March 10, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State scored seven runs on ten hits in support of starter Matt Anderson, as the Dirtbags toppled No. 9 Arizona State 7-3 to even the series at one game apiece. Matt Duffy led a quartet of Long Beach State hitters with a pair of hits, driving in three runs on Saturday.
Duffy was joined by Johnny Bekakis, Juan Avila, and Brennan Metzger with two hits against the Sun Devils, as the Dirtbags had runners on in the first seven innings of the day. Once on, Long Beach State was moving, stealing six bases as a team, the most since last March.
All that offense was in support of Matt Anderson, who finally collected his first win after four solid starts. Anderson went six and a third on Saturday, allowing three runs, but struck out four and had just one inning where a potent Arizona State offense scored runs.
Long Beach State opened up a big lead against starter Alex Blackford, who only lasted two innings on Saturday. After getting out of the first with a double play, Blackford gave up a single to Metzger, then plunked Richard Prigatano on a sacrifice attempt to put two runners on for Long Beach State. A bunt moved both runners, and then Duffy picked up his first RBI with a single. Royce Murai then scored another run with an RBI groundout, and Bekakis drove in one more to give the Dirtbags a 3-0 lead after two innings.
The Dirtbags scored three more in the third. Blackford allowed a single and a walk to start the inning, ending his day, and then a single by Brennan Metzger put two runners in scoring position, after the senior smartly took second base after Ino Patron was called out for running in front of Avila. A wild pitch scored Avila from third, and after a strikeout, Jeff Yamaguchi walked and stole second base to set the stage for Duffy. The junior shortstop came through once again with a two-run single up the middle, putting LBSU up 6-0.
Arizona State cut the lead in half in the fifth inning, primarily on the strength of a two-run single from Kasey Coffman, but Long Beach State added an insurance run in the bottom half, as Yamaguchi drove in Prigatano after a leadoff walk.
Kyle Friedrichs threw 1.2 innings of hitless relief to close out the game for Long Beach State. The Dirtbags pick up their third win over a ranked opponent in 2012.
The series finale is set for Sunday at 1 p.m. Southpaw Ryan Strufing takes the mound for Long Beach State, and will face right-hander Trevor Williams from Arizona State.
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