CSUF baseball defeats USC in midweek matchup

In Baseball, Sports

Cal State Fullerton baseball defeated USC 10-4 Tuesday night. The Titans offense exploded for 10 runs on 10 hits and made the Trojans’ pitching staff struggle, drawing eight walks on the night.

CSUF’s situational hitting was exceptional, as four of the Titans’ 10 runs scored with two outs.

Freshman Zach Lew had a huge night for the Titans in his first start of his collegiate career, reaching base four times with a home run, two doubles and a walk, piling up three RBIs and scoring four runs.

It was Lew’s first collegiate home run. “I haven’t hit a home run in a long time, so it felt cool,” Lew said.

USC jumped out to an early 1-0 lead on a solo home run by Matthew Acosta in the first inning.

The Titan offense found life in the third inning. Following Lew’s home run, Hank LoForte extended his on-base streak to 59 games with a two-out walk. LoForte advanced to second from a wild pitch and took advantage of Mitchell Berryhill’s RBI single, giving the Titans a 2-1 lead.

Dillon Brown came in relief for starting pitcher, Timothy Josten to start the fourth inning, and kept the Trojan offense quiet. In three innings of pitching, Brown allowed one hit and struck out two.

“I’m feeling way more confident, good mentality, just competing,” Brown said. In his last eight innings pitched, Brown has allowed just two hits.

The Titans tallied two more runs in the bottom half of the fifth inning. Jason Brandow started the rally with a single to right field and advanced to second base on a failed dive attempt by USC right fielder, Preston Hartsell. CSUF added two walks, which loaded the bases for Sahid Valenzuela. Valenzuela hit a single to right field, scoring two more runs for a 4-1 CSUF lead.

CSUF’s offense stayed hot in the sixth inning with Garcia, Jake Pavletich and Jairus Richards drawing three-straight walks to start the inning. Lew delivered a one-out two-run double to right-center field, where the Titans led 6-1.

The Titans continued to pile it on the Trojans in the sixth inning following Lew’s double, as Brett Borgogno walked and Berryhill added two more with a two-run single. Valenzuela continued the rally with his second RBI single of the night, extending the Titan lead 9-1.

USC added a run in the seventh inning on an RBI groundout by Brandon Perez, and another in the eighth inning on an RBI double by Jamal O’Guinn, making it a 9-3 ballgame.

CSUF added one more run in the eighth inning from an RBI double by Berryhill. When the Titans sent Jimmy Endersby to the bump in the ninth inning, he surrendered one run on a sacrifice fly by Perez.

The Titans will return to action this weekend for a three-game series with James Madison at Goodwin Field. First pitch on Friday is scheduled at 7 p.m.

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