Duffy helps Dirtbags rally past No. 8 Cal State Fullerton 8-5
Feb. 20, 2011
Long Beach, Calif. - A five-run sixth inning helped Long Beach State erase a 4-2 deficit, and the Dirtbags held on the team's home opener to defeat No. 8 Cal State Fullerton 8-5 on Sunday afternoon. Sophomore Matt Duffy was 3-for-5 with three RBI singles, leading the way for Long Beach State.
The Titans struck first opening up a four-run lead early in the contest. Joe Terry tripled in the top of the second inning and scored on a sacrifice fly, and then Fullerton scored three unearned runs in the third inning, as Terry again had the big hit, a two-run single that scored Richy Pedroza and Nick Ramirez.
The Dirtbags were able to slowly pull back the Titans though, due in large part to Duffy. Brennan Metzger opened the inning by getting hit by a pitch, and after getting pushed over by a sacrifice, scored on the first hit of the game for Duffy, an RBI single.
The same duo struck again in the fifth inning, as Metzger led off the frame with a double off the wall, and after another sacrifice from Jeff McNeil, Duffy came through again with a second RBI single to cut the Titan lead to 4-2.
The big inning for Long Beach State came in the sixth however. With CS Fullerton starter Jake Floethe turning the ball over to Christian Coronado to begin the inning, he immediately ran into trouble, walking Kirk Singer, who was promptly pushed over to second. He then plunked Juan Avila to put a second runner on, and Metzger singled to bring home Singer, the first run of the inning.
Dylan Floro came on in relief for the Titans, but McNeil and Duffy each hit RBI singles to give the Dirtbags three in a row as well as put Long Beach State on top 5-4. Then, with the bases loaded, Jeff Yamaguchi hit a hard grounder that bounced over Terry's head at third base to bring home two more runs and put the Dirtbags on top 7-4.
Eddie Magallon, who had come on in the end of the fifth in relief, pitched two more innings of scoreless ball for the Dirtbags, and took his first win of the season. LBSU added one additional run in the seventh, while the Titans mounted a rally, scoring a run in the eighth and putting two on with one out.
Shawn Stuart entered at that point for the Dirtbags, and shut down the Titan rally by striking out both Tyler Pill and Terry to end the inning. Stuart remained on the mound in the ninth and after a leadoff single, retired the next three batters to record his first save of the season.
The game was delayed for nearly a half-hour in the first inning, as home plate umpire Gary Gilman was struck in the chin by a foul ball and had to leave the contest. The game was continued with two umpires until a replacement arrived later in the game.
The Dirtbags and Titans return to Blair Field tomorrow for the rubber game of the series, as the teams make up the game originally scheduled for Friday night that was rained out. First pitch for that game is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Fans with tickets to Friday night's game will receive entry into the Monday night contest with those tickets.