Sophomore Jeff McNeil had a pair of hits for Long Beach State.
March 3, 2012
Eugene, Ore. - Down to their last out in the ninth inning, Long Beach State rallied to tie the game, and forced the longest game for the Dirtbags since 2007, but ultimately, the Ducks got the best of LBSU in a 3-2 loss in 13 innings.
Both starting pitchers were phenomenal, as Matt Anderson and Jake Reed went pitch for pitch in the second game of the series. Anderson went 6.2 innings, allowing five hits while striking out a career-high eight batters on the night. Reed, a freshman right-hander for Oregon, went 7.1 innings, striking out six and also giving up five hits but just one run to Anderson's two.
The Ducks took a 2-0 lead after two innings with a pair of hits in each of the first two frames. Two singles with a balk in between in the first inning brought home Aaron Payne. Then in the second, doubles from Scott Heineman and Brett Hambright scored one more run for the Ducks.
Long Beach State pulled back one run in the top of the fourth inning. Juan Avila singled up the middle to put a runner on for the Dirtbags. After a perfectly executed hit and run from Ino Patron to put runners on the corners, and RBI groundout by Brennan Metzger brought home Avila to make the score 2-1.
The Dirtbags, after stranding runners at third in both the seventh and eighth innings, finally picked up the tying run in the top of the ninth inning. Matt Duffy singled with two outs to keep the game going, and moved into scoring position following a walk from Richard Prigatano. Fulkerson's second hit of the day scored Duffy, and sent the game into the bottom of the ninth.
Josh Frye would work the next three innings for Long Beach State, and continued the theme of outstanding pitching on the night. Frye pitched three scoreless innings, working around a number of baserunners with timely execution along with three strikeouts to help LBSU through the 9th, 10th, and 11th innings.
But just as Anderson was matched by Reed, Frye was matched by an outstanding relief performance from Oregon closer, Jimmie Sherfy. Even though he had his first blown save after giving up Long Beach State's run in the ninth, Sherfy would continue to pitch the rest of the way, striking out eight Dirtbags over 5.2 innings pitched.
Both teams played with fire during the extra frames, with plenty of baserunners, but Oregon got its second walkoff in as many nights in the bottom of the 13th. Vernell Warren led off the inning with a bunt single, and was balked over to second by Jon Maciel, who had previously pitched the scoreless 12th inning. Warren was then sacrificed over to third, and a flare from pinch hitter Kyle Garlick ended the game in favor of the Ducks.
The 13 inning contest was the longest for Long Beach State since the 2007 season, when the Dirtbags played a 13 inning game, as well as a pair of 14 inning marathons.
Long Beach State will try to salvage a game on Sunday behind 2-0 sophomore Ryan Strufing, who faces off against Oregon's Brando Tessar on the mound.
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