Dirtbags take series win over No. 20 Cal 2-1 behind Strufing's eight-inning gem
Feb. 26, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - Kellen Hoime's RBI single in the second inning was Long Beach State's second hit, but it also scored the Dirtbags' second run and that was enough in support of Ryan Strufing, who held the No. 20 Bears to just one run over eight innings in a 2-1 victory Sunday. The win gives Long Beach State its second straight series win to start the season.
Strufing again showcased impeccable control in his second start of the season, striking out five while allowing five hits and giving no walks and just the lone run to the Bears. The sophomore now has eight strikeouts and no walks over 14.2 innings in 2012.
Long Beach State got on the board in the second inning. Juan Avila drew a leadoff walk, and Jonathan Kim was hit by a pitch to put a pair of runners on with no outs. After a sacrifice brought both into scoring position, a wild pitch scored Avila, and Kellen Hoime singled to right field for the team's second and last hit of the day.
Cal's Michael Theofanopoulos was almost as good as Strufing, but that second inning was his downfall. Theofanopoulos went seven innings, allowing just two hits, but gave up the two earned runs and walked two before turning the ball over to Joey Donofrio, who pitched the eighth.
The Bears' run came in the fourth inning, as Strufing ran into his only real trouble of the day, giving up three straight hits to start the inning, putting runners on first and third with no outs and one in following a double by Chad Bunting. Strufing picked up one of his five strikeouts to get a big out, and then a 6-4-3 double play ended the inning with no further damage.
Cal had one more chance to tie the game, with runners on the corners with one out in the fifth inning. Strufing helped himself out of the jam though, catching the lead runner in a rundown for the second out, and getting a third grounder to end the inning.
Jon Maciel took over for Strufing in the ninth, and retired the side in order to pick up his first save of the season.
After starting the season with seven straight home games, Long Beach State will play four on the road next week. The Dirtbags start by heading to No. 22 UCLA for a Tuesday game, and then head north to face another Pac-12 opponent, No. 24 Oregon for a three-game series in Eugene, Ore., starting on Friday.