A late run by CSUF baseball right fielder Jairus Richards wasn’t enough to stretch the Titans winning streak, as Fullerton took a 5-2 defeat against Long Beach State in its series opener on Friday.
The rivalry that surrounds both teams was on full display at Goodwin Field. The Titans struggled to keep the right composure, and CSUF shortstop Sahid Valenzuela said that excitement was part of the Titans’ downfall.
“I think we were trying to do too much and not taking one pitch at a time. In the last inning we just slowed it down and did what we do,” Valenzuela said.
Overextending themselves wasn’t the only thing the Titans struggled with against the Dirtbags, as CSUF also had to go without one of its best hitters.
Senior outfielder Chris Prescott — who has contributed one homerun and 10 RBI’s over the course of the season — will miss some time after suffering a broken hand earlier this week.
The Titans still attempted to rally against the Dirtbags in Prescott’s absence. Both teams had one run in in the first inning, but Fullerton couldn’t get on the scoreboard after Long Beach’s pitching staff dominated at the mound.
CSUF Head Coach Rick Vanderhook said the Titans weren’t making solid contact against Long Beach’s pitches, when they managed to get any contact at all.
“We didn’t hit any balls hard,” Vanderhook said. “We just didn’t take enough good at bats.”
The Titans only managed to get a total of four hits off of the Dirtbags, while Fullerton allowed seven hits and 5 RBIs.
The bats were dry for the Titans Friday evening as none of the four hits resulted in RBIs, leaving six men on base throughout the course of the game.
Fullerton’s two runs were not earned off the bats of the Titans, but errors from Long Beach’s fielding that gave CSUF a chance to get on the scoreboard. However, luck otherwise didn’t seem to be on the Titans’ side.
The game took a shift for the Titans at the bottom of the fourth inning when a verbal altercation with the umpire resulted in right fielder Ruben Cardenas’ ejection, and Vanderhook said the team should leave the “bad words” up to him.
“I argue plenty enough for my guys and I back them up,” Vanderhook said. “It wasn’t the right time for him to say something.”
The Titans have a quick turnaround to compose themselves before their next match up against the Dirtbags, and will continue their weekend home series on Saturday at 6 p.m.