Feb. 19, 2010
Long Beach, Calif. - On a rainy opening night, it was Jake Thompson that shined as the junior pitcher went the distance in a 2-1 victory over Pepperdine, striking out six and allowing just one run.
Thompson got off to a quick start, setting down the side in order in the first inning before turning the act over to the Dirtbag offense. Sophomore Brennan Metzger opened up with a single to left field, and after being pushed over by Jordan Casas, scored on an RBI single from Devin Lohman to put The Beach ahead 1-0.
The Dirtbags got another run on the board in the third inning, as again Metzger was the catalyst, reaching base after being hit by a pitch. Two singles from Casas and Lohman loaded the bases, and a grounder deep into the hole by Steve Tinoco brought Metzger home for his second run of the game, and a run that would prove to be the game-winner.
Long Beach State would strand seven runners in all on the night, but the game was controlled by the pitching in the later innings. Pepperdine starter Cole Cook went 7.0 innings and struck out seven, but the Waves were unable to overcome the two-run deficit thanks to Thompson's mastery and some solid defense.
Pepperdine got the first two batters of the inning on in the seventh, and with one out runners were on second and third after a sacrifice. However, while a fielder's choice scored Colin Rooney, a heads up play by Lohman at shortstop caught Anthony Gates between second and third, putting just one runner on base, and Thompson responded with his fifth strikeout to end the inning and the threat.
A nice catch by Jordan Casas helped the Dirtbags make their way through the eighth, and Thompson retired the side in the ninth to end the game and seal the first win of the season for Long Beach State.
Long Beach State returns to Blair Field Saturday, hosting Oregon in the season's second game at 5:30 p.m. Andrew Gagnon takes the mound for the Dirtbags and will face Oregon's Justin LaTempa.
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