Dirtbags Walk Off With Sweep of No. 5 Cal State Fullerton
LBSU earned its first sweep of Cal State Fullerton since 2002 with a 1-0 win on Sunday afternoon.
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Long Beach State capped off a terrific weekend series at Blair Field with a 1-0 walk-off victory over No. 5 Cal State Fullerton, winning in the bottom of the 10th inning on an RBI single from Domenic Colacchio. The Dirtbags improved to 13-9 with the win and dropped the rival Titans to 15-8 on the season. This was Long Beach State's first sweep over Cal State Fullerton since 2002 and first sweep against a ranked opponent since 2008.
Sunday's pitcher's duel looked more like a typical Dirtbags-Titans showdown, void of the big innings that defined LBSU's wins in the first two games of the series. LBSU starter Dave Smith had the best performance of his career, pitching for the first time since Mar. 10 at Arizona State. The senior went a career-best 7.1 innings on the bump, allowing no runs on six hits with no walks and five strikeouts. Unfortunately for Smith, he was equaled by Fullerton starter John Gavin, who threw 7.0 shutout innings with six strikeouts.
The Dirtbags were finally able to push a run across in the bottom of the 10th inning, as Laine Huffman led off the inning with a single to left field. Matt Gimenez delivered a sacrifice bunt to move Huffman into scoring position, then it was Colacchio's time to shine as a pinch hitter. The sophomore outfielder sent a sharp single back up the middle, sending Huffman home to score easily as the throw from the outfield sailed to the backstop.
Josh Advocate earned his third victory in relief, working 2.2 innings allowing one hit and striking out a pair. Junior third baseman Ramsey Romano also extended his hitting streak to 17 games with a fourth inning single. The Dirtbags are now 8-1 at home this season, with sweeps of Fordham and Cal State Fullerton to their name.
Cal State Fullerton had a golden opportunity to score in the second inning after a single and a double put two men in scoring position with nobody out. Smith locked in, however, and got a soft lineout to second base before recording back-to-back strikeouts to escape the jam. The Titans threatened again in the eighth thanks to a one-out double, a walk, and then a hit-by-pitch to load the bases. Advocate entered with the bases juiced and got a huge strikeout and a fly out to strand three and keep the game scoreless.
There's no rest for the Dirtbags who will travel to Northern California for two more games the next two days. First up is a Monday night showdown with California at 7 p.m. followed by a 2:30 contest on Tuesday at Stanford. LBSU will open Big West Conference action next weekend at UC Santa Barbara.
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