Cal State Fullerton baseball blanks Long Beach State in series opener

FULLERTON — For the first time in decades, the Cal State Fullerton and Long Beach State baseball programs are meeting in a late-season series that has no postseason implications for either side.

That doesn’t mean the longtime Big West Conference rivals lack motivation when it comes to an opportunity to earn bragging rights over each other.

Pitchers Timothy Josten and Kyle Luckham combined on a shutout as the Titans defeated Long Beach 6-0 in their series opener on Thursday night at Goodwin Field.

The Titans, who swept the teams’ annual nonconference series at Blair Field earlier this season, are trying to complete a six-game season sweep for the first time since 2013.

Fullerton (23-25, 9-10 Big West) spent much of the night protecting a 1-0 lead before breaking the game open with a four-run seventh inning, highlighted by Kameron Guangorena’s two-run single.

Josten (3-4) had his best start of the season, as the left-hander held LBSU (11-39, 5-14) to four hits through seven innings while striking out two. Luckham allowed just three hits in the final two innings. It was the Titans’ third shutout of the season.

Zach Lew went 3 for 3 with two runs and an RBI to pace Fullerton, which will miss the NCAA postseason for the first time since 1991.

Senior Hank LoForte and Jacob Pavletich kicked off the final home series of their CSF careers with solid nights. LoForte went 3 for 4 with a walk, one run scored and an RBI. Pavletich went 2 for 3 with a double, a walk and a run scored.

Sophomore left-hander Adam Seminaris (3-9) allowing just one unearned run in six innings for LBSU, scattering four hits and two walks while striking out five.

Three LBSU players had multi-hit games: Chris Jimenez and Jacob Hughey both went 2 for 4, while Aidan Malm went 2 for 3 with a walk. Hughey and Malm each had a double.

Long Beach had at least one runner on base in seven of the nine innings and loaded the bases in the sixth with two hits and a walk, but Fullerton shortstop Brett Borgogno caught Chase Luttrell’s sinking line drive to end the threat. Long Beach managed a pair of singles and a walk in the ninth inning but stranded two runners in scoring position to end the game.

The series continues Friday at 8:15 p.m., with right-hander Nick Avila (0-4, 4.50) scheduled to start for LBSU. Fullerton has not named a started for Game 2. The series finale, which will be Senior Day for the Titans, is scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m.

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Whicker: Washington has an answer for every Cal State Fullerton challenge

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte celebrates his solo homer in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte celebrates his solo homer in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Blake Workman, left, and Daniel Cope walks towards the mound after Washington outfielder Braiden Ward scores during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Blake Workman, left, and Daniel Cope walks towards the mound after Washington outfielder Braiden Ward scores during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

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  • Cal State Fullerton team show their disappointment after a 6-5 walk-off loss in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton team show their disappointment after a 6-5 walk-off loss in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee delivers a pitch during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee delivers a pitch during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton catcher Daniel Cope, left, tags out Washington’s Christian Jones sliding at home plate during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton catcher Daniel Cope, left, tags out Washington’s Christian Jones sliding at home plate during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee appreciates to Mitchell Berryhill after Berryhill threw out Washington’s Christian Jones at home plate during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee appreciates to Mitchell Berryhill after Berryhill threw out Washington’s Christian Jones at home plate during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton infielder Sahid Valenzuela dives for a grounder during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton infielder Sahid Valenzuela dives for a grounder during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee celebrates after getting out of third inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee celebrates after getting out of third inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington team celebrate their walk-off win in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington team celebrate their walk-off win in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton infielder Hank LoForte, right, loses handle of the ball as he tries to turn a double play over the slide by Washington’s Levi Jordan during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton infielder Hank LoForte, right, loses handle of the ball as he tries to turn a double play over the slide by Washington’s Levi Jordan during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton infielder Hank LoForte can’t reach the grounder during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton infielder Hank LoForte can’t reach the grounder during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Daniel Cope, right, looks away after a walk-off run scored by Washington in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Daniel Cope, right, looks away after a walk-off run scored by Washington in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington’s Kaiser Weiss swings for a walk-off sacrifice fly during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington’s Kaiser Weiss swings for a walk-off sacrifice fly during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington’s Willie MacIver, left, celebrates his solo homer with third base coach during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington’s Willie MacIver, left, celebrates his solo homer with third base coach during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington dugout celebrate Willie MacIver’s solo homer in the fifth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington dugout celebrate Willie MacIver’s solo homer in the fifth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington dugout show their excitement during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington dugout show their excitement during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington’s Alex Hardy sprints back to the dugout as he picking up a foul ball during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington’s Alex Hardy sprints back to the dugout as he picking up a foul ball during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Sahid Valenzuela and the team show their excitement after scoring three runs in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Sahid Valenzuela and the team show their excitement after scoring three runs in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton infielder Jake Pavletich, left, leaps to catch a foul ball over a fan’s reach during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton infielder Jake Pavletich, left, leaps to catch a foul ball over a fan’s reach during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Jordan Hernandez gets hit on his elbow in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Jordan Hernandez gets hit on his elbow in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Blake Workman, left, and Daniel Cope walks towards the mound after Washington outfielder Braiden Ward scores during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Blake Workman, left, and Daniel Cope walks towards the mound after Washington outfielder Braiden Ward scores during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich celebrates after hitting a game-tying RBI single in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich celebrates after hitting a game-tying RBI single in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte hits a solo homer in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte hits a solo homer in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee, left, is being removed from the game during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee, left, is being removed from the game during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

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FULLERTON — Washington’s baseball team would have gone anywhere to play in an NCAA regional.

Anywhere turned out to be Conway, S.C., home of top-seeded Coastal Carolina.

That meant changing planes and layovers and the distinct possibility the bags might visit another regional somewhere.

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The athletic department recognized this and ordered a nonstop charter. The only catch was that a fuel stop was required.

In Omaha.

“I honestly didn’t know what to think about that,” said Nick Kahle, the catcher.

Every day, coach Lindsay Meggs had walked into team meetings and said, “Good morning,” and that was the cue for the entire team to answer, “Omaha!” The Huskies never had played in a College World Series before.

Meggs had coached at Long Beach City College and played at UCLA. He played for Dave Snow. He played for George Horton in an Alaskan summer league. He knew what he wanted to bring to Seattle: “Cal State Fullerton-style baseball, in the Pac-12.”

Meggs reached out and grabbed Kahle and kissed him on the forehead. The Huskies won Game 3 of the NCAA Super Regional Sunday night, at Cal State Fullerton.

Actually it felt like Games 3-4-5 because they had to win three different times, but Kaiser Weiss delivered a simple run-scoring fly ball with bases loaded, no out in the 10th. That ended a baseball game that turned into a slam-dunk contest.. Among the wacky aspects was Washington getting the bottom of the ninth at Fullerton’s ballpark, since both were No. 3 seeds in the regional and thus flipped coins.

“I probably should have done a better job flipping it today,” said Rick Vanderhook, the Fullerton coach.

The Titans were double-crossed by their own defense, particularly in the 10th, when reliever Brett Conine threw away a bunt and the middle infielders erred twice. But they’ll always believe they would have won if they’d gotten the ball last.

Hank LoForte slammed a rare Titan home run in the 10th for a 5-4 lead. In the ninth, the Titans put together three runs, culminating with Chris Prescott’s go-ahead single, but Washington tied it on an RBI single by Mater Dei alum Jonathan Schiffer.

Until the ninth, Washington’s Joe DeMers pitched the most immaculate game you’ll ever see. He gave Fullerton one hit and needed only 78 pitches. He had only one walk and one 3-ball count. His fastball was tailing away from lefties and crowding righties. He retired the first 18 Titans he faced with no difficulty whatsoever.

“I looked up and it was the fifth inning already,” said Kahle, who got Washington’s first run on a homer off Tanner Bibee. “When a guy can put the ball exactly where you’re expecting him to, that’s pretty sweet for a catcher.”

But LoForte cracked a hard double to open the seventh. The Titans’ contact intensified. Then came the ninth and DeMers began it by drilling pinch-hitter Jordan Hernandez.

“We had two leadoff baserunners all night and both scored,” Vanderhook said. “We need things like that to get our offense going.”

“I was getting a little worn out,” DeMers said.

You picked a heck of a time to hit your second home run of the year Mr. LoForte…

FULLERTON LEADS 5-4 pic.twitter.com/DhhaTJ1lRM

— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 11, 2018

“I wanted him to finish it,” Meggs said. “I probably made a mistake, not taking him out.”

This is the fourth time a Pac-12 team has won a Super Regional at Goodwin Field, the only four times the Titans ever have lost one. The spirit of their program still shone through, even though the hands didn’t always. Catcher Daniel Cope broke his left thumb in the third inning on Friday yet caught every pitch thereafter.

“From where we started (1-7), we still wound up getting within one out of going to Omaha,” Vanderhook said. “So I’m pretty proud of our group.”

The Titans built a towering standard through 18 trips to Omaha. If their teams lose and especially if they lose ugly, they are judged by that. For Washington, this is a time of gleefuly discovery. Meggs has been at UW for nine years and this was the Huskies’ third postseason trip. They have a uninhibited dugout, where guys openly dance to the between-innings music. Sometimes the opposition doesn’t see the humor.

“But I think that helps us in situations like this,” Kahle said. “The guys on the bench don’t let us get down.”

Kahle is a junior who was the Mission League MVP at Chaminade. That wasn’t bad, considering that teammate Blake Rutherford and Notre Dame’s Hunter Greene were both playing. Kahle has caught every one of the Huskies’ 59 games and hit .295. He made only four errors.

He chose Washington without much assurance of June baseball.

“I just liked their coaches and the guys,” Kahle said. “Coach Meggs has a tough approach, but you feel like you’re getting better every day, you’re not going through the motions. It’s a chance to do something special.”

The Huskies’ next stop is Omaha, this time scheduled. Fuel will not be a problem.

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Washington has an answer for every Cal State Fullerton challenge

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte celebrates his solo homer in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte celebrates his solo homer in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Blake Workman, left, and Daniel Cope walks towards the mound after Washington outfielder Braiden Ward scores during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Blake Workman, left, and Daniel Cope walks towards the mound after Washington outfielder Braiden Ward scores during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

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  • Cal State Fullerton team show their disappointment after a 6-5 walk-off loss in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton team show their disappointment after a 6-5 walk-off loss in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee delivers a pitch during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee delivers a pitch during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton catcher Daniel Cope, left, tags out Washington’s Christian Jones sliding at home plate during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton catcher Daniel Cope, left, tags out Washington’s Christian Jones sliding at home plate during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee appreciates to Mitchell Berryhill after Berryhill threw out Washington’s Christian Jones at home plate during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee appreciates to Mitchell Berryhill after Berryhill threw out Washington’s Christian Jones at home plate during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton infielder Sahid Valenzuela dives for a grounder during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton infielder Sahid Valenzuela dives for a grounder during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee celebrates after getting out of third inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee celebrates after getting out of third inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington team celebrate their walk-off win in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington team celebrate their walk-off win in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton infielder Hank LoForte, right, loses handle of the ball as he tries to turn a double play over the slide by Washington’s Levi Jordan during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton infielder Hank LoForte, right, loses handle of the ball as he tries to turn a double play over the slide by Washington’s Levi Jordan during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton infielder Hank LoForte can’t reach the grounder during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton infielder Hank LoForte can’t reach the grounder during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Daniel Cope, right, looks away after a walk-off run scored by Washington in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Daniel Cope, right, looks away after a walk-off run scored by Washington in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington’s Kaiser Weiss swings for a walk-off sacrifice fly during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington’s Kaiser Weiss swings for a walk-off sacrifice fly during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington’s Willie MacIver, left, celebrates his solo homer with third base coach during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington’s Willie MacIver, left, celebrates his solo homer with third base coach during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington dugout celebrate Willie MacIver’s solo homer in the fifth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington dugout celebrate Willie MacIver’s solo homer in the fifth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington dugout show their excitement during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington dugout show their excitement during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Washington’s Alex Hardy sprints back to the dugout as he picking up a foul ball during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Washington’s Alex Hardy sprints back to the dugout as he picking up a foul ball during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Cal State Fullerton at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Sahid Valenzuela and the team show their excitement after scoring three runs in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Sahid Valenzuela and the team show their excitement after scoring three runs in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton infielder Jake Pavletich, left, leaps to catch a foul ball over a fan’s reach during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton infielder Jake Pavletich, left, leaps to catch a foul ball over a fan’s reach during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Jordan Hernandez gets hit on his elbow in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Jordan Hernandez gets hit on his elbow in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Blake Workman, left, and Daniel Cope walks towards the mound after Washington outfielder Braiden Ward scores during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Blake Workman, left, and Daniel Cope walks towards the mound after Washington outfielder Braiden Ward scores during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich celebrates after hitting a game-tying RBI single in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich celebrates after hitting a game-tying RBI single in the ninth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte hits a solo homer in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte hits a solo homer in the tenth inning during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee, left, is being removed from the game during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Tanner Bibee, left, is being removed from the game during the game 3 of an NCAA super regionals against Washington at Goodwin Field in Fullerton on Sunday, June 10, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

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FULLERTON — Washington’s baseball team would have gone anywhere to play in an NCAA regional.

Anywhere turned out to be Conway, S.C., home of top-seeded Coastal Carolina.

That meant changing planes and layovers and the distinct possibility the bags might visit another regional somewhere.

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The athletic department recognized this and ordered a nonstop charter. The only catch was that a fuel stop was required.

In Omaha.

“I honestly didn’t know what to think about that,” said Nick Kahle, the catcher.

Every day, coach Lindsay Meggs had walked into team meetings and said, “Good morning,” and that was the cue for the entire team to answer, “Omaha!” The Huskies never had played in a College World Series before.

Meggs had coached at Long Beach City College and played at UCLA. He played for Dave Snow. He played for George Horton in an Alaskan summer league. He knew what he wanted to bring to Seattle: “Cal State Fullerton-style baseball, in the Pac-12.”

Meggs reached out and grabbed Kahle and kissed him on the forehead. The Huskies won Game 3 of the NCAA Super Regional Sunday night, at Cal State Fullerton.

Actually it felt like Games 3-4-5 because they had to win three different times, but Kaiser Weiss delivered a simple run-scoring fly ball with bases loaded, no out in the 10th. That ended a baseball game that turned into a slam-dunk contest.. Among the wacky aspects was Washington getting the bottom of the ninth at Fullerton’s ballpark, since both were No. 3 seeds in the regional and thus flipped coins.

“I probably should have done a better job flipping it today,” said Rick Vanderhook, the Fullerton coach.

The Titans were double-crossed by their own defense, particularly in the 10th, when reliever Brett Conine threw away a bunt and the middle infielders erred twice. But they’ll always believe they would have won if they’d gotten the ball last.

Hank LoForte slammed a rare Titan home run in the 10th for a 5-4 lead. In the ninth, the Titans put together three runs, culminating with Chris Prescott’s go-ahead single, but Washington tied it on an RBI single by Mater Dei alum Jonathan Schiffer.

Until the ninth, Washington’s Joe DeMers pitched the most immaculate game you’ll ever see. He gave Fullerton one hit and needed only 78 pitches. He had only one walk and one 3-ball count. His fastball was tailing away from lefties and crowding righties. He retired the first 18 Titans he faced with no difficulty whatsoever.

“I looked up and it was the fifth inning already,” said Kahle, who got Washington’s first run on a homer off Tanner Bibee. “When a guy can put the ball exactly where you’re expecting him to, that’s pretty sweet for a catcher.”

But LoForte cracked a hard double to open the seventh. The Titans’ contact intensified. Then came the ninth and DeMers began it by drilling pinch-hitter Jordan Hernandez.

“We had two leadoff baserunners all night and both scored,” Vanderhook said. “We need things like that to get our offense going.”

“I was getting a little worn out,” DeMers said.

“I wanted him to finish it,” Meggs said. “I probably made a mistake, not taking him out.”

This is the fourth time a Pac-12 team has won a Super Regional at Goodwin Field, the only four times the Titans ever have lost one. The spirit of their program still shone through, even though the hands didn’t always. Catcher Daniel Cope broke his left thumb in the third inning on Friday yet caught every pitch thereafter.

“From where we started (1-7), we still wound up getting within one out of going to Omaha,” Vanderhook said. “So I’m pretty proud of our group.”

The Titans built a towering standard through 18 trips to Omaha. If their teams lose and especially if they lose ugly, they are judged by that. For Washington, this is a time of gleefuly discovery. Meggs has been at UW for nine years and this was the Huskies’ third postseason trip. They have a uninhibited dugout, where guys openly dance to the between-innings music. Sometimes the opposition doesn’t see the humor.

“But I think that helps us in situations like this,” Kahle said. “The guys on the bench don’t let us get down.”

Kahle is a junior who was the Mission League MVP at Chaminade. That wasn’t bad, considering that teammate Blake Rutherford and Notre Dame’s Hunter Greene were both playing. Kahle has caught every one of the Huskies’ 59 games and hit .295. He made only four errors.

He chose Washington without much assurance of June baseball.

“I just liked their coaches and the guys,” Kahle said. “Coach Meggs has a tough approach, but you feel like you’re getting better every day, you’re not going through the motions. It’s a chance to do something special.”

The Huskies’ next stop is Omaha, this time scheduled. Fuel will not be a problem.

Read more about Washington has an answer for every Cal State Fullerton challenge This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

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Cal State Fullerton baseball fans back home gather to watch Stanford regionals

Cal State Fullerton students, alums and other fans gathered Friday, June 1, at two venues in Fullerton to watch the baseball team take on Big 12 champ Baylor in the NCAA tournament Stanford regional.

The Big West Conference champion Titans defeated Baylor 6-2 and beat Stanford 2-1 on Saturday. Cal State Fullerton plays again Sunday against the winner of the Baylor-Stanford elimination game.

  • Cal State Fullerton baseball fans cheer for the team after pitcher Colton Eastman retires the side against Baylor during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton baseball fans cheer for the team after pitcher Colton Eastman retires the side against Baylor during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • A Cal State Fullerton fan cheers for the team playing against Baylor during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    A Cal State Fullerton fan cheers for the team playing against Baylor during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

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  • Cal State Fullerton baseball fans watch the team take on Baylor at Stanford during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton baseball fans watch the team take on Baylor at Stanford during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton baseball fans watch the team take on Baylor at Stanford during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton baseball fans watch the team take on Baylor at Stanford during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton baseball fans watch the team take on Baylor at Stanford during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton baseball fans watch the team take on Baylor at Stanford during a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton baseball fan Tommy Falvai celebrates after Brett Borgogno hits a two-run double in the team’s game against Baylor on Friday afternoon at Stanford. Fans gathered for a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton baseball fan Tommy Falvai celebrates after Brett Borgogno hits a two-run double in the team’s game against Baylor on Friday afternoon at Stanford. Fans gathered for a viewing party at BIGS in Fullerton on Friday, June 1, 2018. (Photo by Kyusung Gong/Contributing Photographer)

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Jace Chamberlin’s pinch-hit home run gives Cal State Fullerton walk-off win against Stanford

STANFORD — Jace Chamberlin hit a towering pinch-hit home run in the bottom of the ninth to lift Cal State Fullerton to a dramatic 2-1 victory over Stanford in a winner’s bracket game of the Stanford regional.late Saturday night at Sunken Diamond.

Chamberlin’s dramatic shot – the burly freshman’s first career homer – bounced off the scoreboard in right-center field. The win means the Titans (34-23) will play the Sunday night game (6 p.m.) against the winner of the Stanford-Baylor elimination game that takes place at 1 p.m. Should the Stanford-Baylor winner beat Fullerton on Sunday night, the teams would meet in a winner-take-all game on Monday at 7 p.m.

Both starters were superb. Fullerton’s Tommy Wilson held Stanford to one run on three hits in six innings. He struck out six with no walks. The Cardinal’s Kris Bubic went seven innings (130 pitches), also allowing one run on three hits. He struck out 10 and walked two.

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The Titans, who were designated the home team, took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first when Hank LaForte and Mitchell Berryhill led off the game with back-to-back singles. Daniel Cope’s sacrifice fly scored LaForte.

Wilson only allowed one hit in the first five innings but Alec Wilson got to him leading off the sixth with a double. Tim Tawa’s triple tied the score. Fullerton third baseman Brett Borgogno made a huge play when he snared a hot grounder off the bat of Nico Hoerner and dove to tag Tawa, who had no time to get back, which probably short-circuited any further scoring.

Stanford is the No. 2 national seed in the 64-team tournament.

Much more to come on this story.

🐘 TITANS WIN ON A WALK-OFF! 🐘#RoadToOmaha pic.twitter.com/fNRXu8yezi

— NCAA Baseball (@NCAACWS) June 3, 2018

Read more about Jace Chamberlin’s pinch-hit home run gives Cal State Fullerton walk-off win against Stanford This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed

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Cal State Fullerton’s Colton Eastman, Rick Vanderhook earn Big West awards

Cal State Fullerton pitcher Colton Eastman and Coach Rick Vanderhook received Big West Conference postseason awards as the league’s Pitcher and Coach of the Year on Wednesday, while relief pitcher Blake Workman and second baseman Hank LoForte joined Eastman on the all-conference first team.

Eastman, who pitched the fifth no-hitter in program history in a 3-0 victory over UC Santa Barbara on March 29, pitched 103.2 innings and struck out 108 en route to a 2.26 ERA. Eastman (9-3) anchors a Titans pitching staff that ranks seventh in the country in strikeout-to-walk ratio (3.04) and fifth in walks allowed per nine innings (2.69). He is the 14th Titan to earn Big West Pitcher of the Year honors.

Vanderhook earned his fifth Big West Coach of the Year honor after guiding the Titans to their 22nd league title with an 18-6 mark. After dropping their opening series to UCSB, the Titans won their final seven league series to wrap up the crown before the season’s final week. Fullerton will make its 27th straight NCAA appearance when it opens play in the NCAA Stanford Regional on Friday. The fifth COY award ties Vanderhook with George Horton for the most in program history.

Workman went 1-1 with three saves and a 2.81 ERA during 15 appearances in conference play. He had 35 strikeouts and eight walks in 25-2/3 innings. LoForte batted nearly .400 during conference play, scored 21 runs and had 20 RBIs and was constantly in the middle of key rallies.

Cal Poly’s Alex McKenna was named Big West Field Player of the Year and teammate Nick Meyer (Santa Margarita High) earned Defensive Player of the Year. UC Riverside’s Cole Percival was named Freshman Pitcher of the Year while UC Davis’ Tanner Murray was named Freshman Player of the Year.

Fullerton, UC Irvine and Hawai’i paced the league with three first-team selections apiece.

Five other Titans received all-conference recognition as Jacob Pavletich, Tommy Wilson and Ruben Cardenas earned second-team honors, while Mitchell Berryhill and Daniel Cope were given honorable mention nods.

Nine UCI players earned all-conference honors, led by first-team selections Andre Pallante, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Parker Coss.

Pallante, named one of five finalists for the National College Baseball Hall of Fame’s National Pitcher of the Year award, was the only pitcher in the Big West to win 10 games, going 6-1 in conference play and leading the league with a 1.60 ERA. His 115 strikeouts ranked No. 2 among conference pitchers.

Fitzpatrick, a first baseman, led UCI and the Big West in on-base percentage (.436) while pacing the Anteaters with 44 RBIs and a .526 slugging percentage. He hit .307 with 59 hits and 14 doubles and shared the team lead with eight home runs.

Coss’ .276 average was second among Big West third basemen, and he was arguably the conference’s best defender at the hot corner.

UCI’s Cole Kreuter and Konnor Zickefoose earned second-team honors, while Matt Reitano, Jordan Bocko, Christian Koss and Brendan Brooks received honorable mention nods.

Two-way standout Clayton Andrews was Long Beach State’s lone first-team selection, earning the nod as a starting pitcher. The five-time Big West Pitcher of the Week led the conference with a 1.11 ERA during conference play, finishing with a mark of 1.99 overall. His 118 strikeouts led the conference, and his 11.21 strikeouts per nine innings during conference games was easily the highest among starters. Andrews allowed 78 hits and 17 walks in 99.2 innings pitched, giving him a conference-best WHIP of .950.

Andrews also hit .302 with a team-leading five triples. He was second on the team in RBIs (26), walks (25), and stolen bases (13) and struck out just six times in 215 at-bats, making him the toughest batter in the country to strike out. Andrews was also the first player in Big West history to win Pitcher of the Week and Player of the Week during the same season.

Three Long Beach players earned second-team recognition: second baseman Jarren Duran (Cypress High), junior closer Chris Rivera and starting pitcher Zak Baayoun (Woodbridge High). LBSU had no honorable mention picks.

Read more about Cal State Fullerton’s Colton Eastman, Rick Vanderhook earn Big West awards This post was shared via Orange County Register’s RSS Feed. SaddleBack Valley Shredding Service

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College baseball roundup: Colton Eastman strikes out 13 as Cal State Fullerton extends win streak

Colton Eastman struck out a career-high 13 batters and Cal State Fullerton got timely hits when it needed them as the Titans held on for 3-2 victory over UC Riverside and extended their winning streak to seven games on Friday night at Goodwin Field.

The Titans (26-20 overall, 13-3 Big West Conference) has won four consecutive Friday games, and Eastman (8-3) has had a significant hand in all of them.

The right-hander has never lost a Big West game on the mound, and he held UCR to two runs while scattering seven hits amid all those strikeouts in seven innings. Blake Workman pitched two shutout innings of relief, allowing one hit and striking out four.

Ruben Cardenas went 2 for 4 with an RBI for his team-leading 17th multi-hit game. Sahid Valenzuela picked up two hits himself, including a double, and scored a run. Hank LoForte extended his on-base streak to 30 consecutive games and has at least one hit in 19 of his last 20 games.

Mitchell Berryhill was 1 for 2 with a walk, an RBI, a run scored and two stolen bases. Jacob Pavletich went 1 for 2 with two walks, while Jairus Richards went 1 for 3 with a run scored and an RBI.

Brett Borgogno produced a hit and a walk.

UCR (17-27, 5-11 Big West) opened the scoring in the second when Connor Cannon homered to right center.

Fullerton tied the score in the bottom of the third when Berryhill singled, stole second and third and scored on Cardenas’ sacrifice fly.

The Titans took the lead for good one inning later. Valenzuela led off with a slicing double down the right field line, and Pavletich bunted for a base hit to put runners at the corners. Two batters later, Richards delivered an RBI single to left. Borgogno then walked to load the bases, and Berryhill drew a bases-loaded walk for a 3-1 lead.

The Highlanders got one run back in the fifth inning, but that was all they could muster.

The series continues Saturday at 6 p.m.

Great game by @EastmanColton as he tosses 7 innings and gets a career high 13 strikeouts in a win over UC Riverside#TusksUp | #EverythingTogether pic.twitter.com/QnAzaoEdgh

— Titan Baseball (@BaseballTitans) May 12, 2018

UC Irvine 3, Cal Poly 1: UCI and host Cal Poly combined for 23 hits, but pitching and defense dictated the outcome with UCI prevailing behind Andre Pallante on Friday night in San Luis Obispo.

UCI’s Andre Pallante and Cal Poly’s Trent Shelton each pitched six innings. Pallante (8-1) limited the Mustangs (22-26, 8-8 Big West) to Elijah Skipps’ RBI double in the second inning and got them to strand eight runners on base while striking out nine on a career-high 117 pitches.

After watching their four hits produce no runs in the second inning, the Anteaters (28-19, 9-7) finally broke through in the fifth. Cole Kreuter’s two-out single scored Mikey Filia from third base to even the score, then Matt Reitano’s sacrifice fly drove in the go-ahead run in the sixth.

Sean Sparling took over for Pallante in the seventh, and Filia bailed him out by throwing out the potential tying run at the plate to end the inning. Jordan Bocko retired all six hitters he faced to earn his seventh save.

No. 9 hitter Filia had a career-high four hits and scored two runs, the second coming on Kreuter’s two-out single in the ninth. Christian Koss had a three-hit night and Konnor Zickefoose had two for UCI, which collected five infield singles among its 13 hits.

Long Beach State 9, UC Santa Barbara 8: Trailing by eight runs going to the bottom of the sixth inning, things looked grim for the hosts Friday night at Blair Field, but four-run rallies in the sixth and eighth innings helped set the stage for a wild walk-off win on a wild pitch in the ninth. It was the fifth straight win for LBSU (23-26, 8-8 Big West).

UCSB (22-23-1, 7-9) scored six runs in the second inning and one each in the third and fourth to open its 8-0 lead, but Long Beach started to chip away a few innings later. Freshman Chris Jimenez, who finished 2 for 4 with a pair of runs scored, drove in LBSU’s first two runs with a bases-loaded double in the sixth. A pair of RBI groundouts by Steven Rivas and Shaq Robinson followed and cut the deficit in half.

Jimenez started the rally in the eighth with a leadoff single. After a two-out walk and a wild pitch, Clayton Andrews blooped a two-run single down the left-field line. Brooks Stotler then drove a triple over the head of the UCSB center fielder to make it a one-run game, and Jarren Duran tied the score with a sharp single through the left side to cap the two-out, four-run rally.

Long Beach senior Sebastian Sanchez worked three scoreless innings of relief to get the game to the ninth, where closer Chris Rivera took over, striking out the side in the top half.

Jacob Hughey started the bottom of the ninth with a single up the middle, and was lifted for pinch-runner Garrett Nelson. After a sacrifice bunt, an intentional walk, then an unintentional walk, the bases were loaded for Santino Rivera. All he had to do was watch as the first pitch to him sailed well wide and reached the backstop. Nelson scored easily to give LBSU its first walk-off win of the season.

Through the first five innings, UCSB had eight runs on 10 hits while holding Long Beach scoreless on two hits. Over the final four innings, Long Beach State scored nine runs on nine hits, while the Gauchos were held scoreless and had just two hits. Five Long Beach players had multi-hit games and eight players scored at least one run.

The series continues Saturday at 2 p.m.

No. 11 UCLA 7, Washington 3: Michael Toglia hit a three-run home run and Jake Bird pitched 6-1/3 innings with seven strikeouts as the Bruins took the series opener in Seattle and snapped their four-game losing streak.

Bird (6-3) held Washington (23-21, 13-9) to three runs on eight hits while striking out seven. Garrett Barker earned his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning.

Daniel Amaral had two doubles and a run scored for UCLA (31-14, 15-7 Pac-12), while Chase Strumpf and Jack Stronach each had two hits and an RBI.

USC 8, Washington State 6: Jamal O’Guinn drove in the game-tying and go-ahead runs, and Stephen Dubb drove in the eventual game-winner in the ninth as the Trojans rallied to win the series opener in Pullman, Wash.

Washington State (14-26-1, 6-15-1 Pac-12) led 4-1, but USC (22-22, 10-15) scored three runs in the sixth inning to tie the score. With a runner on third and one out in the eighth, O’Guinn singled home Dillon Paulson with the go-ahead run. Kaleb Murphy scored on a wild pitch in the ninth, then Dubb’s two-run single provided what proved to be the winning runs.

Chris Clarke earned the win in relief, holding the Cougars to one hit over three innings and striking out four to retire nine of the 10 batters he faced. Lunn allowed a two-run homer in the ninth before closing out the win.

Dubb finished 3 for 4 with three RBIs and one run scored, while O’Guinn was 2 for 4 with three RBIs and Murphy was 2 for 4 with a run scored. Blake Clanton hit two home runs for Washington State, including the two-run shot in the bottom of the ninth inning.

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Cal State Fullerton baseball takes advantage of UC Irvine’s generosity

  • Cal State Fullerton starting pitcher Colton Eastman throws to the plate during Friday’s Big West Conference series opener against UC Irvine at Anteater Ballpark. (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton starting pitcher Colton Eastman throws to the plate during Friday’s Big West Conference series opener against UC Irvine at Anteater Ballpark. (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine’s Christian Koss is out at first base as Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich makes the catch while they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine’s Christian Koss is out at first base as Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich makes the catch while they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

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  • UC Irvine pitcher Andre Pallante throws against Cal State Fullerton as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine pitcher Andre Pallante throws against Cal State Fullerton as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Sahid Valenzuela is congratulated after scoring a run against UC Irvine as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Sahid Valenzuela is congratulated after scoring a run against UC Irvine as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine players watch the game as they are down against Cal State Fullerton as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine players watch the game as they are down against Cal State Fullerton as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine’s Jake Palmer celebrates being safe at second base against Cal State Fullerton as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine’s Jake Palmer celebrates being safe at second base against Cal State Fullerton as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine’s Christian Koss goes high for the catch as Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte is safe at second as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine’s Christian Koss goes high for the catch as Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte is safe at second as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich beats the tag at second by UC Irvine’s Cole Kreuteras they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich beats the tag at second by UC Irvine’s Cole Kreuteras they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte hits an RBI against UC Irvine as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte hits an RBI against UC Irvine as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine’s Christian Koss throws to first after Cal State Fullerton’s Jairus Richards is out at second as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine’s Christian Koss throws to first after Cal State Fullerton’s Jairus Richards is out at second as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Brett Borgogno is congratulated after scoring during the Titans’ 8-3 Big West Conference victory over UC Irvine on Friday night at Anteater Ballpark. The series continues Saturday and Sunday. (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Brett Borgogno is congratulated after scoring during the Titans’ 8-3 Big West Conference victory over UC Irvine on Friday night at Anteater Ballpark. The series continues Saturday and Sunday. (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich is on the dirt after getting hit with a UC Irvine pitch as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine. Pavletich got up and made it to first base.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton’s Jake Pavletich is on the dirt after getting hit with a UC Irvine pitch as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine. Pavletich got up and made it to first base.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • UC Irvine’s Devin Pettengill is out at second as Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte looks to throw to first base as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    UC Irvine’s Devin Pettengill is out at second as Cal State Fullerton’s Hank LoForte looks to throw to first base as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton pitcher Colton Eastman is congratulated after pitching against UC Irvine as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton pitcher Colton Eastman is congratulated after pitching against UC Irvine as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Cal State Fullerton players warm up against UC Irvine as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    Cal State Fullerton players warm up against UC Irvine as they battle during a Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

  • Fans wait for the game to start as UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton battle during a three series Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
(Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

    Fans wait for the game to start as UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton battle during a three series Big West Conference baseball game Friday, April 27, 2018 in Irvine.
    (Photo by Michael Fernandez, Contributing Photographer)

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IRVINE — When Cal State Fullerton’s version of small ball is working, it doesn’t need much help from an opponent. But UC Irvine gave the Titans plenty Friday night in the first game of their three-game Big West Conference series at Cicerone Field.

The Anteaters made an uncharacteristic four errors to assist the Titans’ 8-3 win, pushing Fullerton (20-20, 7-3) into first place in the Big West. UCI (25-15), which had a six-game winning streak and had won 11 of its previous 13 games, fell to 8-5 and second place.

UCI came into the game ranked 31st nationally in team defense with a .977 fielding percentage and had committed just 33 errors in 39 games. But a night of bad throws and muffs led to seven unearned runs. Second baseman Cole Kreuter had a pair and pitchers Andre Pallante and Cole Spear each had errant throws to first.

“We’ve been good in the infield this season,” UCI coach Mike Gillespie said. “The second baseman had a rough night. But we do have the disease of pitchers throwing the ball away. It was a bit of a meltdown tonight.”

Ruben Cardenas had three hits and Mitchell Berryhill two for the Titans. Fullerton ace Colton Eastman (6-3) allowed just a run five hits through eight innings before getting touched for two runs and four hits in the ninth, including Konnor Zickefoose’s third home run of the season. Dillon Brown got the final two outs.

“Their pitchers made a couple of mistakes and it ballooned on them,” Fullerton coach Rick Vanderhook said. His pitcher, Eastman, was marvelous for eight innings.

“Colton’s like a lot of our Friday night guys in the past,” Vanderhook said. “What makes him different is that he’s super competitive. He’s one of the few guys who we let shake off a pitch. He’s earned the right to do that.”

The Titans’ two runs in the second inning scored without a hit.

Jake Pavletich walked. Sahid Valenzuela dropped a sacrifice bunt but reached first when second baseman Kreuter bobbled an easy throw from pitcher Pallante. Jairus Richards then bunted the runners over to second and third.

Pallante struck out Brett Borgogno and induced Hank LoForte to hit a comebacker to the mound for what should have been the third out, but Pallante’s throw to first was in the dirt and popped off the glove of first baseman Ryan Fitzpatrick, allowing both runners to score.

The Titans made it 3-0 in the fifth, LoForte reaching on an infield single and scoring on Cardenas’ hard single to right field. The Anteaters pushed a run across in the bottom of the fifth, Matt Reitano doubling into the left-field corner and eventually scoring on a Jake Palmer groundout to first.

Fullerton made it 4-1 with the help of another UCI error. Pavletich singled and reached second when the umpire ruled Kreuter came off the base taking a throw from shortstop Christian Koss. LoForte drove home the run on an infield out.

“They are way better than their record shows,” Gillespie said of Fullerton. “They’re a handful to put it mightily. We’ll shake this one off and hopefully come out and play better tomorrow.”

The Titans blew the game open in the eighth, scoring four runs on three hits, a walk, a hit batter and a two-base throwing error by reliever Spear. The Anteaters did little against Eastman.

The Anteaters had two shots early. They loaded the bases with one out in the second on a Kreuter double, a walk and a Koss single, but Eastman struck out Reitano and Ryan Johnston grounded out. Jake Palmer doubled to start the third and was bunted to third but was stranded.

The teams meet again Saturday at 2 p.m. and play the series finale Sunday at 1 p.m.

Ruben talking postgame after his big offensive performance in tonight’s W#TusksUp | #EverythingTogether pic.twitter.com/LdziEVcqrc

— Titan Baseball (@BaseballTitans) April 28, 2018

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Cal State Fullerton baseball hosts annual Miracle League Clinic

The Cal State Fullerton baseball team hosted its annual free clinic for the Miracle League of North Orange County on the evening of April 18 at Goodwin Field.

  • Cal State Fullerton baseball player Sahid Valenzuela joined teammates and coaches in the CSUF baseball team’s annual Miracle League Clinic on April 18.
Photo courtesy Cal State Fullerton Athletics

    Cal State Fullerton baseball player Sahid Valenzuela joined teammates and coaches in the CSUF baseball team’s annual Miracle League Clinic on April 18.
    Photo courtesy Cal State Fullerton Athletics

  • CSUF baseball players and coaches participated in the team’s annual Miracle League Clinic on April 18.
Photo courtesy Cal State Fullerton Athletics

    CSUF baseball players and coaches participated in the team’s annual Miracle League Clinic on April 18.
    Photo courtesy Cal State Fullerton Athletics

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  • CSUF baseball players and coaches participated in the team’s annual Miracle League Clinic on April 18.
Photo courtesy Cal State Fullerton Athletics

    CSUF baseball players and coaches participated in the team’s annual Miracle League Clinic on April 18.
    Photo courtesy Cal State Fullerton Athletics

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The Miracle League gives children and adults with mental and physical disabilities the chance to play baseball.

“It was really awesome to get out there and spend time with these guys,” said Titan closing pitcher Brett Conine. “The passion and love they have for life and the game of baseball was awesome to see. It really puts everything in perspective.”

The clinic at Goodwin Field gave the players — with ages ranging from  8 into the 60s — the opportunity to interact with Titan coaches and players on the main diamond, in the bullpens and in the batting cages

The event has produced some of the Titans’ most loyal and supportive fans over the years. Many Titans had left the clinic saying it’s the most humbling and gratifying experience they’ve ever had.

The Titans and miracle leaguers participated in drills, ran the base paths, laughed and shared stories. The evening ended with the group eating pizza together.

Source: Cal State Fullerton Athletics

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College baseball roundup: Cal State Fullerton takes series opener against Hawaii

Colton Eastman pitched seven strong innings and Daniel Cope delivered a towering two-run home run to lead Fullerton to a 6-3 victory over Hawaii in the opener of their three-game Big West Conference series Friday night at Goodwin Field.

Fullerton (18-18, 5-2 Big West), which improved to 7-3 in games Eastman starts, moved into sole possession of first place with the win.

Eastman (5-3) allowed three runs on eight hits while striking out six in his seven innings. Blake Workman struck out the side in a scoreless eighth inning, then Brett Conine added a scoreless ninth to earn his eighth save.

Jackson Rees (3-1) took his first loss for Hawaii (20-14, 6-4).

Hank LoForte went 3 for 4 with a run score to extend his season-long hit streak to 10 games. Cope went 1 for 4 with his team-leading fourth home run and three RBIs.

Hawaii scored a first-inning run on back-to-back doubles, but Fullerton responded with two runs in the bottom of the third. Mitchell Berryhill reached on an error, then Ruben Cardenas and Chris Prescott followed with singles, the second one scoring Berryhill. Cope followed with a sacrifice bunt to score Cardenas from third.

Hawaii regained the lead in the top of the fifth when Adam Fogel hit a two-out, two-run home run to left field for a 3-2 advantage. Fullerton answered again, with LoForte scoring on a Cardenas single up the middle and Cardenas scoring the go-ahead run on Sahid Valenzuela’s two-out single. Cope’s titanic blast in the seventh made it 6-3.

The teams meet again Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.

UC Irvine 4, Cal State Northridge 2: Christian Koss hit his first career home run and Brendan Brooks denied CSUN one of its own with a spectacular catch late as surging UCI took the series opener Friday afternoon at Matador Field.

Trailing 1-0 in the third inning, Koss, a sophomore shortstop, scored from first on Ryan Fitzpatrick’s second double of the game to tie it. CSUN regained the lead in the bottom of the inning on Alvaro Rubalcaba’s leadoff home run.

Koss gave UCI (22-14, 6-4 Big West) the lead for good when he blasted a three-run home run to left field in the top of the fourth inning.

Starting pitchers Andre Pallante (UCI) and Walker Armstrong took control from there, trading blows through the middle innings to hold the score steady at 4-2. Pallante pitched into the eighth and was looking for the final out of the inning when Nolan Bumstead came to the plate looking for his second home run of the day. He launched one high and deep to left, but Brooks made a leaping catch at the wall to deny preserve the lead.

Jordan Bocko pitched the ninth for his fifth save. Pallante earned his sixth win, scattering seven hits and striking out a season-low four. Armstrong went 7-2/3 with seven strikeouts for CSUN (17-20, 5-5).

Koss finished with three hits, two runs scored and three RBIs, and Fitzpatrick had three hits and his RBI.

The series resumes Saturday at 1 p.m.

Cal Poly (SLO) 5, Long Beach State 4: Long Beach loaded the bases with one out in the ninth inning before a pair of strikeouts ended the nationally televised game Friday night in San Luis Obispo.

Long Beach (16-22, 3-4 Big West) fell behind 3-0, but battled back behind junior Clayton Andrews, who was 3 for 4. He singled to lead off the fourth then later scored on a single from Jarren Duran. An inning later, with runners on first and second and two outs, Andrews ripped a 3-and-2 pitch into the gap in right center for a two-run triple to tie the score.

Cal Poly (17-19, 4-6) scored twice in the sixth inning, but pinch hitter Tristan Mercadel delivered a two-out RBI single in the eighth to cut the margin to one.

Long Beach got a one-out walk from Santino Rivera to start its ninth-inning rally. Andrews was then hit by a pitch and Chris Jimenez battled for a walk of his own to load the bases without a hit. However, Cal Poly went to lefty reliever Matt Arens, who recorded back-to-back strikeouts to leave the bases loaded and give Mustangs coach Larry Lee his 500th career victory.

Dylan Spacke pitched the final two innings for Long Beach, striking out four.

Duran finished 2 for 5 for his 12th multi-hit game of the season.

The teams meet again Saturday night at 6.

No. 15 UCLA 16, USC 1: Kevin Kendall hit a three-run home run and scored three times, while Jake Bird allowed just one run in seven innings as the Bruins dominated Friday night’s Pac-12 series opener at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

Bird (5-2) held the Trojans (18-16, 6-10 Pac-12) to one run in seven innings, scattering eight hits and recording one strikeout.

Michael Toglia had a home run and three RBIs for the Bruins (23-10, 12-4), while Daniel Amaral went 3 for 4 with two doubles and three runs scored. Chase Strumpf had two hits and two RBIs as UCLA finished with 14 hits.

UCLA had all the offense it would need after a five-run first inning. Strumpf started the scoring with a two-run double to the gap in left-center field. Jack Stronach and Garrett Mitchell added RBI singles, and Ryan Kreidler added a sacrifice fly to right field.

The Bruins tacked on two more runs in the second inning when Toglia drove in Kendall with a line drive to right field and later scored as Amaral singled to right-center field.

USC got a run back in the top of the fifth inning but UCLA responded with four runs in the bottom of the inning. Daniel Rosica drove in Amaral with an RBI single, then two batters later Kendall smashed a three-run home run down the right-field line with two outs for a 10-run lead.

The Bruins scored five more runs in the bottom of the eighth, highlighted by Toglia’s two-run home run to center and Kendall’s RBI single. Eight of the nine UCLA starters drove in at least one run.

Kyle Hurt (2-4) took the loss for USC, allowing seven runs on eight hits with three walks in four innings.

The teams resume the series Saturday at 4 p.m.

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