STILLWATER — Luck hasn’t been on Cal State’s Fullerton’s side for much of the baseball season.
Lately, though, the Titans can’t get enough of it.
Luck cracked the door and Cal State Fullerton kicked it open with a big eighth inning Friday afternoon, beating Nebraska 5-1 in the NCAA Regional opener at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium.
“We’re starting to create our own luck by doing this the right way in the way we go about it as a group,” Fullerton coach Rick Vanderhook said.
The Titans (33-22) advance to play the winner of Friday night’s Oklahoma State-Binghamton winner at 7 p.m. Saturday. Nebraska will play the loser of Friday night’s game at noon Saturday in an elimination game.
Nebraska starter Chance Sinclair was nearly perfect for most of the game, taking a no-hitter into the seventh before an error opened the door for Fullerton to tie it with a pair of singles.
An inning later, the Cornhuskers quickly retired the first two hitters before Timmy Richards —hitting .213 coming in and only in the lineup because regular second baseman Taylor Bryant was ill —kept the inning alive with a single up the middle.
Then Clay Williamson’s grounder up the third-base line looked like it would put an end to the inning before it hit the bag and bounded into the air, giving Williamson time to reach first.
After a walk loaded the bases, Davis blasted Josh Roeder’s 2-1 fastball off the net in left field for a grand slam to keep Fullerton’s hot streak alive.
“My approach was just to sit hard away,” Davis said. “... he was tailing off his fastball in on me so I switched my approach and I knew they weren’t going to go soft because there were two outs and bases loaded … so I just sat fastball.”
Cal State Fullerton, in danger of missing the postseason just a few weeks ago, has now won eight consecutive games and is looking like the team that many predicted before the season to make the College World Series.
Davis finished it off with a scoreless ninth on the mound.