During pre-game festivities and what would be the final home game for FC baseball, this was one for the record books. Both Fullerton head coach Nick Fuscardo and Hornet sophomore center fielder Josh Sanchez became the centerpiece of attention.
Fuscardo was honored by FC Athletic Director Scott Giles and Fullerton City Mayor Pro Tem Jennifer Fitzgerald for his 33 years coaching as the Hornets skipper. Entering the game, Fuscardo carried a total of 665 wins as the manager for Fullerton College Hornets Baseball. This is the most victories by a head coach in the school’s athletic program.
For Sanchez who suffered a significant head injury in late February, he had the support of the crowd as he was welcomed back with open arms when he threw out the first pitch. In attendance and on the field to cheer on Sanchez during his pitch were his family, teammates, fellow FC athletes, and FC staff.
In addition to celebrating Fuscardo’s last home game and Sanchez’s return, Hornet players were honored during Sophomore day for their contributions to the baseball program and last home game in a Fullerton uniform.
The Fullerton sophomores recognized by Fuscardo before the game included Leo Chao, Patrick Showalter, Ryan Stephens, Monte Montenegro, David Olson, Ryan Penalber, Tyler Becker, Alex Gonzalez, Taed Heydinger, PJ Gordon, Connor Tousignant, Brian Marquez, Jake Lacheman, Sal Diaz, and Josh Sanchez.
During the game versus Golden West, the Hornets used a total of five pitchers who combined for 13 earned runs and 15 hits in the 15-5 defeat.
FC stayed within striking distance against the Rustlers through four innings, but their defense made crucial errors that ultimately cost them the game.
One of the two errors Fullerton committed, allowed Golden West to score an unearned run and pull away on top of the fourth inning. This error came off a result of Rustler first baseman Zakk Morgan’s hit towards Hornet shortstop Tyler Becker.
Becker had the opportunity to grab the ball but it took a funny bounce and went past Becker as the Rustler’s designated hitter Seth Nelson scored.
This would be the beginning of Golden West’s offensive explosion right before their five-run inning during the top of the fifth. From this point on, the Hornets would finish out the game scoreless from the fifth inning on.
However, Montenegro would have himself a game in his final appearance at home for Fullerton despite their blowout loss. He went 4 for 5 in which all were singles. One of Montenegro’s hits included a single to right field that drove in two runs in the bottom of the second inning.
Dropping to (10-26, 5-15) for the season, the final game of the 2019 season for Fullerton will be a rematch against Golden West on the road scheduled for Friday, Apr. 26 at 2 pm.