Cal State Fullerton pulled out an exciting exhibition win against South Korean professional team NC Dinos, 8-7, at Goodwin Field Monday night.
The traveling NC Dinos jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on an unearned run in the first inning off of Titan senior starter Willie Kuhl on a defensive error and a walk.
The Titans then jumped on Dino starter Jae-Hak Lee for four runs in the bottom of the third inning. The rally started on a sharply-hit single by junior Hunter Cullen to right field, who was brought home on the two-run homer by freshman Scott Hurst that hung on the left field wall for a second before giving the Titans a 2-1 lead.
The rally continued thanks to three errors committed by the Dinos, allowing CSUF to score another two and go up 4-1. Cullen led the offense Monday night going 3-4 with two runs scored.
The CSUF lead was padded with two runs in the fourth off of junior first baseman Dalton Blaser’s two-RBI double. Fullerton once again scored twice, this time in the fifth inning, off another two-RBI double by Hurst, giving him four RBIs on the game.
The Titans pitching staff combined for a no-hitter through the first four innings against the Dinos, until sophomore reliever Chad Hockin allowed the first hit of the game to Si-Heon Son.
The Dinos chipped away at the Titan lead in the sixth inning. Hockin allowed two runs on a no-out walk, an error and a single to bring in two and cut the lead to 8-3. The inning could have been much worse for the Titans had they not been able to end it on a non-traditional 3-6-1-2 double play at home.
In the seventh inning, the Titans ran into some real trouble when the Dinos’ offense continued to claw back into the game.
After another no-out walk issued by sophomore reliever Miles Chambers, the runner was quickly brought home due to a catcher’s interference and a two-RBI single laced up the middle by ex-MLB player Eric Thames to cut the lead to 8-5.
Thames was brought home on the error by Titan junior third baseman Jerrod Bravo, and after a sac-fly to center, the rally stalled out thanks to a key strikeout from junior reliever Henry Omana with runners at second and third, cutting the lead to 8-7. Senior reliever Tyler Peitzmeier came in and shut the Dinos down in order during the ninth to earn the save and give the Titans the win.
The Titans (3-5) will resume their regular season schedule this weekend when they host Baylor (5-2) for a three-game homestand that proves to be a true test for CSUF. The series starts Friday with first pitch at 7 p.m. at Goodwin Field.