SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Cal State Fullerton (3-1) started off the Tony Gwynn Legacy in superb fashion, defeating Missouri State (1-3) 7-0 Friday afternoon.
Tanner Bibee had another impressive game for the Titans in his second start of the season, going seven innings, giving up just four hits while striking out eight batters and allowing no runs to earn his second win of the season. Bibee has pitched a total of 13 innings in his first two starts, giving up just 10 hits and has yet to allow a single run.
The Titans broke the game open in the fifth inning, scoring three runs on four hits. Jackson Lyon got the inning going with a walk before Hank LoForte singled to right field to advance Lyon to third. One batter later, Brett Borgogno laid down a perfect bunt to score Lyon from third while beating out the throw to first.
With runners on first and second with just one out Sahid Valenzuela stepped to the plate and ripped a line drive to right field to score LoForte from second and put the Titans up 4-0. A couple batters later Jacob Pavletich hit a single through the left side to score Borgogno for his second RBI of the game and put Fullerton up 5-0.
Pavletich recorded his first RBI of the game in the fourth inning when he crushed a home run to left field, putting the Titans up 2-0 at the time. The senior first baseman has been remarkable early in the season, going 6-for-13 with six RBI and two home runs. Pavletich had one home run in his career heading into the 2019 season and now has hit two in four games.
The Titans have shown they have more power this season, through four games they have hit four home runs. The team had 14 home runs all of last season with 11 of them coming in the regular season.
After back-to-back one out singles from Valenzuela and Daniel Cope in the seventh inning, Pavletich hit a sacrifice fly to center-field to score Valenzuela for his third RBI of the game while giving the Titans a 6-0 lead.
The Titans added one more in the eighth inning on a base hit to right field from freshman Zach Lew to drive in Kameron Guangorena from third to put the Titans up 7-0. Lew replaced LoForte in the lineup and recorded his first career base hit and RBI.
Fullerton got off to a good start against the Bears in the first inning as LoForte opened up the game with a bunt single before advancing to second on the throw to first. LoForte later scored from third on a field error from the second baseman to put the Titans up 1-0 in the first inning.
The double-play duo of LoForte and Valenzuela had a strong day at the plate against the Bears, going a combined 4-for-8 with three runs and one RBI.
Freshman Kyle Luckham come on in relief of Bibee in the eighth inning and went the final two innings giving up just one hit while striking out three batters in his first collegiate appearance.
The Titans return to action Saturday afternoon against Fresno State in game two of the Tony Gwynn Legacy with first pitch at 1:00 p.m. PT.
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