LOS ANGELES – Despite clinching the Big West Conference title over the weekend, there was no evidence of complacency, as Cal State Fullerton managed to earn a tough 4-3 road win over USC, Tuesday night at Dedeaux Field. The victory gave the Titans their 44th consecutive season with 30 wins or more.
For Fullerton (30-22), the win extended another impressive streak, as its 44 consecutive seasons with 30 or more victories is tied with Clemson for the second longest active streak in the nation. Miami has the longest active 30-plus win streak at 47 straight years, but are still two wins away from reaching the 30-win mark as of Tuesday.
.@brett_conine GOT HIIIMMM!! That punch out ends the ballgame and Conine earns his 10th save of the season. Titans defeat USC 4-3 to improve to 30-22 on the year!— Titan Baseball (@BaseballTitans) May 23, 2018
Fullerton reaches the 30-win plateau for the 44th straight season#TusksUp | #EverythingTogether pic.twitter.com/mXqROob5ND
Hank LoForte kept his ridiculous on-base streak alive, as he's now reached base in 36 straight games and is riding a 13-game hit streak after going 3-for-5 from the dish with an RBI.
Sahid Valenzuela wouldn't be outdone, as he extended his respective hit streak to 12 games. He went 2-for-4 from the plate with a double. He also provided a SportsCenter Top 10 worthy play (see below).
Jairus Richards picked up a clutch pinch hit RBI double, drew a walk and scored a run. Brett Borgogno went 1-for-3 with an RBI, run scored and a walk, while Ruben Cardenas provided a triple and an RBI.
Dillon Brown, Tanner Bibee, and Erik Cha combined to pitch 5.1 innings of shutout baseball out of the bullpen. Brett Conine earned a five-out save for his 10th of the year, surrendering two hits and fanning two without allowing a run.
USC (25-26) struck first, tacking on a run off of four hits in the second to go up 1-0.
However, the Titans drew even in the fifth. Zach Weisz led off the frame with a walk and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. Borgogno walked and then Weisz went to third on a passed ball. LoForte then singled to left field to score Weisz and tie the game at 1-1.
Two innings later the Titans managed to gain control of the game. Richards started things with a one out double to right center in the seventh. Borgogno then singled to center to bring home Richards to give Fullerton its first lead of the game at 2-1.
LoForte then singled and Berryhill reached on a fielder's choice, allowing Borgogno to score from third.
With Fullerton already leading 3-1, Cardenas shot a rocket into the right field corner for an RBI triple to put the Titans up 4-1.
The Trojans wouldn't give in, fighting back for two in the eighth, but they wouldn't get any closer than that. They had the tying run at third base with two outs in the ninth, but Conine struck out Dillon Paulson to end the game.
The Titans wrap up the regular season at Long Beach State, beginning Thursday at 5 pm PT out at Blair Field.
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