FULLERTON, Calif. – Jared Deacon’s RBI-single in the bottom of the ninth lifted No. 1 Cal State Fullerton past visiting Washington State 5-4, Sunday in the rubber match of a three-game series at Goodwin Field.
Greg Velazquez led off the ninth with a double for the Titans (2-1) off Washington State (1-2) reliever Matt Bower (0-1). After a sacrifice bunt, Deacon’ singled off the mitt of a diving Matt Mendenhall at first base.
“That’s a Super Regional type three-game series,” Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. “Our guys played great against a great team.”
The Cougars tied the game in the top off the ninth against the Titans’ bullpen. Pinch hitter Ian Sagdal drew a leadoff walk off Phil Bickford. Trace Tam Sing sacrificed against J.D. Davis (1-0) and a ground out by Trek Stemp moved Sagdal to third. Collin Slaybaugh followed with a pinch hit single to score Sagdal on the 10th pitch of his at bat.
The Titans pushed across a run in the bottom of the second and loaded the bases with zero outs in the third to chase Cougar starter Kellen Camus.
Joe Pistorese relieved Camus and recorded the first out when shortstop Tam Sing made a diving snare of a line drive. Pistorese then fielded a tapper to the mound to start an inning-ending, 1-2-3 double play.
Washington State tied the game with a run in the fourth. Stemp led off with a single, moved to second on a sacrifice by Ben Roberts and scored on a double by Nick Tanielu.
The Cougars took advantage of a Titans’ mistake to score twice in the fifth and grab a 3-1 lead. Mendenhall singled with one out and a ground ball off the bat of Luke Stratman was booted to put runners at first and second. After Tam Sing sacrificed, Stemp doubled inside the bag at third to score both runners.
In the bottom of the fifth, Cal State Fullerton put runners on first and third with one out on a pair of singles. Sean Hartnett relieved Pistorese and yielded and RBI-ground out and a run-scoring double that tied the game 3-3.
Washington State missed an opportunity to take the lead in the sixth. Tanielu and Yale Rosen singled to open the frame and P.J. Jones was hit by a pitch to load the bases. After Jason Monda struck out, Tanielu was cut down trying to score on Mendenhall’s fly out to right resulting in an ending-inning double play.
The Cougars loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, but pinch hitter Patrick McGrath and Mendenhall popped out against a pair of Titans’ relievers to end the threat.
Washington State concludes its road trip at UC Riverside, Monday with first pitch scheduled for noon.