FULLERTON, Calif. – Titan pitching combined to strike out a season-high 22 batters, while the Fullerton bats rallied on two separate occasions to tie the game, but in the end it was CSUN coming away with 6-3 victory in a marathon 14-inning game, Thursday evening at Goodwin Field.
The Titans (27-22, 14-5 Big West), even with a Thursday's loss has a chance to clinch their 22nd Big West title this weekend if they can win the next two contests. Tonight's game marked Fullerton's second longest game of the year both time and innings wise, as the Titans played a 15-inning, five hour and five minute game vs. Houston back on Feb. 23.
Eastman likely made his final collegiate start at Goodwin Field on Thursday, and he was nothing short of superb. The Fresno, California native recorded his 11th quality start of the season, going 7.0 innings, allowing just one earned run, two walks, six hits, while fanning 11 Matadors. Eastman has now recorded double-digit strikeouts in back-to-back games for the first time in his collegiate career, totaling 24 over his last two starts.
Titan pitching has now provided seven consecutive quality starts going back to May 4th at UC Davis.
On the offensive side of things, it was just another night at the yard for Hank LoForte, as he went 3-of-7 from the leadoff spot. It marks his team-leading equaling six three-hit game of the season, his 16th multi-hit game and of course extends his on base streak to 33 consecutive games. His hit streak also stands at 10 games and he's collected at least one hit in a game 22 of his last 23 games.
Jace Chamberlin was huge off the bench, providing a two-out, two-RBI single to left field to also tie the game at the time. Jacob Pavletich produced two hits and scored a run, while Mitchell Berryhill, Jairus Richards and Brett Borgogno all chipped in with hits.
The Titans in all recorded 14 hits, but left 13 runners on base.
CSUN (26-27, 13-9 Big West) jumped ahead early, striking for one in the third and one in the fourth to go up 2-0.
However, the Titans responded in a big way in the sixth. Valenzuela led the frame off with a single up the middle, Pavletich then followed with his own base knock to center. Tyler Lasch did a good job of moving the runners to second and third after laying down a great sacrifice bunt down the third base line.
Richards then scorched one, but unfortunately right into the pitcher's glove. However, Chamberlin shot a two-out rocket through the left side, driving in two runs to tie the game at 2-2.
CSUN then regained the advantage at 3-2 in the eighth, but the Titans refused to quit. LoForte led the bottom of the ninth off with a single to right field, before Berryhill then sacrificed him over to second via the bunt. Two batters later, Cope had to get it done with two outs, and he did.
He launched a double to right field, allowing LoForte to score the game tying run in the ninth.
Unfortunately, the Matadors but up a three-spot in the 14th to seal the win after Titans had the game-winning run at second base with no one out to begin the 12th.
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