Feb. 21, 2014
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Nick Sabo tossed an eight inning gem and the bats came to life behind him to boost the Long Beach State Dirtbags to a 11-0 win over No. 18 Arizona State on Friday. The Dirtbags (1-4) earned their first win of the season with an 11-run outburst on seven hits while Sabo went a career-high eight innings.
Sabo’s career night also included a career-high eight strikeouts as he held the Sun Devils (2-3) scoreless through eight innings. As Sabo went deeper and deeper into his start, he appeared to continue getting stronger and even more effective. No one reached as far as second after the fourth inning and his last five outs all came via the strikeout.
The only trouble Sabo found himself in all night came in the second inning when the Sun Devils had runners on the corners and one out. However, a chopper back to the mound left the runner on third in no man’s land and the Dirtbags were able to catch him after a short pickle. Sabo struck out the next batter to end the inning and gave an emphatic fist pump as he walked off the mound.
Despite the large number the Dirtbags put up with their bats, they only scored in two innings. Their early season offensive woes quickly became a thing of the past as they put up seven runs in the third inning and then hung four more in the seventh. The Dirtbags went all the way through the lineup on both occasions.
Three straight walks started the rally to load the bases with no outs. Garrett Hampson’s bouncer in front of the plate was picked up by ASU starter Ryan Burr but his throw bounced to the backstop as two runs came around to score. Moments later, Burr’s pitch also went to the backstop as Zack Domingues trotted in to score. Two batters later, Richard Prigatano singled in a run and Ino Patron followed with the same result. Zack Rivera walked and Johnny Bekakis laced a single down the left field line to score two more and cap off the scoring.
Zack Miller came in to pitch for the Sun Devils and settled in over the next three frames. He ran in to trouble in the seventh and Dirtbags bats burst out again. Four more runs came across the plate as Domingues walked with the bases loaded, Prigatano singled in another and Patron hit a towering two-run homer to right.
Nick Rossetta closed out the ninth and the Dirtbags completed LBSU’s first combined shutout since last February. Prigatano finished 3-for-5 in the game with two RBI, running his season total to five in the first five games. Patron was 3-for-5 and was a triple short of the cycle. He also drove in three runs.
The Dirtbags defense has stayed consistent after a couple of hiccups in the first game. The Dirtbags have not committed an error since their opener last week.
Sabo improved to 1-1 on the year and now owns a 0.66 ERA. Burr was pegged with the loss and fell to 0-1 on the year.
The Dirtbags are back in action tomorrow when they host Wright State at 2 p.m. at Blair Field.
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