Cal State Fullerton’s regular season could have come to a disappointing end Wednesday night, had the Titans not been able to break free of a slump in which they had lost five of their previous six baseball games.
But just when Fullerton was in need of something extra, USC gave the Titans an inning the likes of which is rarely seen.
In the fifth inning, Fullerton scored four runs on no hits and five USC errors.
Fullerton had trailed by one run going into the inning, but after it, the result was little in doubt, as the Titans won, 8-4, at Titan Field.
Brent Mayne, the Titan catcher who has mounted a Pacific Coast Athletic Assn.-record and school-record hitting streak, lined a double down the first-base line in his second at-bat, which occurred in the third inning. He extended his hitting streak to 35 games, finishing the game 1 for 5.
“It was important for us to win a ballgame,” Titan Coach Larry Cochell said. “We needed to play well, whether we won or not. I’m pleased. We played good defense and had some good plays.”
The Titans (37-16) await an expected bid to the National Collegiate Athletic Assn. regionals, and USC (33-21) heads into a critical three-game series against Stanford that may be crucial to its chances of getting a bid.
Fullerton had taken a 3-0 lead in the second inning after Bobby Jones drove in a run with a double down the third-base line and Shane Flores hit a two-run single.
USC scored one run in the fourth on a triple by Bret Boone, the former El Dorado High School star, scoring Jim Campanis, who had doubled.
But the Trojans added three runs on five hits in the fifth. Fullerton would have been out of the inning unscathed, had second baseman Mike Ross not made an error that foiled a double play. Instead of a comfortable lead, Fullerton went into the error-filled half of the inning down by one and came out of it with a 7-4 lead.
Danny DeVille (7-1) earned the victory for Fullerton, scattering eight hits in his third complete-game victory.
Darrin Beer (8-7) took the loss.
Fullerton added a final run in the seventh on a walk and two singles.