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Dirtbags Start Fast in 6-0 Win Over Fordham

Feb. 24, 2017

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LONG BEACH, Calif. - The Dirtbags delivered a 6-0 win on Friday night in their delayed home opener, starting fast and shutting out visiting Fordham at Blair Field. Darren McCaughan tossed six shutout innings while matching his career high in strikeouts, while Jarren Duran was on base all five times with three hits, two walks, and two runs scored. Long Beach State improved to 2-3 with the win while Fordham dropped to 1-3 on the young season.

“It’s certainly a step in the right direction,” said Dirtbags head coach Troy Buckley of Friday’s win. “That’s all we’re trying to do right now, make positive steps in the right direction so we can eventually get to a consistent level of play that gives us a chance. Darren is a prime example; he was better tonight than he was against Oklahoma.”

McCaughan started hot by striking out the side in the first inning, and that set the tone for the offense. The first four batters all reached base and scored in the bottom of the first, giving the Dirtbags an early 4-0 lead. Brock Lundquist delivered an RBI single with the bases loaded, then after a run came home on a balk, Daniel Jackson delivered one of the more interesting plays of the night. He sent a deep fly ball to center field, allowing Luke Rasmussen to score easily from third. But Lundquist wasn’t satisfied with just 90 feet, coming all the way home to score on a rare two-RBI sacrifice fly.

From there, McCaughan was on cruise control, scattering five hits and a walk over his six innings. LBSU added a pair of runs in the seventh inning, sparked by a bunt single from Duran who thrived in the leadoff spot. Lucas Tancas slapped a pinch-hit single, and Duran came in to score on a throwing error. Later in the inning, Rasmussen delivered a sacrifice fly to give him an RBI in all five games this season.

Led by McCaughan’s 10 punchouts, the Dirtbags set a new season high with 13 K’s on the evening. Tonight was the fourth three-hit game of Duran’s career and it was his second multi-hit game of the season.

LBSU will look to win the series tomorrow as junior RHP John Sheaks (0-1, 5.06 ERA) will make his second start for Long Beach State, going up against Rams starter, RHP Reiss Knehr (1-0, 0.00 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Blair Field.



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