FULLERTON, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton got it done when it absolutely had to have it, winning its first elimination game of the postseason, defeating Washington 5-2 Saturday afternoon at Goodwin Field to force a winner-take-all contest on Sunday.
The Titans (36-24) now find themselves in the Super Regional Final for a second consecutive year, after defeating Long Beach State 2-1 in last year's Long Beach Super Regional Final. Game three will be Sunday at 6 pm PT at Goodwin Field. Tickets will be available online at FullertonTitans.com beginning at 8:30 pm PT
Fullerton is 4-2 all-time in Super Regional game threes and 1-1 all-time at home in Super Regional game threes.
Tommy Wilson pitched a gem for the Titans, going seven innings while giving up just three hits and one earned run. Of the 97 pitches Wilson threw, 60 of them were strikes leading to him picking up his seventh win of the season. He is now 7-0 on the season. He earned the win in what he called "the biggest game of his life."
You heard it from the hero of the day @tommy_wilson_ , we need you fans to continue to bring the energy for tomorrow with a spot in Omaha on the line#EverythingTogether #RoadToOmaha pic.twitter.com/WJ6STOLIkq— Titan Baseball (@BaseballTitans) June 10, 2018
Washington starter Jordan Jones (L, 6-4) suffered the loss.
Eight of nine Fullerton starters collected a hit, while three produced multi-hit games. Jacob Pavletich came through with his second multi-knock performance of the postseason and his 17th overall on the year, as he went 2-for-4 with an RBI, a double and a run scored. Brett Borgongo was also huge, striking for two knocks and an RBI.
Daniel Cope had his best game of the postseason, roping a single and a double, while scoring two runs
Hank LoForte also recorded a triple and drove in a run, as he extended his on base streak to 44 games and his hit streak to 21. He's also recorded at least one base hit in 32 of the last 33 contests.
The Titans struck first as Valenzuela led off the second inning with a triple to right center field followed by an RBI double down the right field line by Pavletich to put Fullerton on the board. The Titans are now a dominating 26-6 when scoring first in 2018.
With runners on first and third with no outs, Cope grounded into a double play, however, Pavletich was able to score on the play to give the Titans an early 2-0 lead heading into the bottom of the second inning.
Washington's Joe Wainhouse cut the Titans lead in half in the fourth inning on a solo home run to left field for his 18th of the season.
Fullerton immediately responded in the top of the fifth inning, scoring two runs on four hits to take a 4-1 advantage. Richards came up with a clutch RBI triple to drive in Cope, who got things going in the fifth with a leadoff double. One batter later Borgogno singled through the left side to drive in Richards from third.
LoForte added to the Titans lead in the seventh inning on a RBI triple to drive in Cope from third base.
Brett Conine came out of the bullpen in the eighth inning and threw one scoreless inning to extend his postseason scoreless streak to 10 straight innings before giving up a run in the ninth. For his career, he's thrown 15 postseason innings, allowing four runs (2.40 ERA) while striking out 15 and walking just two.
It all comes down to tomorrow, as the Titans and Huskies will play at 6 pm PT with a trip to Omaha on the line.
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