FULLERTON, Calif.- Cal State Fullerton rallied with three runs in the seventh, but its comeback came up just short, as five Titan errors helped secure an 8-5 win for Washington in game one of the Fullerton Super Regional, Friday at Goodwin Field.
The Titans (35-24) now must win game two tomorrow at 3:30 pm PT to force a winner-take-all game three on Sunday at 6 pm PT. Fullerton has now lost three consecutive home Super Regional games going back to 2013. However, the Titans dropped game one of the Long Beach Super Regional last season and rallied to win the next two to advance to Omaha.
Sahid Valenzuela produced his team-best eighth three-hit game of the season, as he went 3-for-5 with a triple with a run scored and an RBI. Hank LoForte extended his on base streak to 43 consecutive games, his hit streak to 20 games and his now reached in his first at bat of a game in 10 consecutive contests.
Ruben Cardenas went 2-for-4 from the plate with a run scored and a walk. Jacob Pavletich went 2-for-5 on the day, while Daniel Cope notched a hit and two RBI. Jace Chamberlin also came up with an RBI single.
Chris Prescott went 1-for-4 with a run scored.
Colton Eastman (L, 10-4) earned the start but took him the loss, as he went 7.0 innings, surrendered 12 hits, four earned runs and fanned eight.
The Titans scored first, but lost for only the sixth time this season when thathappens.
For the 10th straight game lead-off hitter LoForte reached base in his first at bat of the game. Two batters later with runners on first and second, Cope stepped up to the dish and roped a RBI double to right field to score LoForte to give the Titans a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
The Huskies (34-23) looked to answer in the top of the second inning as they had the bases loaded with no outs. However, Eastman showed great composure getting the next three batters out, two via the strikeout, to keep Washington off the scoreboard.
Prescott got hit by a pitch to get things started for the Titans in their half of the second inning. Fullerton advanced Prescott to third and with two outs and then Berryhill laced a ball at the third baseman, forcing an error and driving in Prescott.
Washington evened up the score at 2-2 in the third inning after Braiden Ward and Levi Jordan each recorded RBI.
After the Titans took an early lead the Huskies rattled off six unanswered runs to take a 6-2 lead, scoring two runs in both the fifth and seventh innings. Levi Jordan picked up his second RBI of the game with a sac fly in the fifth while the second run of the inning scored on a single by AJ Graffanino.
Joe Wainhouse picked up a RBI in the seventh to take a 5-2 lead followed up by Graffanino picking up his second RBI to give the Huskies a four run lead. Graffanino finished the day going 3-for-3 at the plate.
The Titans came charging back in the bottom of the seventh, scoring three runs to make the score 6-5 heading into the final two innings. Once again LoForte led off the inning by reaching base on a walk. Two batters later Cardenas doubled down the right field line, advancing LoForte to third. Cope then grounded out to second base, but it was enough to drive in Loforte for the first run of the inning.
With Cardenas on third base with two outs, Valenzuela stepped to plate and crushed an RBI triple down the right field line to score Cardenas and inject some life into the Titans. Chamberlin fed of Valenzuela's energetic play and followed it up with a RBI single of his own to bring Fullerton within just one run.
Fullerton had an opportunity to tie the game in the eighth inning with the bases loaded and two outs and Cope at the plate but he was unable to drive in a run, grounding out to second to finish the inning.
Fullerton will look to even the series tomorrow at 3:30 pm PT. The game can be seen on ESPNU.
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