Dirtbags Fall In Late Rally At Pepperdine
Feb. 18, 2014
MALIBU, Calif. - A late lead quickly slipped away in the eighth as the Long Beach State Dirtbags fell 6-3 at Pepperdine on Tuesday. The offenses lit up the scoreboard on both ends of the game but it was the pitching that dominated for the middle innings.
The Dirtbags (0-4) took a lead in the eighth inning when Ino Patron laid down a bunt to the right side with two outs and beat everyone to first. Meanwhile, Michael Hill came in to score from third to break the 2-2 tie.
With a 3-2 advantage going into the bottom half of the inning, three different Dirtbag pitchers issued a free pass to four consecutive Wave hitters to tie the game at 3-3. Aaron Barnett then came through with the clutch hit down the right field line that brought all three runners home and led to the 6-3 Pepperdine win. Barnett was 2-for-4 in the game.
The game began with a couple of solo shots as Johnny Bekakis led off the game with a towering homer to left. Jack Ross, who was also 2-for-4 for Pepperdine, matched Bekakis as he hit a solo shot to left to lead off the bottom half of the first. Aaron Brown tripled in another Pepperdine run for a 2-1 Wave lead.
The Dirtbags took advantage of an error in the third to put Bekakis on third and Garrett Hampson on second with one out. A Michael Hill groundout recorded the second out but brought home Bekakis to tie the game at 2-2.
Between the third and the eighth, pitchers from both sides dominated. Ryan Millison came on in relief for the Dirtbags and tossed four scoreless innings. He took over in the fourth and ran into a bit of trouble with two on and two outs but pitched his way out of it unscathed. He retired the last eight batters he faced and struck out four over his eight innings of work.
Matt Maurer carried Pepperdine (3-1) into the sixth as he scattered six hits and allowed two runs (one earned). The Dirtbags threatened in the sixth and he gave way to Chandler Blanchard, who issued a walk out of the gates to load the bases. Blanchard produced an inning ending ground ball to end the threat and went on to pitch 1.2 scoreless innings.
Bekakis and Hampson each finished 2-for-4 for the Dirtbags to lead the effort at the plate. The Dirtbags picked up eight hits in the game.
Jayson Balades picked up the win on the mound despite allowing the go-ahead run in the eighth. Cameron Pongs was charged with the loss after walking two batters in the eighth. Pepperdine's Eric Karch picked up his first save as he pitched out of an early jam in the ninth.
Long Beach State is back at home for two games next weekend and on the road for one. The Dirtbags will take on Arizona State on Friday at 6 p.m.