Banuelos Blast Helps Dirtbags Even Series in Oklahoma
LBSU used a six-run 7th inning to take an 8-3 win at Oklahoma, setting up a rubber match on Sunday morning.
NORMAN, Okla. - Long Beach State used a six-run seventh inning on Saturday to claim an 8-3 win over Oklahoma and even the weekend series. David Banuelos drilled a three-run home run to cap off that big rally, finishing the day with four RBIs and a pair of extra-base hits.
Freshman Matt Fields pitched three innings in relief to pick up his first career win. The righthander entered in the fourth inning and allowed a run on two hits while striking out a pair. Senior Josh Advocate pitched the final three innings to earn his first career save, allowing no runs and just one hit.
LBSU trailed early as Oklahoma pushed a run across in the second inning, but Dirtbags starter Dave Smith limited the damage, stranding five Sooners on base in his three innings of work. LBSU struggled early on offense, but finally broke through in the fifth to score in three consecutive innings.
Markus Montelongo put down a bunt single to start a fifth inning rally and was brought home on a bases loaded walk by Luke Rasmussen to tie the score at 1-1. After Oklahoma took the lead back with an RBI single in the bottom half, the Dirtbags went right back to work in the sixth. Brooks Stotler drilled a triple to deep center and was brought home by a Banuelos double to tie the game, 2-2.
Again it was a bunt single that started a rally in the seventh, but this time it was Jarren Duran with a perfect drag bunt to the right side. After a Brock Lundquist single, a throwing error by the Sooners brought the go-ahead run in, giving LBSU its first lead of the series, 3-2. After Tristan Mercadel walked to load the bases, Ramsey Romano hit an RBI single to shortstop to double the lead. Stotler then struck out, but Rasmussen would come in to score on a wild pitch to make it 5-2.
That brought up Banuelos, who drilled an 0-1 pitch over the left field wall to bust the game open and put the Dirtbags up for good, 8-2.
Oklahoma tried to answer in the bottom half of the seventh, putting runners at the corners with no outs, but Advocate came in and limited the damage, getting a double play ball from the first batter he faced and only allowing one of the inherited runners to score.
LBSU will look to win the series in the Sunday finale as junior RHP John Sheaks will make his first appearance as a Dirtbag. He will face RHP Kyle Tyler of Oklahoma with first pitch scheduled for 11amCT/9am PT.
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