Cal State Fullerton secures Big West title with shutout of Long Beach State
FULLERTON, Calif. -- Cal State Fullerton defeated Long Beach State 4-0 to win the program's 20th Big West Conference championship and 28th overall conference title on Friday night at Goodwin Field.
The Titans (33-22, 18-5) claimed the title outright after UC Santa Barbara lost 3-2 at UC Riverside on Friday night. It is the Titans first conference title since 2013 and fifth title in the last six seasons. Head coach Rick Vanderhook earned his third conference title in his four seasons at the helm of the Titans.
Freshman John Gavin outdueled fellow first-year starter Chris Mathewson to earn his seventh victory of the season. Gavin went 6.2 innings and scattered three hits. He walked two and struck out two.
Miles Chambers entered the game in the seventh inning and closed the game out, allowing one hit in 2.1 innings to earn his first career save.
Mathewson took the loss despite giving up just four hits. He walked four and struck out eight including the first six batters he faced.
Jerrod Bravo went 3-for-3 with a run scored and is now 6-for-7 in the series after collecting his first two career three-hit games against the Dirtbags on Thursday and Friday. He has also reached base safely in 37 consecutive games. David Olmedo-Barrera was 1-for-4 with a home run and Timmy Richards was 1-for-3 with a run scored.
The Titans took the lead in the third inning without the benefit of a base hit. A.J. Kennedy walked to lead off the frame and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. He moved to third on a deep fly ball to center and then scored on an RBI groundout by Josh Vargas to put Fullerton up 1-0.
In the fifth, Richards led off with a double to deep center and then advanced to third when Joey Sanchez had trouble handling the ball. Kennedy quickly cashed in Richards with a sacrifice fly to center field to put Fullerton ahead 2-0.
One inning later, Olmedo-Barrera added to the cushion as he crushed his eighth homerun of the season off Mathewson to put the Titans up 3-0. Fullerton would add another run on a wild pitch in the eighth inning to cap the scoring.