FULLERTON, Calif.- Colton Eastman struck out a career-high 13 batters and the offense got the timely hits when it needed them, as the Titans held on for 3-2 victory over UC Riverside to notch their seventh straight win, Friday night at Goodwin Field.
The Titans (26-20, 13-3 Big West) have now won their most consecutive games since claiming eight straight wins last season. Fullerton has also now claimed victories in four straight Fridays.
Eastman (W, 8-3) has still yet to lose in Big West play for his career, as he tossed 7.0 innings, while surrendering just two runs on seven hits, while fanning a career-high 13 batters. Blake Workman was money in relief, as he earned his third straight games in as many appearances. He pitched 2.0 shutout innings, while giving up just one hit and striking out four.
Ruben Cardenas notched his team-best 17th multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 from the plate and recording an RBI. Sahid Valenzuela picked up two hits himself, including a double and scored a run, while Hank LoForte extended his on base streak to 30 consecutive games and has now collected at least one hit in 19 of his last 20 games.
Mitchell Berryhill continued to produce offensively, as he picked up a hit, scored a run, drove in a run, stole two bases and forced a walk. Jacob Pavletich went 1-for-2 with two walks, while Jairus Richards went 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI.
Brett Borgogno produced a hit and a walk.
UC Riverside (17-27, 5-11 Big West) opened the scoring in the second, as Connor Cannon hit a one out home run to right center to put the Highlanders in front 1-0.
However, the Titans struck back in the bottom of the third with a run of their own. Berryhill got things going with a base hit through the right side. He then swiped back-to-back bags to end up at third base with just one out. Cardenas made sure to take advantage, as he lifted a deep fly ball to right field, which scored Berryhill on the sacrifice fly to tie the game at 1-1.
Fullerton then took the lead for good in the fourth. Valenzuela sliced a double down the right field line to begin the frame. Pavletich followed with bunt base hit to put runners at the corners. Two batters later, Richards came through with an RBI single to left field to make it a 2-1 Titan lead. Borgogno walked to load up the bases, then Berryhill earned the critical bases loaded walk to put Fullerton up 3-1.
The Highlanders got one back in the fifth, but couldn't get over the hump, as the Titans hung on to win.
Fullerton goes for its fourth consecutive series victory tomorrow, as it'll play UC Riverside again at 6 pm PT.
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