Cal State Fullerton baseball rallies late in the 9th inning to secure a 5-3 victory and win its series over UC Irvine

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Ruben Cardenas swings at pitch

After securing the series opener on Friday, Cal State Fullerton baseball rallied late against UC Irvine to claim the game 5-3 and the series on Saturday.

The Titans sealed the deal in the ninth inning after right fielder Ruben Cardenas flied out to left field to bring home designated hitter Jairus Richards. On the following at-bat, catcher Daniel Cope brought third baseman Brett Borgogno home.

The victory gave Fullerton (21-20, 8-3) a game and a half lead over Irvine (25-16, 8-6) in the Big West conference.

“It feels pretty good, we’re hungry for the third win tomorrow,” left fielder Jordan Hernandez told CSUF Sports Media.

Fullerton cut Irvine’s lead to 3-2 in the eighth inning when second baseman Hank LoForte tripled and scored on a passed ball. Berryhill, Cardenas and Cope loaded the bases for Hernandez to hit the game-tying single that brought Berryhill home.

“I was just looking for a pitch I could handle, put the barrel on and stay inside and it turned out in my favor again,” Hernandez told CSUF Sports Media.

Irvine found its way onto the scoreboard in the second inning with Nick Anderson’s solo home run. The Anteaters scored again in the second when Jake Palmer grounded out to second base, bringing Parker Coss home.

The Titans answered back in the sixth inning when center fielder Mitchell Berryhill doubled down the left field line. Cardenas followed in the same fashion to bring Berryhill home.

The Anteaters increased their lead to 3-1 in the seventh inning when Coss scored again off a single from Ryan Johnston.

CSUF will return to Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark looking to sweep Irvine on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

“We have to think like we own this league and we have to play like it,” Hernandez told CSUF Sports Media.

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