Dirtbags salvage split with walkoff in doubleheader with Oregon State
March 19, 2011
Long Beach, Calif. - Coming off of a 9-6 loss in the opener, Long Beach State went to extra innings and prevailed on a gamewinner from Ino Patron in the 11th to take a 2-1 victory in game two. Matt Hibbert had two hits in the win, including a double to lead off the bottom of the 11th.
Long Beach State was able to grind out a pair of runs to take an early lead. In the first inning, Brennan Metzger drew a leadoff walked, and after getting pushed around the bases, he came home to score on a wild pitch. Then in the fourth, an overthrow on a rundown by OSU third baseman Carter Bell allowed Jeff Yamaguchi to score from third, putting the Dirtbags on top 2-0.
Oregon State took their first lead in the third inning, putting together three runs on two hits, scoring on an Andrew Susac RBI single as well as a sacrifice fly to move ahead of Long Beach State 3-2.
Long Beach State answered back in the bottom half of the inning, tying the game at 3-3. Juan Avila led off the inning by getting plunked, and after a single and a sacrifice, Avila scored on an RBI single by Ino Patron.
The Dirtbag defense that had helped keep the game close, particularly in a bases-loaded, one out jam in the second inning, fell apart in the seventh as OSU broke the game open. Four errors over four consecutive plate appearances led to five runs, including four unearned runs.
An RBI single by Yamaguchi brought home the second of two runs in the bottom half of the seventh inning to cut the Beaver lead to three runs, but Oregon State added another run in the top of the eighth on a single by Danny Hayes.
Long Beach State threatened with a major rally in the bottom of the ninth. Mike Marjama and Ino Patron hit back-to-back singles to start the inning, and pinch hitter Jonathan Kim followed with a third straight hit to score Marjama and cut the lead to three.
Yamaguchi then stroked a double down the left-field line that was dismissed as foul following a conference of the umpires called by Oregon State coach Pat Casey. With two runs pulled off the board as well as the tying run at second following the erroneous call, Yamaguchi rallied for a single after being called back to the plate to load the bases.
Beaver closer Tony Bryant settled down at that juncture, and was able to strike out the next two batters and induce a pop fly to end the first game.
After lots of offense in the opening game, it was the pitching that took center stage in the nightcap. Shawn Stuart was outstanding for the Dirtbags in his third start of the season, striking out twelve batters over 6.2 innings, allowing four hits but taking a no-decision after leaving with game tied at 1-1.
The Beavers answered with Josh Osich, who was nearly as strong as Stuart. Osich struck out eight over 5.2 innings, with two hits, but gave up the first urn of the game in the bottom of the sixth.
Metzger doubled with two outs in the bottom of the sixth, and Hibbert came through with a big at-bat, following with a base hit to give the Dirtbags a 1-0 lead. The Beavers answered in the top of the seventh, and eventually both teams settled in on their closers, Eddie Magallon and Tony Bryant, who each pitched well to lead the game into extra innings.
In the bottom of the 11th, it was Hibbert again that answered the call, taking Bryant's offering to right field for a standup double to lead off the inning. After being moved over to third with a nice bunt from Duffy, the Beavers elected to walk the bases full, bringing up Patron, who singled to right to finish off the win.
The Dirtbags are on the road for the next two weeks, playing LMU on the road next Tuesday before playing weekend series with Stanford and Pacific.