The Titans dropped a heartbreaker in the opener of the NCAA College World Series, blowing a 5-1 lead to lose 6-5 to Oregon State University.
The Titans started strong and confident, easily taking the lead in the top of the first inning. Scott Hurst drew a full-count leadoff walk, Sahid Valenzuela laid a bunt to move him to second and then Timmy Richards stepped up to the plate, hitting a home run on the team’s first hit of the game to give the Titans a 3-0 lead.
In the middle of the second inning Oregon State answered back, scoring one run off a leadoff double and a sacrifice bunt to bring their man in. The Beavers had the bases loaded with two outs and a full count but Cardinals third-round draft pick Connor Seabold was able to hold on and end the third inning with 64 pitches, and more importantly, no more runs scored.
Fullerton extended their lead to four runs with RBI’s from Chris Hudgins bringing in Hank LoForte and Taylor Bryant in the top of the fourth inning.
The 5-1 lead made it seem like a win was in sight, but by the start of the 7th inning OSU tied the game at 5-5 with 2 RBI’s by Trevor Larnach, an RBI from Nick Madrigal and 1 more from Jack Anderson bringing in teammates Michael Gretler, Preston Jones, and KJ Harrison.
Though an impressive fence-climbing defensive catch was made by Scott Hurst to keep the game tied at 5-5, by the start of the ninth inning OSU took a decisive 6-5 lead with a single from Adley Rutschman bringing in Larnach.
The Titans still have a chance at redemption in upcoming the elimination game, when they’ll take on the loser of LSU and Florida State Monday, June 19 in Omaha.