Dirtbags Sweep Doubleheader vs. Pepperdine, Grand Canyon
Dirtbags pitchers combined to allow just two runs on seven hits while picking up a pair of wins on Saturday.
MALIBU, Calif. - Long Beach State (10-8) went 2-0 on Saturday, winning a road game at Pepperdine (8-8), then a neutral site game against Grand Canyon (5-11) at Pepperdine's Eddy D. Field Stadium. The Dirtbags pitching staff allowed just one run in each game, while holding their opponents to just seven hits combined.
Game One: Long Beach State 2, Pepperdine 1
The Dirtbags won a pitcher's duel to open the day thanks to a complete game, two-hit performance from junior Darren McCaughan. Pitching on his 21st birthday, McCaughan allowed just one run and three baserunners to the Waves, retiring the final 21 batters he faced in order.
It was the second career complete game for McCaughan, who threw a one-hit shutout against San Jose State on May 14, 2016. McCaughan struck out seven Waves batters and only walked one while throwing 117 pitches. Pepperdine was able to put its run-scoring rally together in the third inning thanks to a single and a walk to lead off the inning. But that was the last time a Waves batter would reach base safely, as a sacrifice fly would put Pepperdine up 1-0 in the third inning.
The Dirtbags tied the game in the fifth with a one out rally, started by a Lucas Tancas single and a Daniel Jackson walk. David Banuelos then delivered an RBI double with a hot shot inside the third base bag, scoring Tancas to make it 1-1.
LBSU took the lead in the eighth thanks to Ramsey Romano, who remains the hottest bat in the Dirtbags order. Romano lined a two-out RBI single to left field to score Laine Huffman, who was hit by the first pitch of the inning to start the rally. Romano was 2-for-4 on the day to extend his hitting streak to 12 games and record his team-best eighth multi-hit game of the season.
Game Two: Long Beach State 9, Grand Canyon 1
Long Beach State had to come from behind in game two against the Antelopes, but a late offensive explosion turned a nail-biter into a laugher. The Dirtbags scored eight times in the seventh and eighth innings combined to turn a 1-1 game into a 9-1 win over GCU.
Lucas Tancas was 3-for-5 with three runs scored in the game, setting a new career high in hits and runs. David Banuelos was 0-for-4, but did his job consistently to come away with three RBIs. Luke Rasmussen reached base three times and scored a pair of runs, while Ramsey Romano extended his hitting streak to 13 games with an eighth-inning single. Alex Muzzi chipped in a two-run, pinch hit single to close the scoring in the eighth, when the Dirtbags scored five times on six hits. LBSU started the eighth inning with five consecutive singles from the top five hitters in the lineup.
John Sheaks made the start for the Dirtbags, working 4.0 innings, allowing a run on four hits with four strikeouts. Eli Villalobos came in and was lights out in relief, throwing three perfect innings with a pair of punchouts to earn his second win of the season. Chris Rivera worked a clean eighth and Josh Advocate struck out the side in the ninth to lock down the win. The LBSU bullpen allowed just one baserunner in 5.0 scoreless innings of work.
Long Beach State has now won four straight games to wash away what was a four-game losing streak entering the week. LBSU went 4-0 this week against four different teams, beating No. 3 TCU, Washington State, Pepperdine and Grand Canyon.
LBSU will head down to San Diego State on Tuesday night for its next contest. First pitch in San Diego is set for 6 p.m.
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