PHOENIX - The Dirtbags saw another game slip away in the desert on Sunday, as Arizona State (9-7) rallied back from an early deficit for an 8-5 win at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Long Beach State (6-8) took a 4-0 lead in the first inning, but saw the Sun Devils respond with five runs in the third to take a 6-4 lead and never look back.
The Dirtbags outscored ASU 11-0 in the first inning over the weekend, taking leads of 5-0, 2-0 and 4-0 in each of the three games of the series. Luke Rasmussen was 2-for-3 at the plate with a pair of walks and a run scored, but the Dirtbags could only muster one more run over the final eight innings.
Jarren Duran and Ramsey Romano each had two-hit games, with the latter extending his hitting streak to nine. Daniel Jackson was the starting catcher in today’s game, getting behind the plate for the first time since May 1, 2015. That allowed Lucas Tancas to play first base, where he started out last season for the Dirtbags prior to his season-ending injury.
ASU had its first five batters record hits in the third inning, leading to five runs on six hits in the frame. A two-run triple from Hunter Bishop was the blow that put the Sun Devils out in front, 5-4, and he then scored on an RBI double to make it 6-4.
A leadoff single by Rasmussen led to a Long Beach State run in the seventh, as he came around to score on an ASU error to make it 7-5. That’s as close as the Dirtbags would get, however, stranding nine men on base and hitting into a pair of double plays.
LBSU looked to get a rally going in the ninth as David Banuelos hit a pinch-hit double with one out, which was followed by an infield single from Rasmussen. The Dirtbags sent the potential tying run to the plate twice but a fly out and a strikeout ended the game.
Next up for Long Beach State is a pair of midweek games at Blair Field. First, the Dirtbags will host the No. 1 ranked team in the country, TCU, for a 6 p.m. showdown on Tuesday. The next night, Washington State comes to Long Beach for another 6 p.m. contest.
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