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Fullerton Gets Measure of Retribution Against UCLA

Cal State Fullerton’s season ended last year with UCLA celebrating on the Titans’ home field, having earned a College World Series berth after sweeping the Fullerton Super Regional. Before the game, the Titans’ coaching staff told the players to remember the crushing feeling they had watching the Bruins’ joy.

The Titan players responded, grinding out a 4-3 win over UCLA (18-13) thanks to a three-run fifth inning.

“They dogpiled on our field last year, so it was nice to get a W over them,” junior third baseman Matt Chapman said. “It’s just another game, but it definitely had a little bit of redemption in it.”

Chapman provided the big hit for when he knocked a rocket smash to right-centerfield for a two-run triple that put Fullerton (17-11) ahead 3-2. J.D. Davis followed with a quality at bat, hitting a grounder to the right side, allowing Chapman to score.

Chapman talks about getting UCLA back, his stint hitting leadoff, the importance of the guys in front of him in the lineup and Fullerton’s tough schedule upcoming:

Davis also closed the game out with a pair of 1-2-3 innings to earn his fourth save. His fastball was up to 93 mph as he threw 15 of his 18 pitches for strikes, striking out three.

Here is Cal State Fullerton head coach Rick Vanderhook following the game:

UCLA took an early lead on a Justin Hazard two-out, two-strike single up the middle that scored a pair in the third inning, but the Bruins didn’t capitalize on multiple early opportunities. They left nine men on base for the game — all coming in the first four innings. UCLA loaded the bases in the second and fourth innings and came away with nothing.

Head coach John Savage talks about the early chances the Bruins missed on:

Chapman and Tanner Pinkston both finished 2-for-4 with a run and combined for three of Fullerton’s RBI. Shane Zeile reached three times for UCLA and scored a run.

After losing Friday night’s opener against UC Davis in disappointing fashion, Cal State Fullerton has now won three in a row right before an important six-game Big West road stretch that includes weekend trips to face ranked foes No. 26 UC Santa Barbara and No. 6 Cal Poly. Chapman was optimistic the Titans had picked up their play at the opportune time.

“We’ve got six tough games ahead of us. I think it’s really important that we got this good feeling. Maybe we can get something rolling.”

Check out CBD photographer Shotgun Spratling’s top photos from the game :

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