Titans are done after two games
OMAHA — For the second day in a row, Cal State Fullerton had a chance to knock off a Southeastern Conference power.
For the second day in a row, it failed.
Repeating their Game 1 performance in the College World Series, the Titans jumped ahead by three runs Tuesday afternoon but couldn’t maintain the lead, falling, 5-3, to Louisiana State at TD Ameritrade Park.
That marked the end of their run in the double-elimination tournament, the Titans having blown a lead in the ninth inning against Vanderbilt on Monday.
This time, after knocking freshman All-American Alex Lange around for three runs and four hits in the first inning, the Titans managed only two hits the rest of the way.
“We got beat. That’s the way I look at it. We didn’t lose. We got beat,” Coach Rick Vanderhook said. “So we played two games here and didn’t lose one. We got beat twice. And I can live with that.”
Lange (12-0) struck out 10 batters in a 118-pitch complete-game effort. He relied on off-speed pitches and routinely got outs with a “spike” curveball that dove in the dirt and away from the Titans bats.
That wasn’t the case in the first inning, when the Titans (39-25) took their early lead with the middle of the lineup attacking early in the count. After Tyler Stieb hit a one-out single, David Olmedo-Barrera jumped on the first pitch and tripled to right-center field to drive home the first run. Two pitches later, Jerrod Bravo beat the drawn-in infield with a grounder up the middle to drive in Olmedo-Barrera.
Bravo advanced to third base on a single by Tanner Pinkston. Dalton Blaser got the third run across with a safety squeeze.
“Fastballs. That’s what he threw in the beginning. We were really committed to that,” Olmedo-Barrera said. “After that, I think we got away from it a little bit when he started throwing more off-speed. We chased it. And none of it was really for a strike.”
The Tigers (54-11) put together six singles and a sacrifice f ly in the fourth inning to take a 4-3 lead and chase starter Connor Seabold.
The Tigers added a run in the seventh inning.
Vanderbilt 1, Texas Christian 0: Zander Wiel’s home run leading off the seventh inning broke up Alex Young’s no-hit bid, and Philip Pfeifer (5-5) and Kyle Wright combined on a fivehitter.
The defending national champion Commodores (4919) earned two days off and would have to be beaten twice by Texas Christian (5014) or Louisiana State, which play an elimination game Thursday, to be denied a second consecutive trip to the best-of-three finals.
Young (9-3) had a careerhigh 12 strikeouts.
MARK LAIRD of Louisiana State stands at second base after hitting an eighth-inning double.