Feb. 25, 2014
LONG BEACH, Calif. – A pitching duel went the way of the home team as the Long Beach State Dirtbags handed undefeated USC its first loss of the season, 2-1. Long Beach State’s freshmen took center stage with Cody Marshall tossing a seven-inning gem, Daniel Jackson sparking the winning rally and Garrett Hampson driving in the winning run.
It all started with Marshall. The freshman took the ball on the mound for his first career start and delivered in a big way despite getting a no-decision. He scattered five hits over seven innings while surrendering just one run and fanning a pair of Trojans.
Marshall overcame a rocky first inning that put the Dirtbags (3-5) in a 1-0 hole right out of the gates. Two of the five hits he surrendered came in the inning and a couple of pitches in the dirt led to an early Trojan run.
After allowing a single to Kevin Swick, Marshall settled in to retire the next eight Trojans in a row and never allowed a runner past second base after the first.
The bullpen was perfect in the eighth and ninth to secure the win. Cameron Pongs retired the only batter he saw and Ty Provencher finished off the eighth inning. Kyle Friedrichs struck out a pair of batters in a 1-2-3 ninth inning for his second save of the year.
USC (7-1) allowed just four hits all night to the Dirtbags and had allowed just two hits until the deciding eighth inning. Brooks Kriske scattered a pair of hits over 4.1 innings and surrendered a run. He also walked three Dirtbags and struck out three.
One of those three walks came in the third to Nolan Meadows. After being sacrificed over to second, Alex DeGoti roped a single into left and Zach Domingues followed it up with a sacrifice fly to right that cashed in Meadows.
Another walk and single came in the fifth and Kriske gave way to Jeff Paschke. With runners on the corners and one out, Paschke was able to slam the door on the rally and keep the game tied at 1-1.
Paschke pitched the next two innings flawlessly but ran into trouble in the eighth in what would eventually lead to the deciding run. Jackson, also making his first start as a Dirtbag, laced a single into left center to get things started. After moving up to second on a sacrifice bunt, Sean Adler came in to pitch for the Trojans.
Adler retired pinch hitter Zack Rivera and was one pitch away from getting out of the inning with an 0-2 count on Hampson, but Hampson smacked the 0-2 pitch for a single into right field. Colton Vaughn had come into pinch run for Jackson and slid in just under the tag at home for the go-ahead and, eventually, winning run.
The Dirtbags and Trojans pitching duel played out in front of 2,697 fans at Blair Field – the largest attendance since the 2012 season finale.
Next up, the Dirtbags hit the road for Wichita, Kan. and a three-game series against Wichita State. Inclement weather is expected in the Midwest with game times possibly changing to avoid the rain and snow in the forecast. For now, the Dirtbags and Shockers are set to face off on Friday to start the series.
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