FULLERTON, Calif. – No. 17 Cal State Fullerton scored three runs in the fifth and four runs in the sixth to break open a tight game and hand No. 14 Oregon an 8-2 loss in the series opener at Goodwin Field on Friday night.
Ryon Healy went 2-for-4 with a RBI to lead the Ducks (7-2), while Brett Thomas was 1-for-3 with a run scored and a RBI and J.J. Altobelli went 1-for-3 with a run scored.
Jake Reed dropped to 1-2 on the season, allowing eight runs (four earned) in 5.2 innings. Thomas Eshelman (3-0) got the win for the Titans allowing just four Oregon hits while striking out six in a complete game victory.
Healy gave Oregon a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth with a RBI double that scored Thomas from first. Thomas started the rally with a two-out hit by pitch, while Healy’s RBI was his team-best eighth of the season.
Cal State Fullerton answered in the bottom of the fourth. Richy Pedroza led off the inning with the Titans first hit of the game, advanced to second on a walk by J.D. Davis and scored on an Anthony Hutting single to right field.
The Titans took their first lead in the bottom of the fifth with three runs. Reed allowed a leadoff single to Chad Wallach and then a base on balls to Clay Williamson. After a sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third, Wallach and Williamson both scored on wild pitches by Reed. Pedroza, who walked in the inning, made it 4-1 when he scored on a passed by Josh Graham.
The Ducks got one back in their half of the sixth. Altobelli led off the inning with a double down the left field line. After moving to third on a sacrifice bunt by Aaron Payne and a strikeout by Scott Heineman, Altobelli scored on a two-out double by Thomas.
CSF (9-0) put the game away in the bottom of the sixth with four runs. Hunting sparked the big inning with an inside-the-park home run with one out. He lined the ball inside first base and came around to score when Kyle Garlick had trouble fielding the ball in the corner.
Oregon nearly got out of the inning without further damage, but Payne misplayed a ball hit by Keegan Dale allowing another run to score. Cal State Fullerton tacked on two more unearned runs to give the Titans an 8-2 lead.
Oregon and Cal State Fullerton will meet in game two of the three-game series Saturday night at 6 p.m.