The Cal State Fullerton baseball team traveled to Jackie Robinson Stadium in Westwood Tuesday night to take on No. 3 UCLA, but were overmatched by the Bruins and fell 7-2.
UCLA (26-7 overall, 12-3 Pac 12) got off to a hot start on the mound as well as on offense. Bruins starting pitcher Cody Poteet began the game retiring the first nine batters he faced.
Fullerton (19-16 overall, 6-3 Big West) changed things up on the mound Tuesday, starting their closer Tyler Peitzmeier, who leads the club with 12 saves on the season. Peitzmeier, who was limited to 50 pitches on the evening, left the game after allowing six hits and four runs (three earned) over 2.2 innings.
In the bottom of the second inning, with runners on first and second base, Peitzmeier attempted a pickoff throw to second that looked like a sure bet to get the runner out. However, the toss bounced off shortstop Tristan Hildebrandt’s glove and rolled into center field. The UCLA runners took advantage by moving to second and third base and eventually scoring after a groundout to shortstop and single up the middle.
UCLA scored two more runs in the third inning, quickly jumping out to a 4-0 lead against the Titans.
Fullerton got off to a sluggish start, not getting a man on base until the fourth inning when Dustin Vaught was hit by a pitch.
In the fourth inning, the Titans missed a scoring opportunity as David Olmedo-Barrera struck out swinging with the Titans attempting a double steal. As UCLA catcher Justin Hazard threw the ball in attempt to get the runner at second base, Vaught headed home but was called out after shortstop Kevin Kramer delivered a perfect throwback to Hazard that ended in a collision at the plate.
The Titans didn’t get their first base hit until the sixth inning when Tyler Stieb doubled down the right field line. Stieb later scored on a single by pinch hitter Jarrod Bravo, who also knocked in Hildebrandt with the hit.
The Titans’ comeback bid was cut short when sophomore Taylor Bryant lined a ball to right field with runners on first and second base. Right fielder Brett Urabe was positioned perfectly to run the ball down for the third out, ending the Titans’ chance to even things up.
The Titans were never able to overcome UCLA’s early lead and succumbed to the Bruins, 7-2. The loss marked the first defeat to a ranked opponent this season, as the Titans previously held a 4-0 against ranked opposition.
The Titans will next fly to the east coast this weekend for a three-game series against the No. 24 team in the nation, the Maryland Terrapins (24-10).