A new day brings a bad re­sult for Fuller­ton in CWS

Walk-off homer gives Van­der­bilt a vic­tory, and now Ti­tans face an elim­i­na­tion game.

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - sports@latimes.com By Shot­gun Spratling

OMAHA, Neb. — Against a Van­der­bilt lineup stacked with top pro prospects, Cal State Fuller­ton had the matchup it wanted — Tyler Peitzmeier, the Ti­tans’ left­handed closer, fac­ing Jeren Kendall, a left-handed hit­ting fresh­man.

Kendall had struck out against Peitzmeier in an ear­lier at-bat, but he got the ul­ti­mate re­demp­tion. He knocked a ninth-in­ning, tworun homer deep into the Fuller­ton bullpen in right field to give the Com­modores a 4-3 walk-off win Mon­day af­ter­noon in the Col­lege World Se­ries opener for both teams.

“That’s who we wanted. Num­bers-wise, ev­ery­thing dic­tates that guy doesn’t han­dle left-han­ders very well,” Fuller­ton Coach Rick Van­der­hook said. “He went up there and took a big at­bat in a big mo­ment and did what he was sup­posed to do.”

Kendall’s blast was the first walk-off home run in the Col­lege World Se­ries’ fiveyear history at TD Amer­i­trade Park.

“I dream a lot about big mo­ments,” Kendall said. “I can’t say I dreamt specif­i­cally of this mo­ment, but just be­ing on a big stage like that has def­i­nitely been thought about.”

In Col­lege World Se­ries games at TD Amer­i­trade Park, teams lead­ing af­ter eight in­nings had a record of 176-4.

Fuller­ton led, 3-1, head­ing into the ninth in­ning with Peitzmeier cruis­ing. The se­nior from Yu­tan, Neb., just out­side Omaha, had re­tired the first six bat­ters he faced.

Even af­ter Zander Wiel hit a lead­off dou­ble, Peitzmeier came back to strike out Will Tof­fey. But Peitzmeier left a pitch up to Bryan Reynolds, who hit a run­scor­ing dou­ble just in­side the left field line to trim the lead to 3-2.

That brought up Kendall, who fouled off a fast­ball be­fore jump­ing all over a slider down and away.

“It was a good slider,” Peitzmeier said. “He just got ahold of it.”

Said Van­der­hook: “The pitch was down enough. He just went down and got it. He got it re­ally good.”

The game started Sun­day but was sus­pended in the sixth in­ning by rain and light­ning. Fuller­ton had built a 3-0 lead be­hind Thomas Eshel­man, who al­lowed only four hits in 52⁄ in­nings.

“It was a tale of two dif­fer­ent games,” Van­der­bilt Coach Tim Corbin said. “Last night was frus­trat­ing for the Van­der­bilt side be- cause of how Eshel­man pitched and their abil­ity to score some runs on some walks and some big hits. To­day was a re­set sit­u­a­tion for us.”

Play re­sumed with Fuller­ton fresh­man Chad Hockin tak­ing over on the mound and fac­ing Wiel with a 3and-2 count and a run­ner on third base. An­tic­i­pat­ing that Hockin was go­ing to try to at­tack with a strike, Wiel stroked a dou­ble into the right-cen­ter field gap to pull Van­der­bilt to within 3-1.

Hockin was able to es­cape fur­ther dam­age and turned the ball over to Peitzmeier, who was mak­ing his latest in sev­eral re­cent lon­gre­lief ap­pear­ances.

He had pitched at least two in­nings in six of his last seven out­ings — with four of those last­ing three or more in­nings.

But he was un­able to fin­ish off his third in­ning against Van­der­bilt.

Wiel, Reynolds and Kendall each fin­ished with two hits for Van­der­bilt, the de­fend­ing na­tional cham­pion. Fuller­ton had five hits, only one on Mon­day.

“It prob­a­bly made a dif­fer­ence,” Van­der­hook said of the post­pone­ment. “But prob­a­bly made a dif­fer­ence for them too. We both had the same chance.”

The Ti­tans will play Louisiana State in an elim­i­na­tion game Tues­day at noon PDT.

Van­der­hook said fresh­man Con­nor Se­abold would start for Fuller­ton.

Se­abold made 10 starts this sea­son, com­pil­ing a 5-3 record with a 2.84 earne­drun av­er­age in 662⁄ in­nings.

LSU plans to start Fresh­man All-Amer­i­can Alex Lange, who has a record of 11-0 with a 1.89 ERA.

Ted Kirk As­so­ci­ated Press

JEREN KENDALL of Van­der­bilt hits a two-run, ninth-in­ning homer in a game that be­gan Sun­day.

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