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Florida Baseball Drops Finale to Cal State Fullerton, 8-5

No. 16 Cal State Fullerton (1-2) used two four-run innings to do its damage against top-ranked Florida (2-1) to salvage the series finale, 8-5, on Sunday.

For the first time all series, the Gators started out with a lead, but the Titans posted four runs in the fifth and sixth innings to salvage the series. Freshman reliever Koby Gauna (1-0) got the win for CSF while allowing one run and six hits over five innings. Gators starter Brian Johnson, working on a pitch count, threw four shutout innings with five strikeouts, but the bullpen gave up the lead with Jonathon Crawford (0-1) taking the loss.

The Gators got their 3-0 lead in the second inning thanks to three hit-by-pitches, a walk, and an RBI single by Daniel Pigott. But the Titans struck back against Crawford for four runs on five hits in the fifth inning. Michael Lorenzen cut the lead to 3-1 on an infield single and Ivory Thomas doubled off the left field wall to make it 3-2. Carlos Lopez then put Cal State Fullerton up by smacking a two run single, 4-3.

In the sixth, Fullerton picked up where it left off in the fifth. Lopez started off the scoring with an RBI single and J.D. Davis belted a three-run home run to put the Titans up for good, 8-3. Davis went 3-for-5 with the three-run blast, Lopez went 3-for-5 with three RBI, and Lorenzen also went 3-for-5 while picking up the final three outs for the save.

Preston Tucker hit his second home run of the 2012 campaign, a solo shot to cut the deficit to four for the Gators. The home run put Tucker two RBI short of the tying the school record. Nolan Fontana hit a two-out RBI single in the eighth to put the final score on the board, 8-5 in favor of the Titans.

With the win yesterday, the Gators helped head coach Kevin O'Sullivan win all five of his opening series with Florida. Tucker led the way for the UF on the weekend, hitting .545 with two home runs, four RBI, and three runs scored. Mike Zunino also extended his hitting streak to seven games stretching back from last season.

Florida plays a midweek game against the predicted MEAC Champion Bethune Cookman Wildcats Tuesday at 7 p.m. Cal State Fullerton opens its home schedule against the TCU Horned Frogs Friday.