TEMPE, Ariz.- The Arizona State University baseball team fell 7-5 to Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday in the first game of the DeMarini West Coast Challenge in front of 3,851 fans at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. The Sun Devils drop to 19-5 on the season with the loss.
Gary Brown was the most productive player with three hits including two doubles and a stolen base for the Titans. While Jason Kipnis led the Sun Devil offense with two hits and three RBI, including his team-leading ninth home run of the season.
Cal State Fullerton jumped out to an early lead with three runs in the first two innings off ASU starting pitcher Matt Newman. The Sun Devils rallied to tie the game in the bottom of the second, as Drew Maggi scored on a throwing error, Zack MacPhee hit a sacrifice fly and Kipnis had an RBI single.
The Titans would then go back in front for good in the sixth, as they would score single runs in each of the last four innings. Kipnis had a two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to cut ASU’s deficit to two, but Cal State Fullerton closer Michael Morrison came on to record the final two outs.
Titans’ reliever Nick Ramirez went 4.1 shutout innings to earn the win. Jason Franzblau took the loss for the Sun Devils, despite allowing just three hits and one earned run over 4.1 innings out of the bullpen.
The Sun Devils had nine freshmen and three junior college transfers get their first taste of the ASU-Cal State Fullerton rivalry in the game.
The two teams will complete their two-game series on Wednesday, with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m. at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.