March 7, 2014
LONG BEACH, Calif. – A streaking Long Beach State Dirtbags team stayed hot with its second game in a row with double digit runs. On Friday, the Dirtbags (7-6) defeated visiting Utah Valley 12-0 with a season-high offensive outburst and a dominant performance from Nick Sabo.
Richard Prigatano led the offensive charge with a 3-fo-5 performance that featured two triples, four RBI, a stolen base and two runs scored. His first triple set the table in the second as he led off the inning in a scoreless ball game. A few pitches later, Ino Patron’s grounder to short was enough to bring Prigatano in from third.
The Dirtbags never looked back after scoring the first run. Sabo pitched seven scoreless innings. He allowed just three hits and struck out seven batters. Josh Frye finished up the last two innings with a 6-up, 6-down effort that included three strikeouts.
An offense that sputtered a bit in the first couple weeks has exploded in the last two games. The 12-run effort is the highest run total by the Dirtbags this year. They peppered Utah Valley (3-10) with 18 hits, which is also the highest total for the Dirtbags this year.
After going up 1-0 in the second, the Dirtbags took advantage of four errors from the Wolverines in the third to plate four runs. Two failed pickoff attempts accounted for two of the errors while a grounder hit by Johnny Bekakis was booted into the outfield and later thrown away by the Wolverines.
The runs continued coming in the sixth as the Dirtbags scored five runs to go up 10-0 and end any thoughts of a comeback. Prigatano’s second triple of the day came in the sixth inning and came with the bases loaded. He was just short of a grand slam as he drove the first pitch he saw from Utah Valley reliever Troy Ulibarri off the base of the wall in left center.
Colton Vaughn singled in a run in the seventh and Alex Bishop laced a pinch hit single to plate the final run in the eighth.
Three Dirtbags had three hits in the game with Prigatano, Bekakis and Eric Hutting all accomplishing the feat in the series-opener. Prigatano’s two triples marked the second time in as many games that a Dirtbag has legged out a pair of triples as Michael Hill did so on Wednesday in Arizona. The Dirtbags had gone nearly four years between the feat prior to Hill’s performance.
Long Beach State and Utah Valley will square off again tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Blair Field as the Dirtbags look for their fifth consecutive win.
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