March 5, 2013
Long Beach, Calif. - Richard Prigatano's solo home run in the bottom of the seventh inning tied up the game between Long Beach State and No. 7 UCLA Tuesday at 2-2, but UCLA was able to send one more run across, and a late opportunity fell short for the Dirtbags in a 3-2 loss. Jake Stassi was spectacular in relief for LBSU, striking out a career high over seven innings while allowing just one hit.
UCLA (9-2) took an early lead in the contest, scoring a run on back-to-back hits by Brian Carroll and Kevin Kramer. The Bruins then extended their lead in the third inning, getting a second run across on a bases-loaded walk from Ryan Millison. Stassi entered in relief with three runners on, and struck out the first of his seven to get Long Beach State (6-7) out of the inning.
Long Beach State pulled back to within one in the bottom of the third inning after loading the bases with no outs. Michael Hill would score a ground ball double play, but Cody Poteet got out of the jam with a strikeout to limit the Dirtbags to just a run.
Stassi was in command through his four innings pitched, moving through the fourth with three straight ground ball outs after a single, and struck out six out of seven batters over the next two innings to keep the score within one.
The Dirtbags finally tied the game at 2-2 on a solo home run by Prigatano to left center, and held close due to a pair of strong defensive plays. With runners on the corners in the top of the eighth inning, Jeff McNeil cut down a runner at the plate after a throw to second by Eric Hutting on a double steal attempt. Then in the ninth, but Bruins were able to push one run across after a bases loaded walk, but the Dirtbags got out of the inning on a 1-2-3 double play to keep the score at one.
Prigatano picked up his second hit to lead off the second inning, and a hit from Hill put two runners on in the bottom of the ninth inning. Long Beach State was unable to get the big hit in their final chance however, and lost 3-2 on a fly out by Colby Brenner.
The Dirtbags have three more games against a ranked opponent coming up. The team will travel to Tempe, Ariz. for a three-game series beginning on Friday at No. 20 Arizona State.
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