Ti­tans are done af­ter two games

Los Angeles Times - - SPORTS - By Shot­gun Spratling As­so­ci­ated Press con­trib­uted to this re­port. sports@latimes.com

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.

Ted Kirk As­so­ci­ated Press

MARK LAIRD of Louisiana State stands at sec­ond base af­ter hit­ting an eighth-in­ning dou­ble.

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