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Cal State Fullerton defeats Long Beach State to end losing streak – Orange County Register

FULLERTON — The Cal State Fullerton baseball team was watching a low point in program history.

The Titans had never lost nine straight games in nearly 50 years of Division I play, but that’s what they faced when they took to the field on Sunday afternoon in their series finale. of three games against Long Beach State.

Fullerton, however, picked the right time to play one of their best games of the season, benefiting from a clutch performance from starting pitcher Evan Yates, error-free defense and plenty of quality hitting in the win. 9-1 at Goodwin Field.

The win also moved Fullerton tied for first in the Big West Conference standings with three games remaining next weekend against Cal Poly.

The Titans (29-21 overall, 18-9 Big West Conference) are tied with UC Santa Barbara (35-17, 18-9), which will finish its regular season with three games in Hawaii next weekend .

“We had the three elements that we always talk about; throwing, offense and defense,” Fullerton coach Jason Dietrich said. “Over the past couple of weeks we’ve struggled with that, so it was good to see us finally putting it in place. We’ve done that in the past, but for some reason we were arguing.

LBSU (30-22, 14-13) won’t make any postseason plans this year after its momentum was seized with three-game sweeps at UC San Diego and Hawaii in conference play, but Long Beach coach Eric Valenzuela is feeling better. the overall season after the Dirtbags won two of three at UCSB last weekend and two of three against Fullerton.

“It’s two good weekends in a row against two very good teams,” said Valenzuela.

LBSU finishes with three games against visiting UC Davis next weekend.

With an overworked bullpen, Dietrich turned to Yates, a sophomore right-hander who had a career-high seven innings on 122 pitches.

Yates (2-2) allowed one run and five hits, struck out seven and walked two.

“We always say, ‘We need something special to happen,'” Dietrich said. “I think he did a good job of fighting for us and limiting them to one race.”

Brendan Bobo provided Yates with early cushion with a two-run double in the first inning for a 2-0 lead.

Bobo went 6 for 11 in the series with four RBIs.

“He fought all year,” Dietrich said. “Confidence is crazy what it can do when you start to see the ball a little better.”

LBSU scored their only point in the third on a sacrifice fly from Nick Marinconz, but the Titans recovered the point in their third half on a tight play to make it 3-1.

Zach Lew’s hit-and-run single put runners in the corners in the fourth and set up a sacrificial fly from Moises Guzman for a 4-1 lead.

Lew started the sixth with his fifth homer of the season to make it 5-1.

“I was just trying to put a good swing on good ground and it worked,” Lew said.

Fullerton continued to add to their lead in the seventh, scoring on a full walk, wild pitch, another sacrifice fly and Nate Nankil’s fourth single of the game to make it 9-1.

Dietrich was impressed with how the Titans fabricated runs on Sunday and how they shut down Long Beach in each of five innings after scoring, key things they struggled with during the losing streak.

“We picked a bad time to play inconsistent baseball,” Dietrich said. “And then when we played decent baseball, we didn’t get the hit when we needed it, we didn’t pitch when we needed it, or we didn’t make the play, so it’s baseball, it happens, but it’s good that our guys come today and do what they did.

California Daily Newspapers

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