An outstanding start by UC Davis right-hander Spencer Koopmans was spoiled as fourth-ranked Cal State Fullerton rallied to score three runs in the ninth inning for a 4-2 Big West Conference victory on Saturday afternoon at Dobbins Stadium.
The Aggies (10-18, 0-5 Big West) scored two runs on nine hits with two errors, while the Titans (27-4, 5-0) tallied four runs — one earned — on eight hits with one error.
Cal State Fullerton reliever Tyler Peitzmeier (3-0) picked up the win after getting the final two outs of the eighth inning. Michael Lorenzen earned his 11th save of the season and second in the series after tossing a perfect final frame. Titans’ starter Justin Garza allowed two runs on nine hits in 7 1/3 innings with five strikeouts and no walks.
UCD redshirt freshman closer Max Cordy (4-4) was tagged with the loss after giving up three runs on three hits in 2 2/3 innings with two walks and no strikeouts.
The Aggies were rolling early behind a strong start by Koopmans, who entered the game with a 6.96 ERA but lowered that season total by more than a full point to 5.82 with his effort on Saturday.
The sophomore gave up one unearned run on five hits in 6 1/3 innings with two walks and two strikeouts.
After giving up a one-out single in the third inning, the Aggies kept Fullerton off the bases until a fielding error in the seventh. The Titans were able to push the runner around for their first score.
UCD scored in the fourth inning on right fielder John Williams’ RBI single and again in the fifth as first baseman Spencer Henderson scored on a fielder’s choice. The Aggies held a 2-1 lead entering the ninth inning.
With one out in the top of the frame, Titan Austin Kingsolver reached and moved to second on a throwing error. Pinch hitter Clay Williamson, who made an outstanding catch at the wall in the bottom half of the ninth, drew a walk and both runners advanced on a wild pitch. With runners at second and third and one out, Richy Pedroza smacked a single up the middle to score the game-tying and eventual game-winning run. J.D. Davis later doubled to bring home an insurance run.
Aggie shortstop Tino Lipson had a game-high three hits, while Williams went 2 for 4 with a RBI. Pedroza was 2 for 4 for the Titans with his two ninth-inning RBIs.
On Friday, UCD starter Harry Stanwyck allowed just one earned run on four hits in six innings but the Aggies were shut out, 3-0, by Fullerton.
It was a pitcher’s duel as both starters shined, but Fullerton’s Thomas Eshelman got the best of the Aggies in the end.
The freshman (7-1), who has not walked a batter in 58 innings this season, allowed just four hits in eight innings with four strikeouts to pick up the win while center fielder/closer Michael Lorenzen posted his 10th save of the season on just five pitches in a 1-2-3 ninth.
The Aggies and Titans will meet at 1 p.m. Sunday for the final game of the series at Dobbins Stadium.