Cal State Fullerton had to settle for a split of its first two games at the NCAA Tournament’s Starkville regional Saturday, winning a weather-delayed opener over Louisiana Tech before falling to host Mississippi State.
The Titans broke a scoreless tie with a single run in the eighth inning in edging Louisiana Tech 1-0, a game that started Friday and had reached the seventh inning before heavy rain forced a suspension until the following morning. An earlier delay, in the bottom of the third, lasted 1 hour, 50 minutes.
Cal State Fullerton then fell 4-1 to No. 4 Mississippi State, sending the Titans into a rematch and elimination game against La. Tech at 11:30 a.m. Sunday.
In their opening meeting, Louisiana Tech managed just two hits, both off Titans starter Blake Quinn, the former Bullard High and Fresno State standout who went the first 4.1 innings. John Gavin, Scott Serigstad and Dylan Prohoroff combined to throw 4.2 innings of shutout relief.
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Serigstad earned the win and Prohoroff his third save.
Cal State Fullerton, ranked 21st in the final Baseball America poll ahead of the regionals, manufactured a run in the eighth when Ruben Cardenas hit a bases-loaded groundout that scored Josh Vargas.
Big West Conference Freshman of the Year Colton Eastman got the start against Mississippi State and for six innings limited the Bulldogs to one run on five hits. But an infield hit, wild pitch and two-out single helped Mississippi State score twice in the seventh.
Cal State Fullerton (36-22) got one back in the bottom of the seventh, but the Bulldogs added an insurance run in the eighth.
The Titans’ roster also includes catcher Niko Pacheco (Bullard).
▪ In Coral Gables, Fla., Long Beach State and ex-El Diamante star Zack Domingues also are 1-1.
Sophomore right-hander Chris Mathewson delivered his best start of the season, taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning Friday afternoon, as Long Beach State defeated No. 17 Florida Atlantic 5-1. Domingues, an All-Big West first-team selection as a third baseman, drove in the fourth run with a seventh-inning squeeze and walked and scored in the ninth.
Domingues went 2 for 3 and scored a run but the Dirtbags (37-21) fell 4-3 to No. 3 Miami in 11 innings Saturday. A walk, sacrifice and Carl Chester’s two-out single in the top half of the 11th put the Hurricanes into the lead.
Long Beach State, which had tied it on Jeff Nellis’ two-out pinch-hit solo homer in the ninth, went down in order in the bottom half.
Long Beach State faces Florida Atlantic in an eliminator at 10 a.m. Sunday.
NCAA Starkville Regional
At Dudy Noble Field
All Times PDT; double elimination; x-if necessary
Mississippi State 9, Southeast Missouri State 5
Louisiana Tech 0, Cal State Fullerton 0, 7th inning, susp.
Cal State Fullerton 1, Louisiana Tech 0, comp. of susp. game
Louisiana Tech 9, Southeast Missouri State 4, SEMO eliminated
Game 4: Mississippi State 4, Cal State Fulerton 1
Game 5: Louisiana Tech (41-19) vs. Cal State Fullerton (36-22), 11:30 a.m.
Game 6: Mississippi State (43-16) vs. Game 5 winner, 4:30 p.m.
x-Game 7: Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 4:30 p.m.
Coral Gables Regional
At Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field
Long Beach State 5, FAU 1
Miami 4, Stetson 2
FAU 8, Stetson 4, Stetson eliminated
Miami 4, Long Beach State 3, 11 innings
Game 5: FAU (39-18) vs. Long Beach State (37-21), 10 a.m.
Game 6: Miami (47-11) vs. Game 5 winner, 4 p.m.
x-Game 7 _ Game 4 winner vs. Game 5 winner, 4 p.m.