COLLEGE PARK, MD. -- Taylor Bryant blasted his first career home run to break a scoreless tie in the 10th and John Gavin went a career-high seven shutout innings to carry Cal State Fullerton to a 1-0 victory at No. 23 Maryland Sunday afternoon at Shipley Field in Bob "Turtle" Smith Stadium.
With the Titans (20-18) and Terrapins (27-11) unable to scratch out a run through nine innings, it was second baseman Bryant who provided the offense, smashing his first career home run over the left-center field wall after a nine-pitch at-bat against Terrapins' reliever Alex Robinson, who had not allowed an earned run on the season up to that point. It was Bryant's only hit of the day but it was enough to put the Titans on top for good.
Tyler Peitzmeier, who entered the game to get the last out in the ninth inning, picked up his first win of the year as he retired the Terrapins in the 10th, allowing just one hit in the frame.
Gavin helped set the tone for the Titans on the mound as the freshman allowed just three hits and struck out six with one walk allowed. Miles Chambers was also stellar in relief, allowing one hit in 1.2 innings of work. He struck out three.
Josh Vargas led the Titans offense, going 2-for-3 while Tyler Stieb went 1-for-3 to extend his hitting streak to nine games.
Both pitchers were outstanding on Sunday afternoon as neither team could mount much offense off the dueling lefties, combining for just six hits in the first eight innings.
Maryland's best chances in the early going came in the first inning against Gavin, getting two runners on with one out after Kevin Smith singled and then Gavin drilled Kevin Martir with a pitch. Jose Cuas stepped in nearly put the Terrapins ahead, smashing a ball to deep center field. But Stieb ran full speed toward the wall and made a leaping catch against the wall to rob the Terrapins third baseman of extra bases and two RBI. Gavin then came back and struck out Anthony Papio to end the threat.
Gavin proceeded to retire 12 of the next 14 batters including seven in a row at one point before the Terrapins got another baserunner in the sixth inning. Smith led off the seventh with a single to break Gavin's streak but was erased on a double-play. With two outs, Gavin walked Cuas and then Papio reached on an error at first to put two on. But Gavin got Jamal Wade to ground out to short to end the threat.
For the Titans, they had a runner on second with one out in the fourth and two on with two outs in the seventh but came up empty both times.
In the ninth, the Titans got the first two runners on base after Robinson plunked Dustin Vaught and Vargas to lead off the inning. Tanner Pinkston stepped in to pinch-hit and laid down a sacrifice bunt to move the runners over for Jake Jefferies, but the Titans designated hitter smacked a hard grounder to first where Justin Morris snatched it up and threw home to get Vaught out at the plate and keep the game scoreless.
The Titans will wrap up their season-long nine game road swing Wednesday when they head to CSU Bakersfield to take on the Roadrunners.