Feb. 16, 2013
Long Beach, Calif. - Jeff McNeil, Juan Avila, and Michael Hill each finished with a pair of hits for Long Beach State, but the Dirtbags again squandered early chances and an early lead in a 12-2 loss at No. 2 Vanderbilt.
Long Beach State took an early lead after Colby Brenner drew a one-out walk in the top of the third inning to start a rally. Juan Avila singled with two outs to put two runners on, and after a walk to Ino Patron, a walk by Richard Prigatano brought home a run to put the Dirtbags up 1-0. A fielder's choice ended the inning and the threat, however, stranding three of the 10 runners Long Beach State left on base during the game.
Shane Carle, making his first start for Long Beach State, faced the minimum through the first three innings, and after walking the bases full in the fourth, struck out Mike Yastrzemski and got a fly out to get out of the inning with the Dirtbags still in the lead.
However, in the fifth, after a single and a pop fly, Hill bobbled a potential double-play ball, and the Commodores were able to use the mistake to their advantage, scoring three unearned runs in the frame to take the lead.
Down 5-1 after reliever Ryan Millison walked his first two batters in the sixth inning, Long Beach State threatened once more in the top of the seventh inning. Brenner and McNeil hit back-to-back singles to start the inning, and then Avila reached base on a hard hit ground ball that slipped past Vince Conde for an error, scoring Brenner. A passed ball moved both runners into scoring position, but Vanderbilt picked up three straight outs to get out of the inning with a 5-2 lead.
The floodgates then opened in the bottom of the seventh. Jack Lupo walked to start the inning, and then LBSU failed to retire the lead runner on a groundout and a bunt, loading the bases with no outs. Six runs would then proceed to be brought in via one hit batter and five walks, and a final single led to the final score of 12-2.
The teams conclude their series tomorrow, with first pitch at Hawkins Field scheduled for 11 a.m. PT.
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