Cal State Fullerton baseball collapsed late in its game against UCLA, resulting in a 12-2 loss and dropping its overall record to 1-7.
“We have to come together. We have to have the Titan legacy back in us,” said center fielder Mitchell Berryhill. “We need to look back at what the Titans before us have done and follow up with that.”
UCLA’s Chase Strumpf was the first to score with a homer to left field in the top of the second. Titans pitcher Gavin Velasquez added more men on base after walking Kyle Cuellar and with only one out, a single up the middle from Garrett Mitchell propped up a 3-0 lead.
Fullerton answered in the following inning with a single hit from Berryhill, bringing in second baseman Hank LoForte and cutting the Bruins lead to two.
A single from shortstop Sahid Valenzuela gave catcher Daniel Cope an open lane to bring in another run, shortening the deficit to 3-2. With a chance to take the lead, Ruben Cardenas was too eager at the plate, striking out with two left on base.
“It’s all mental mistakes. If we come out knowing we’re better than the other team, which we know we are, we can compete with anybody,” Berryhill said.
The Bruins didn’t settle for their one-run lead and on the first pitch of his at-bat, Michael Toglia sent it over the fence for UCLA’s second homer of the night.
A pitcher switch after the homer saw Tanner Bibee’s six-inning night come to an end and brought CSUF’s Jimmy Endersby onto the mound.
Endersby gave up a walk, leading to Fullerton’s fourth pitcher switch of the evening, hoping Tommy Wilson could get them out of the hole.
The eighth inning doomed the Titans; mistakes across the infield led to a five-run inning for UCLA, stretching the lead out to 8-2.
The Titans’ final pitcher switch of the game gave Landon Anderson a moment to stump the Bruins. Instead, Toglia recorded his second home run of the night, driving a runner in with the hit.
In the top of the ninth, UCLA added four more runs that extended the lead to 12-2.
After failing to make a comeback, the Titans are now in the midst of a three-game losing streak.
“We have all the dudes and all the potential to do it. We just need to get out of our own heads and just come out with a positive attitude and grind, just grind,” Berryhill said.