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Cal Poly Falls to Cal State Fullerton, 5-1, in Big West Series Opener

Cal Poly Falls to Cal State Fullerton, 5-1, in Big West Series Opener

FULLERTON, Calif. – Eight days after pitching a no-hitter at UC Santa Barbara, junior right-hander Colton Eastman held Cal Poly hitless until the sixth inning and lost his bid for a second straight shutout in the eighth, settling for a combined three-hitter with Brett Conine in a 5-1 Cal State Fullerton victory Friday night at Goodwin Field.

Eastman (4-2) struck out eight and walked one, losing his bid for back-to-back no-hitters when Kyle Marinconz singled up the middle with two outs in the sixth inning. He had pitched 17 consecutive innings without giving up a hit, holding 55 batters hitless until facing Marinconz in the sixth.

With its third straight win, Cal State Fullerton evened its Big West record at 2-2 and improved to 13-15 overall. The victory also raised the Titans' record at Goodwin Field, which opened in 1992, to 600-200.

Cal Poly fell to 13-15 and 1-3.

Cal State Fullerton brought a .242 team batting average into the game but collected 11 hits against four Cal Poly pitchers. Hank Lo Forte, Jace Chamberlin, Sahid Valenzuela and Jake Pavletich each banged out a pair of hits for the Titans.

Cal Poly finished with three hits, singles by Marinconz, Alex McKenna and Nick DiCarlo.

Cal State Fullerton scored three times in the second inning and never looked back, adding single runs in the sixth and seventh frames.

Pavletich singled to make it 1-0 in the second and Lo Forte tripled down the left-field line to drive in two more. Pavletich doubled leading off the sixth inning and eventually scored on an error to make it 4-0. Daniel Cope's sacrifice fly in the seventh gave the Titans a 5-0 lead.

Cal Poly avoided being shut out for the third time this season with a run in the eighth. With one out, Scott Ogrin reached base on an error and singles by DiCarlo and McKenna scored Ogrin.

Junior right-hander Jarred Zill (0-1) suffered the loss. After three no-decisions in his first three starts of the year, Zill surrendered four runs (three earned) and nine hits over five-plus innings with two walks and five strikeouts.

Matt Arens, Austin Dondanville and Andrew Alvarez also pitched for Cal Poly.

Conine pitched a perfect ninth, striking out two, in a non-save situation.

Each team committed three errors.

Second game of the series will be played Saturday at 2 p.m. with senior southpaw Trent Shelton (1-2, 2.93 ERA) of Cal Poly to face Cal State Fullerton junior right-hander Tommy Wilson (3-0, 2.76 ERA).

Sunday's series finale starts at 1 o'clock.

Photo above of Cal Poly first baseman Tate Samuelson courtesy of Lauren Pluim