerton in front 1-0.
The Titans then got the offense rolling in the fifth. LoForte got things going, as he reached base via a hit by pitch. Berryhill then reached on a fielder's choice and then stole second. Cardenas then produced his second double of the afternoon, smacking one down the left field line, allowing Berryhill to race around second and score to make it a 2-0 lead.
Cope then followed up with a double of his own down the left field line to score Cardenas to make it 3-0 advantage. Prescott was then hit by a pitch and Valenzuela reached on a fielder's choice. Pavletich then came up with a two-out RBI knock up the middle to score Prescott and make it a 4-0 Titan advantage.
UC Davis was finally able to get its first hit and run off Eastman in the sixth, as Caleb Van Blake singled through the right side to end Eastman's no-hit bid at 5.0 innings. He later came around to score to put the Aggies on the board and trim the Fullerton lead to 4-1.
Fullerton tacked on one more in the eighth, as he roped a single through the left side to begin the inning. Zach Weisz then laid a perfectly placed sacrifice bunt to advance Pavletich to second base. Then LoForte came up with a clutch two-out RBI knock up the middle to drive in Pavletich and make it a 5-1 Titan advantage.
Fullerton would need every one of those runs, as the Aggies struck for three runs on three hits in the eighth to come within 5-4.
Things got testy in the ninth, as UCD had runners at the corners with just one out, but Workman dug deep to get Van Blake to ground into a 5-4-3 game-ending double play, which was started beautifully by Brett Borgogno to end the Aggies' comeback threat.
The Titans aim to extend their win streak and claim another series victory tomorrow at 1 pm PT.
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