Feb. 26, 2013
Los Angeles, Calif. - Long Beach State held close to the Trojans through seven innings, but gave USC one too many chances as the Trojans scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning on the way to a 4-1 Dirtbags loss on the road at Dedeaux Field on Tuesday night.
Long Beach State (5-4) was able to limit the damage in the bottom of the first inning after USC (5-3) picked up hits in their first two at-bats. A third single by Dante Flores was struck to center field, but Colby Brenner was able to cut down the runner at home to hold the Trojans at that point, but a passed ball and an RBI groundout led to the Trojans scoring the first run of the game.
The Dirtbags evened up the score in the top of the third inning, as Juan Avila drew a four-pitch walk off of USC starter Brent Wheatley, and then Ino Patron cracked a double down the left field line, bringing in Avila as the senior slid home just under the tag of catcher Jake Hernandez.
The lead was short-lived, however, as USC answered back in the bottom half of the third on a solo home run by Dante Flores. The Dirtbags worked around another jam in the fourth inning, however, as Ryan Millison loaded up the bases in the inning but picked up two crucial strikeouts to keep the USC lead at 2-1.
Millison cruised through two additional innings of relief, finishing with 5.0 innings pitched, but after getting two outs in the bottom of the seventh, ended up loading the bases before issuing a walk to Vahn Bozoian. Reliver Nick Rosetta then hit a batter before inducing a pop-up, but USC took a 4-1 lead.
USC closer Sean Adler walked his first two batters in the bottom of the ninth, but struck out Colby Brenner and Jeff McNeil before getting a groundout to collect his second save of the season. Jeff Yamaguchi led the Long Beach State offense with two hits, including a double.
The Dirtbags return to Blair Field this weekend, hosting Seattle for three games beginning on Friday, March 1 at 6 p.m.
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