A seventh-inning RBI from Hank LoForte and clutch pitching lift CSUF baseball over Pepperdine

In Baseball, Sports, Top Stories
Tanner Bible pitching
(Gabe Gandara / Daily Titan)

Second baseman Hank LoForte’s sacrifice fly to right field in the bottom of the seventh brought first baseman Jake Pavletich home, giving CSUF baseball a 3-2 lead and eventually the win against Pepperdine.

The victory extended Fullerton’s winning streak to six games, earning the Titans a winning record for the first time this season.

“Tonight’s win was big, even though we didn’t play our best baseball. We answered back when they scored and that’s the best thing we could’ve done,” said right fielder Ruben Cardenas.

The contest was tied 2-2 when “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” played during the seventh-inning stretch. Despite encouragement from the announcer to sing along, the crowd stayed silent.

To relieve starter Timothy Josten, pitchers Tanner Bibee and Blake Workman gave up one hit and no runs over the final three innings to seal the deal.

Bibee struck out seven batters in his 4.1 innings pitched and Workman ended all three of the batters he faced.

“I went out there and didn’t think about anything except getting one hitter out, not really thinking ahead. It’s been helping for a while,” Bibee said.

Cardenas said the pitching staff played great in the win, a sentiment Titans Head Coach Rick Vanderhook shared following the game, saying the pitching is the only aspect of the game he wants to carry over to the next games.  

“I thought Timmy and Bibee did good. Beans (Blake Workman) came in at the end and really handled it well,” Vanderhook said.

LoForte drove in the winning run but wasn’t the main provider for CSUF. Cardenas finished the night with one hit and two RBIs.

“(I was) trying to get on base and do whatever I can to help my team score runs. That’s what we’ve been doing during this six-game winning streak,” Cardenas said.

Vanderhook wasn’t as satisfied with the win as the players were. He thought the Titans hit poorly despite getting hits when they needed them.

Pavletich got one pretty good but he had a crappy last at-bat. We scored one. We should’ve scored more,” Vanderhook said.

He said the team did not get better in the win and will need to make progress in its upcoming series against San Diego State.

LoForte is keeping his coach’s words close to his heart in preparation for Fullerton’s upcoming games.

Be more smarter. That’s all we have to do,” LoForte told CSUF Sports Media.

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