No. 17 Cal State Fullerton rode the arm of All-American pitcher Connor Seabold and cruised to a 13-2 victory over No. 26 BYU baseball in the Stanford Regional of the NCAA tournament on Thursday.
This was the first NCAA tournament appearance for BYU in 15 years.
“We got outhit, outpitched and outcoached this afternoon,” BYU coach Mike Littlewood said. “When you get to this point in a season you can’t afford to not play your best and today we played less than our best.”
BYU’s slow start in the batter’s box combined with two early errors gave the Titans (35-21) an early 3-0 lead in the first inning.
That lead was stretched to 6-0 in the third when Titan Hunter Cullen smacked a two-run home run.
Fullerton’s starting pitcher Connor Seabold had eight strikeouts in the first seven innings against BYU, putting the Cougars down in order except for the third and fifth frames.
“Seabold was outstanding today and just didn’t give us many pitches to hit,” Littlewood said. “He was everything the scouting reports said he was and we just couldn’t crack him. We will come back tomorrow (Friday) and give it everything we’ve got.”
The only offense BYU could hang its hat on was a third-inning single by Nate Favero until he returned to bat with Brock Hale and David Clawson on base. Favero drove Hale home in the fifth inning with an RBI double for BYU’s first run of the game, making it 9-1 Titans.
In the seventh inning, BYU’s Colton Shaver hit a solo home run, his 12th of the season, over the left-field fence to make it 9-2.
Fullerton closed out the game with four additional runs in the eighth inning, finishing with 22 total hits while limiting BYU to nine.
The Cougars (37-20) are relegated to the elimination game on Friday at 1 p.m. PDT and will play against the loser of the Stanford versus Sacramento State game.