The Titans topped UW 5-2, setting up a Game 3 on Sunday with the winner advancing to the College World Series.
FULLERTON, Calif. — Junior right hander Tommy Wilson pitched seven strong innings to lead Cal State Fullerton to a 5-2 victory over Washington on Saturday, evening their best-of-three Super Regional series at a game apiece.
Wilson (7-0) limited the Huskies to one run and three hits. The Titans’ win forced a winner-take-all Game 3 on Sunday.
UW (34-24) fell to 1-9 all time against Fullerton and needs a win on Sunday to advance to its first College World Series in school history.
“Congrats to the Titans,” UW coach Lindsay Meggs said. “Nobody has to remind us of their success. There is a reason why they are here. This is why players come to Washington and Fullerton, to play in big games like this. (Sunday’s) game is going to be in front of a rowdy crowd. (Sunday’s) game will come down to the ninth inning and somebody is going to have to make a play or a pitch. We look forward to it.”
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Jordan Jones (6-4) went 42/3 innings and gave up four runs and seven hits and took the loss.
“I felt I started out well, but they took advantage of my mistakes,” Jones said. “They are aggressive and scrappy in the way they play. I needed to keep the ball down more. They hit the ball well and made me pay.”
Meggs said Huskies ace Joe DeMers will be on the hill on Sunday.
“I still think it was a good move to pitch Jordan today because he matched up good against them, but he’ll be the first to tell you that he needed to keep the ball down more,” Meggs said.
The Titans took a 2-0 lead in the second inning. Sahid Valenzuela led off with a triple to right center and scored on Jake Pavletich’s RBI double down the right-field line. Pavletich scored later in the inning on a fielder’s choice.
Huskies DH Joe Wainhouse drilled his 18th home run of the season over the left-center-field wall to lead off the fourth to cut the lead to 2-1. He blasted his second homer to lead off the bottom of the ninth. Wainhouse has hit 13 homers in his last 16 games.
“We hit a lot of balls hard but at people, and they found a way to make it work for them,” Wainhouse said. “On my first home run, I didn’t know if it was gone, I was running hard all the way down to first, but on the second one, I knew it was gone.”
Fullerton upped its lead to 4-1 in the fifth after three consecutive hits to lead off the inning. Jarius Richards and Brett Borgogno had an RBI triple and single, respectively.
Hank LoForte’s two-out RBI triple increased Fullerton’s lead to 5-1 in the seventh inning.
The Huskies had their four-game winning streak snapped. The Titans have won nine of 11.
LaForte extended his hitting streak to 21 games with a seventh-inning triple and has reached base in 44 consecutive games.
After Nick Kahle, Levi Jordan and AJ Graffanino combined to go 9 for 12 with five runs scored and four RBI in Friday’s 8-5 victory, the trio went 1 for 10 with no RBI on Saturday. After pounding out 14 hits in Friday’s win, UW managed only six hits.
“We went out today and got better,” Fullerton coach Rick Vanderhook said. “Today was a new start and tomorrow is another game and we hope to get better again. I hope our experience helps us.”
The Huskies had a scoring opportunity in the second inning when they had two runners on with two outs, however Kaiser Weiss flied out to deep center to end the inning.
In the fourth, Jonathan Schiffer nearly missed a two-run homer by a few feet as his blast was caught at the left-field wall to end the inning. In the sixth, Kahle led off with a walk but Wainhouse grounded into a double play to foil a rally.
It’s the second consecutive year that Fullerton (36-24) has forced a Game 3 in a Super-Regional series. The Titans will advance to their 19th College World Series with a victory in Game 3.
Last season Fullerton lost their opening Super Regional game to Long Beach State before winning the next two to reach the CWS.