Baseball: Titans hit road looking to stay on top

In Sports, Spring Sports

The No. 8 ranked Cal State Fullerton Titans baseball team (27-14) will travel to Stockton for a three-game series to take on the University of the Pacific Tigers (11-31). This Big West Conference matchup will take place at 6 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and the last game will take place Sunday at 1 p.m.

This series will be important for the Titans as they are trying to maintain their lead in the Big West Conference. The Titans are currently 9-3 in the conference, which edges out rival Long Beach State’s 11-4 record in the standings. The Titans last 12 of 13 games will be against conference opponents so they must continue to win if they want to stay above Long Beach when the season ends.

The Titans are also looking to improve their 7-8 record away from home and attempt to get that number over .500 again. Of the final 13 games, including the match-up with the Tigers, nine are against Big West Conference teams on the road.

In the Titans last game, they hosted the University of Southern California Trojans in midweek action Tuesday. They took the game 6-4, to even the overall match-up with the Trojans 1-1.

In the game, sophomore pitcher Michael Lorenzen continued his solid season on both sides of the ball. Lorenzen had two doubles in the game and a triple and also logged his 13th save of the season. The Titans were walked 12 times in the game and two batters were hit by pitches. Lorenzen, junior third-baseman Richy Pedroza, and freshman designated-hitter J.D. Davis combined for six hits.

Freshman right-handed pitcher Koby Gauna received the win in his 2.1 inning effort, allowing only two hits and no runs. The Titans used seven pitchers throughout the game coming after an entire week since their last played game.

The University of the Pacific Tigers find themselves in a much different scenario coming into the game as they are on a seven-game losing streak. Of those seven games, six were conference games with both being three-game series against UC Santa Barbara and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Their overall record in Big West Conference play is 1-10.

The Tigers last game was Sunday where they visited Cal Poly and lost 6-4. They outhit the Mustangs 11-9, but it wasn’t enough as the Mustangs scored three runs in their final three at-bats to take the win.

The Tigers’ offense was led by sophomore third-baseman Curtis Gomez who had three hits in the game, including a homerun and two RBIs. Junior designated hitter Tyger Pederson and senior left-fielder Brett Christopher also put points on the board with RBI hits.

On the defensive end, freshman right-handed pitcher Michael Hager pitched 7.1 innings. Hager allowed five earned runs on nine hits, struck out three, and walked three batters in a game for the first time in his career. Before the game, Hager was in the top 20 in the nation in fewest walks per nine innings. He received the loss, giving him an overall record of 4-3.

Second place Long Beach will enter a nonconference series with Loyola Marymount. The Titans will visit their rival, Long Beach, in a season finale series taking place May 25 to May 27.

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