March 8, 2014
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Six runs in their last two innings led the Long Beach State Dirtbags to a 7-3 comeback win over Utah Valley on Saturday. The Dirtbags (8-6) ran their winning streak to five games behind a four-run burst in the seventh and another two insurance runs in the eighth.
Utah Valley (3-11) jumped on top in the third when they touched up Andrew Rohrbach for three runs in the frame. The runs were the first scored against the Dirtbag pitcher since his season-opening outing against Vanderbilt. He had a scoreless inning streak of 14 innings coming into Saturday's start and saw that streak snapped at 16.1 innings when the Wolverines scored their first run.
A little dribbler down the third base line was all it took to spark the rally as Craig Brinkerhoff's infield single was the first of three singles in the inning. He came home on another single from Corey Hart. Zach Slesk scored on a passes ball for the second run before a hit by pitch and a walk loaded the bases.
Mark Krueger cashed in on the opportunity with a sacrifice fly before Rohrbach was able to get out of the inning. The third was the one inning where Rohrbach had any trouble at all. In five of his seven innings, Rohrbach shut down the Wolverine hitters in order. He struck out five and allowed just one more single in the seventh to keep the Dirtbags in the game.
The bats came a bit late for the Dirtbags but they finally rolled around in the seventh. A triple from Michael Hill, his fifth of the season, scored Garrett Hampson to cut the lead to 3-1 in the fourth. Hampson's single, which extended his hitting streak to seven games, and Hill's triple were the Dirtbag first two hits of the game.
After a quiet fifth and sixth, the Dirtbags went to work at the plate. A walk followed by an Ino Patron single put two on with one out and chased Wolverine starter Ryan Evans from the game. Kyle Valgardson took the ball in relief but was unable to record an out in the four batters he faced.
He walked Johnny Bekakis before Alex Bishop smashed a double into the gap, scoring two and tying the game. Zach Rivera hit a sacrifice fly that was dropped in right field to bring in the go-ahead run and Colby Brenner laid down the squeeze bunt for Bishop to come home and put the Dirtbags up two.
Two more hits and hit by pitch in the eighth led to a pair of insurance runs for the Dirtbags as Ty Provencher finished out the game on the mound for his first save of the year. He fanned two and allowed a hit over the final two frames.
Rohrbach picked up his second win of the season while Valgardson was charged with his first loss on the mound.
The Dirtbags clinched the series win with today's victory and will host the Wolverines in the finale of their three-game series tomorrow at 1 p.m. at Blair Field.
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