In an offensive-heavy battle, the Fullerton Hornets baseball team handed the Southwestern Jaguars their first loss of the season in an 11-6 victory on Tuesday afternoon.
The Hornets (6-0) reached double-digit base hits for the fourth time this year, collecting 14 hits as a team. The Jaguars (5-1) also swung the bat well, obtaining 12 of their own.
“We have a capability of doing that, scoring runs,” said head coach Nick Fuscardo. “I like our lineup from top to bottom.”
Fullerton started off red-hot at the plate, scoring 10 runs in the first four innings. Seven of which came in the second, resulting in Southwestern pulling starting pitcher Keith Kozak in the second inning.
“We knew he was one of their better guys and going into the game, we were a little leery on how we were going to do,” Fuscardo said. “We made good swings with two strikes and we made good swings with two outs.”
Kozak was punished by Fullerton’s offense for five hits, two walks and six earned runs in 1 2/3 innings.
There was a scare for the Hornets later in the game when Southwestern squeaked out a few more runs to cut the deficit to four after Fullerton led 10-1 after the fourth inning.
“We let our guard down and probably took it easy on them,” said left fielder David Miranda. “We got a little too comfortable and we felt we had the game in hand but that was a mistake on our end.”
After what became a four run lead for the Hornets, they faced a little more trouble when the Jaguars had the bases loaded in the seventh and eighth innings. Fortunately for Fullerton, they were able to get out of the jam both times thanks to Jimmy Short’s catch in deep left field in the seventh, which looked like it could have been the game-tying grand slam if it was not for the flyout.
On the mound for Fullerton was Dylan Prohoroff who ranks first in hits allowed, walks allowed and strikeouts in the Orange Empire Conference. After three shutout innings, Southwestern scored three runs but only one was earned to Prohoroff.
Prohoroff gave up five hits and four walks in five innings but earned his second win in three starts.
“Dylan Prohoroff is one of the quality guys around,” Fuscardo said. “His first three innings were nice but I thought the 4th inning, he got a little sloppy. That’s not what we expect of him and he’s huge for us.”
Fullerton’s coaching staff made plenty of changes throughout the game, sending seven different pinch hitters into the game, who were able to go for a combined two hits in seven at-bats.
“We’re trying to establish guys coming off the bench so that’s why we made changes,” Fuscardo said. “Our kids are still competing for jobs and that’s why we need everybody to take quality at-bats. “
Fullerton’s next game is against Palomar College at home on Thursday, which will prove to be another test for the Hornets as Palomar is a strong offensive team, proving that with their 38 runs scored in their last three contests.
“We’re almost like a carbon copy of each other so they won’t surprise us and we won’t surprise them,” Fuscardo said. “They know what we are and we know what they are.”