FULLERTON, Calif. – Washington State dropped its baseball season-opener 12-0 to Cal State Fullerton, Friday at Goodwin Field.
The Titans (1-0), ranked No. 1 in three preseason polls, chased Cougar started Scott Simon (0-1) after two innings by scoring six times.
Cal State Fullerton scored twice in the first on a hit batter, a stolen base and three singles. The Titans added four in the second on two singles, a double, two sacrifice flies, a hit batter, a stolen base and a single.
Thomas Eshelman (1-0) was dominant on the mound for the Titans, tying his career high with eight strikeouts in seven shutout innings, while limiting the Cougars to three hits. He threw 74 pitches, including 55 for strikes. The sophomore fired a first pitch strike to 20 of the 23 men he faced.
“We lacked aggressiveness in everything we did tonight,” Cougar Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. “It’s heavy sledding when you spot a guy like Eshelman six runs that early. We have to find a way to adjust.”
Washington State’s best chance to score came in the third inning when Trace Tam Sing doubled with one out before being cut down at the plate trying to score on a single by Trek Stemp.
Cal State Fullerton extended its lead to 9-0 in the fourth on a three-run home run by Greg Velazquez off freshman reliever Layne Bruner. The Titans tacked on two runs in the seventh on a pair of doubles sandwiched around a single against Chris McDowell. Cal State Fullerton capped the scoring with a run in in the eighth on four singles.
A bright spot out of the bullpen for the Cougars was junior Sean Hartnett who tied his career high with four strikeouts during 2 1/3 innings of shutout relief.
The Cougars and Titans play game two of their three-game series at 2 p.m., Saturday.