Final Box Score | Arizona Overall Stats
FULLERTON, Calif. - No. 6 Cal State Fullerton escaped a potentially disastrous first inning before asserting itself in the middle innings to hold off visiting Arizona, 5-2, on Tuesday night at Goodwin Field.
Winners of six of their last eight games, the Wildcats (22-22) put a run on the board in the first and had the bases loaded with no outs, threatening to shock the Titans early.
Cal State Fullerton starter Kevin Rath did not let the jam bother him, however. After a visit from head coach Dave Serrano, Rath retired the next three batters he faced in order, limiting Arizona to just one run in the inning.
Leadoff hitter Christian Colon homered off UA starter Joe Allision to lead off the home half of the first to even the game at 1-1.
The Titans (33-12) scored a single run in each of the first three innings, including one in the bottom of the third after UA briefly tied the game at 2-2.
The Wildcats were still within striking distance after four innings of play, before Cal State Fullerton opened the game up in the fifth.
Arizona turned to senior Preston Guilmet, who last made a relief appearance at the Wichita Regional in the final game of the 2007 season, to try and hold the game for the later innings.
But Guilmet, who tossed eight innings last Friday, allowed a one-out double to Colon in the fifth. Gary Brown followed with a two-run home run to right field and push the Titan lead to 5-2.
From there, Travis Kelly would take over for the Titans and dominate the Arizona hitters. In three innings of relief, Kelly allowed just one hit and struck out four, before turning the game over to Nick Ramirez in the ninth.
Ramirez, who started the game as the designated hitter for the Titans, struck out all three Wildcats he faced in the ninth to earn his third save of the season.
In the pivotal top of the first inning, Bryce Ortega singled and Dillon Baird doubled to open the inning. After Jett Bandy was hit by a pitch, Brad Glenn delivered an RBI single to left field to stake UA to a 1-0 lead.
But, Steve Selsky, Bobby Coyle and Dwight Childs struck out in order to end the inning and strand a trio of Wildcats on the bases and change the tone for the remainder of the game.
Later, Steve Selsky drove home Baird from third with a sacrifice flyout to left field.
However, Cal State Fullerton answered with a run in the bottom of the third to retake the lead. Josh Fellhauer doubled to lead off and came in to score on a sacrifice flyout by Khris Davis.
That was all the offense the Titans needed to hold off Arizona, which managed just one hit over the final four innings of the game.
The two teams will wrap up the two-game set on Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Goodwin Field.