IRVINE, Calif. --- UC Irvine dropped its second straight Big West Conference series after losing 5-3 to No. 12 Cal State Fullerton Sunday at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark.
However, CSF shortstop Matt Chapman hit a two-out, two-run double just inside the third-base bag off starter Jimmy Litchfield to even the score at two runs apiece in the top of the third. Litchfield gave way to reliever Phillip Ferragamo, who walked a batter to load the bases but rebounded with a groundout to second to escape the inning. Ferragamo retired the next eight Titan hitters to take a 2-2 tie into the sixth. With two outs in the frame and a runner on second, designated hitter J.D. Davis hit a two-run home run to left to give the Titans a 4-2 lead.
UCI trimmed the lead to 4-3 in the sixth, capitalizing on a leadoff double by Fox, who would cross the plate on a chopper to second by Paulino.
However, the Titans struck again as Austin Diemer's hit to left plated pinch runner Ivory Thomas, who stole second and took third on a passed ball.
Litchfield pitched 2.2 innings, giving up two runs on four hits while Ferragamo took the loss (3-4) after allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits while striking out three in 4.2 innings. Mitch Merten logged 2/3 shutout innings and Race Parmenter struck out the side in the ninth.
CSF starter Grahamm Wiest earned the win to climb to 3-3 after 5.1 innings and holding UCI to three runs on three hits. Michael Lorenzen earned his 12th save, retiring the side in order in the ninth.