CSUF baseball splits doubleheader wins with New Mexico State

In Baseball, Sports
Second baseman Hank LoForte slides into first base to avoid a tag by New Mexico State in the CSUF baseball doubleheader on Nov. 3.
(Kathryne Padilla / Daily Titan)

CSUF baseball hosted the New Mexico State Aggies for two nine-inning exhibition contests on Saturday.

Despite not counting toward the standings for the 2019 season, the Titans bats came out swinging in the first game, scoring six runs on eight hits.

Fullerton pitchers combined for four strikeouts and stranded seven Aggies on base.

New Mexico jumped on the board in the first inning after a throwing error by third baseman Brett Borgogno. The Aggies extended their lead once more in the same inning when Caleb Henderson hit a sacrifice fly to center.

The Titans evened the score in the bottom of the first when Hank LoForte scored on a wild pitch and Jacob Pavletich drove in Sahid Valenzuela on a sacrifice fly.

In the third inning, the Titans added four runs on a two-out rally. Fullerton sent all nine batters to the plate with runs batted in coming from Pavletich, Borgogno, and Jason Brandow.

“I thought they had a good approach. I thought they played solid at the plate,” said head coach Rick Vanderhook. “I thought Hank played good in the leadoff spot, Sahid played good in the three hole and (Daniel) Cope had good at-bats.”

Fullerton pitchers Michael Knorr and Timmy Josten shut down New Mexico batters with consecutive scoreless innings.

In the sixth inning, doubles by the Aggies put the Titans in trouble when Noah Haupt lined a base hit to left field scoring a run.

New Mexico added another run in the eighth inning after a leadoff triple by Joey Ortiz was cashed in on a sacrifice fly.

The Aggies continued the hitting parade when Titans’ relief pitcher Titus Groeneweg entered the game and allowed four consecutive hits. After allowing a run and loading the bases, Fullerton brought in right-hander Evan Larsen who recorded two outs to close the inning.

In his third year with Fullerton, Larsen hasn’t pitched in a game. The pitcher underwent Tommy John surgery for a damaged ulnar ligament in his throwing arm and rehabbed for one year.

“I thought he was super good in the first game to come up in a situation and do what he did,” Vanderhook said.

The Titans won the first game with a final score of 6-5.

The second game played out differently with the Aggies who started the scoring in the top of the third inning with a leadoff solo home run by Tristan Peterson.

Both teams went scoreless for the next four innings until the Aggies piled on three runs with two singles and a sacrifice fly from the bottom third of the lineup.

New Mexico scored two more runs in the top of the ninth, leaving Titans grasping for life in the bottom half.

The Titans lead off with two straight singles and an RBI double by Jordan Hernandez to put two runs on the board. The team ended up pushing across one more run by Borgogno but the comeback would fall short.

The Aggies went on to win the second game of the doubleheader 5-3.

Titans baseball will be back in action on Feb. 15 when they take on Texas Christian University in the MLB Collegiate Tournament in Surprise, Arizona.

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