No. 7 Fullerton Completes Sweep of Cats
TUCSON, Ariz. Not a 51-minute rain delay before the game, nor a 24-minute hail delay in the fifth, not even a Jason Donald two-run home run in the sixth could prevent the inevitable, a two-run Cal State Fullerton win over Arizona. The No. 7-ranked Titans pulled off the three-game series sweep after rallying for three late runs in a 5-3 win at Kindall Field on Sunday.
The loss was the third straight two-run defeat at the hands of Fullerton on the weekend for the Wildcats (10-11), and extended their losing streak to six straight. The Titans, who have won a season-high eight consecutive games, improved to 17-6 with the victory.
Trailing 2-1 after five and half, Donald handed the Wildcats their first lead of the series with his second homer of the season with two outs in the bottom of the sixth. His 16th career blast plated Brad Boyer, who had singled one batter earlier, to hand UA a 3-2 lead.
The one-run advantage evaporated quickly however, as reliever David Coulon surrendered a solo home run to the first batter he faced to lead off the top of the seventh. CSF’s Justin Turner hit the left-hander’s 3-1 offering over the center field wall to even the game at 3-3.
After a scoreless eighth for both teams, the Titans completed the weekend sweep with a pair of runs on three hits in the top of the ninth.
Turner, who finished 2 for 5 with two RBI and pair of runs scored, came up with his second clutch hit on the day with a one-out double to left center off of Mike Colla to plate Evan McArthur for a 4-3 lead, and came around to score himself on a single by Blake Davis in the next at bat.
The Titan bullpen then slammed the door in the bottom of the inning, as a Ryan Paul struck out Boyer on three straight pitches, and closer Vinnie Pestano retired Donald on a grounder to short and struck Bill Rhinehart looking for his third save on the weekend and his eighth of the year.
Fullerton starter Dustin Miller (5-1) picked up his fifth win of the year after limiting the Wildcats to three runs on three hits over eight innings. He finished with five strikeouts and no walks on the afternoon.
Coulon (0-2) was charged with the loss after surrendering the go-ahead run in the ninth. The sophomore southpaw gave up two runs on two hits in 2 1/3 innings.
Boyer, Donald and catcher Konrad Schmidt accounted for UA’s three hits on the day.
Arizona will attempt to stop its longest losing streak since the end of the 2003 season next weekend when it hosts UC Irvine for a pair of games on Saturday and Sunday.