A home run from Nathan Webb in the seventh inning gave UC Riverside the lead and the game, defeating CSUF baseball 4-2 at Goodwin Field on Sunday.
The loss snapped the Titans’ (27-21 overall, 14-4 in conference) eight-game winning streak. The Highlanders (18-26 overall, 6-12 in conference) broke their five-game losing streak in the Big West conference but still hold the bottom spot.
“We got our butts whooped. They pitched better, they played defense better and they put the ball in play better,” said Titans head coach Rick Vanderhook.
Center fielder Mitchell Berryhill and right fielder Ruben Cardenas were hit by pitches to start the first inning. Shortstop Sahid Valenzuela’s triple later in the inning brought both runners home.
However, this was the last time Fullerton scored in the game.
“It’s kind of hard to have any momentum when nobody can get on base and (the Highlanders) got on base six out of the nine innings from the leadoff hitter. The only other guy we got on base was strike three in the dirt,” Vanderhook said.
UC Riverside cut the deficit in the next inning when a double allowed Dylan Orick to bring in its only run. Both teams remained scoreless right up to the top of the fifth after the Highlanders Cole Pofek tied the game at 2-2.
“It was frustrating,” Valenzuela said. “We didn’t stick to what we do best and we didn’t put good swings on the ball and that’s what hurt us.”
In his seven innings pitched, Andrew Quezada gave up two earned runs and five hits while recording seven strikeouts. The loss broke Quezada’s three-game winning streak in games he started and brought his record to 3-5.
Blake Workman came in to relieve for the eighth inning but could not hold the Highlanders.
Pinch hitter Ari Gerber scored their final run on a sacrifice fly from left fielder Matt Hardy.
CSUF will have no midweek games as it prepares to host Cal State Northridge starting May 17 at 6:00 p.m.