FULLERTON, Calif. — The Cal State Fullerton Titans held on for a wild 11-10 win over Texas Christian Sunday afternoon at Goodwin Field. The Titans rode a nine-run fourth inning to a travel curfew shortened eight inning victory to take the weekend series against the visiting Horned Frogs.
Just as the first two games had, the series rubber match came down to the final inning. Fullerton got out of a bases loaded jam with a play that head coach Rich Vanderhook said he didn’t remember ever seeing.
Freshman Willie Kuhl got TCU’s Braden Mattson, also a freshman, to swing at a slider in the dirt for strike three. When the ball got away from the catcher Casey Watkins, the Horned Frogs’ Josh Elander took off running from third base. Watkins slid to retrieve the ball and fired to Kuhl covering the plate where he nailed Elander with the tag for an uncoventional strike ‘em out, throw ‘em out double play.
By the time the Titans had batted in the bottom half of the inning, the agreed upon travel curfew time limit had been surpassed and TCU didn’t get another chance…much to the relief of the Fullerton faithful.
Fullerton took a commanding 11-3 lead in the fourth inning when TCU forgot how to field a bunt correctly. An infield single and a pair of errors on bunts loaded the bases for All-American candidate Michael Lorenzen. After struggling in the first two games of the series, Lorenzen bounced back with a four-hit affair, including a hard hit two-run single up the middle in the fourth inning.
Lorenzen’s single was one of only three balls to leave the infield during the inning. Carlos Lopez also had a single up the middle and Keegan Dale drove in two with a line drive that went for a triple when Kyle Von Tungeln couldn’t make a diving catch (photo in slideshow below).
The Horned Frogs battled back with four runs the next half inning, a single run in the sixth inning and two runs in the seventh before freshman Tyler Pietzmeier, pitching on his birthday, recorded back-to-back strikeouts in his first career appearance to close out the inning.
Lopez and Dale both finished with three hits and a pair of RBI. TCU’s Casey Wright also had three hits while Jason Coats had four hits and two RBI.
Fullerton starting pitcher J.D. Davis (4 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, BB, 2 K) was awarded the win while Kuhl picked up the save in his first career appearance. Trey Teakell (3 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 5 ER, BB, 2 K) took the loss for TCU.
Check out the full photo gallery from the Cal State Fullerton/Texas Christian series finale below: