May 4, 2013
Fullerton, Calif. - Jake Stassi pitched seven strong innings, but an unearned run in the bottom of the eighth inning gave No. 4 Cal State Fullerton the lead, and the Titans held on to beat the Dirtbags 2-1 on Saturday night.
Stassi was outstanding on Tuesday, keeping the Titan hitters off balance all night in a classic pitcher's duel with Cal State Fullerton's Justin Garza. Neither team scored through the first six innings, with Stassi taking a tough loss, surrendering five hits while strike out five and allowing two runs, only one earned on the night. For Cal State Fullerton (38-7, 14-3 Big West), Garza pitched eight innings and allowed one run on four hits, striking out four.
After six innings of mutual pitching dominance, Colton Vaughn put Long Beach State (21-23, 9-8 Big West) on the board in the top of the seventh inning, reaching on a single. After a sacrifice, Vaughn moved to third on a wild pitch from Garza, and Zack Rivera doubled to finally put a run on the board.
The Titans scored their first run of the game in the bottom of the same inning. Greg Velazquez walked to lead off the inning, and after two groundouts, Austin Diemer singled to tie the game at 1-1.
Stassi came back out to start the eighth inning, but a fly ball from J.D. Davis just outside of the reach of Colby Brenner in center field led to a leadoff double. After an error on a sacrifice put runners on the corners, reliever Jon Maciel was able to induce a 4-6-3 double play, but Davis came around to score, and Cal State Fullerton took a 2-1 lead.
The Dirtbags had one final chance in the top of the ninth inning. With one out, Juan Avila drew a walk against Titans closer Michael Lorenzen, and Ino Patron followed with a base hit. Rivera then beat out an infield single to load the bases. Avila was thrown out at the plate on a fielder's choice, and Lorenzen struck out pinch hitter Zack Belanger to seal the win for the Titans.
Long Beach State will try to take the final game of the series at No. 4 Cal State Fullerton on Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.
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