FULLERTON, Calif. – The Texas A&M Aggies set the table on multiple occasions, but were unable to come up with the timely hit in a 2-0 loss to the No. 8 Cal State Fullerton Titans in non-conference baseball action Saturday evening at Goodwin Field.
Daniel Mengden (3-1) was the hard-luck loser on the mound for the Aggies. He allowed two runs, one earned, on five hits and one hit batsmen, while striking out six over 6.0 innings. Only one of the Titans’ five hits off of Mengden left the infield.
The Titans broke the scoring seal in the bottom of the fifth inning. With one out, Michael Lorenzen lined a ball back to the mound which ricocheted off the pitching arm of Mengden for a single. Lorenzen stole second base and was able to move to third when the catcher Mitchell Nau’s throw caromed off Lorenzon’s abdomen on the slide and rolled into shallow leftfield. JD Davis lifted a deep fly ball into rightfield for the sacrifice fly, plating Lorenzen for the 1-0 lead.
In the sixth inning, Cal State Fullerton (12-3) loaded the bases with three singles that traveled less than 200 feet total as Austin Diemer blooped a humpback liner that dropped in front of Aggie second baseman Blake Allemand for a single as he beat the throw out to first base. Richy Pedroza and Carlos Lopez were both looking to sacrifice runners, but ended up with singles on perfectly placed bunts down the third base line to fill the sacks with Titans. Mengden got ahead of Matt Chapman 0-2, but sandwiched a pair of balls around a foul ball before hitting Chapman with a pitch to push an insurance run across for the 2-0 Fullerton lead.
Mengden got out of the sixth without further damage with a pair of strikeouts and a fly out.
Texas A&M (10-6) got runners in scoring position with less than two outs in the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth innings, but came up empty-handed, going 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position for the game.
With one out in the fifth, Nau doubled to the gap in right centerfield, but was stranded at second with a strikeout by Logan Taylor and a foul pop out to the third baseman by Jace Statum.
In the sixth inning, Mikey Reynolds reached on an infield single and stole second base. Krey Bratsen drew a walk and Allemand bunted both runners into scoring position. Mengden flied out to the shortstop down the leftfield line, but it wasn’t deep enough for Reynolds to tag-up on the play. Jonathan Moroney flied out to deep rightfield for the last out of the inning.
Cole Lankford led off the seventh inning with a double down the leftfield line and moved to third on a deep fly out to rightfield by Nau. The Aggies were once again unable to harvest a run as Taylor struck out swinging and Fullerton’s shortstop was able to snag a laser hit by Statum to prevent a run from scoring.
In the eighth, Reynolds led off with a single back up the middle and with one out he stole second base. Allemand flied out to centerfield on a sharply hit ball to the gap in left center and Titans’ relief pitcher Koby Gauna was able to get a glove on the hard hit ball up the middle by pinch-hitter Troy Stein to end the inning.
Justin Garza (4-0) earned the win with 7.0 scoreless innings. He scattered five hits, including two doubles, while striking out six.
Reynolds extended his consecutive game hit streak to 15, going 3-for-4 with two stolen bases. Nau went 2-for-4 with one double.
Austin Diemer was the only Titan to record multiple hits, going 2-for-3 with one double and one run scored.
The Aggies and Titans return to Goodwin Field for the rubber match of the series on Sunday at 1:30 pm Central.
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