LBSU Powers Back in 8-4 Win vs. Fordham
The Dirtbags trailed 4-2 in the fifth inning but scored six unanswered runs to earn a series-clinching win on Saturday afternoon.
LONG BEACH, Calif. - The Dirtbags scored the final six runs of Saturday’s matchup with Fordham, pulling out an 8-4 comeback win to clinch the series at Blair Field. Luke Rasmussen matched his career high with four RBIs and Lucas Tancas hit a game-tying home run to left center to spark the LBSU offense.
“I thought it was a good team win overall, top-to-bottom,” said Dirtbags head coach Troy Buckley. “I thought the at bats were good, I don’t think anybody tried to carry the team, I don’t think anybody tried to do anything miraculously. We just had good at bats and they kind of got passed along.”
Jarren Duran hit from the leadoff spot for the second straight game and the sophomore produced once again. JD scored a career-high four runs on Saturday, while also delivering a sacrifice fly. Interestingly, Long Beach State scored its first three runs on just one hit, benefitting from six walks issued by Rams starter Reiss Knehr.
Fordham took a lead in the top of the first when Luke Stampfl hit an RBI triple to left field. That started a special day for Stampfl, who hit for the cycle in his first four at bats and finished 5-for-5 on the afternoon.
Brock Lundquist’s RBI single in the bottom of the first tied the game, then Duran’s sac fly put the Beach in front in the second inning.
The Rams were able to get back in front with two runs in the fifth inning to take a 4-2 lead. Stampfl hit a home run to left to put Fordham in front, then an RBI single by Matthew Kozuch put the visitors up by two runs.
Rasmussen delivered a sacrifice fly to score Duran in the fifth, then the Dirtbags went in front for good with three runs in the sixth inning. Tancas led off the inning with a home run to the power alley in left center to tie the game, but the Dirtbags also put together a two-out rally. Ramsey Romano singled, then Duran reached on a dropped third strike to extend the inning. Markus Montelongo’s bloop single to left field put LBSU in front, then Rasmussen smacked an RBI double to, well, double the lead to 6-4.
More insurance came off Rasmussen’s bat in the eighth inning as he lined a double into the right field corner to score Duran and Montelongo. He was thrown out trying to turn it into a triple, but the damage was done.
Dave Smith pitched 3.1 scoreless innings of relief to pick up the win, working around six hits allowed. Sophomore Chris Rivera inherited two runners in the ninth inning but stranded them both with a popout sandwiched between two strikeouts. That gave last season’s Big West saves leader his first save of the 2017 season.
Long Beach State will look for a sweep tomorrow as freshman RHP Matt Fields (1-0, 3.00 ERA) will make his first career start for the Dirtbags, though certainly not his first start on the Blair Field mound. He will be opposed by Fordham RHP Jimmy Murphy (0-1, 27.00 ERA) with first pitch set for 1 p.m.
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