March 28, 2013
Long Beach, Calif. - Ino Patron hit a triple and two doubles to lead the Dirtbags offense, but Long Beach State fell in too deep of a hole on Thursday night, falling 10-5 to Cal State Northridge in the first game of a three-game series.
The Dirtbags fell behind early, as Shane Carle surrendered a pair of runs in the first inning after giving up two singles in the first three at-bats around a sacrifice. Nate Ring's single scored Michael Livingston, and then Ring came around to score on an RBI single by Justin Goosen-Brown.
Long Beach State (9-16) was able to pull back one run in the bottom of the inning, scoring Jeff McNeil after a leadoff hit. Juan Avila singled to put runners on the corners, and then Patron pitched in an RBI groundout to cut the lead to 2-1.
Patron was also involved in tying the score for Long Beach State in the bottom of the third inning. Juan Avila reached on a two-out error, and Ino Patron cracked a 0-2 breaking ball into right field for a triple off of the wall, tying the game at 2.
Cal State Northridge (12-12) capped off a rough outing for Carle by scoring four runs in the top of the fourth inning. After a leadoff walk to Kyle Ferramola, Carle struck out Alexis Mercado, but then gave up a single, a hit batter, and a single with an error to score two runs. A suicide squeeze followed by a third hit in the inning brought home two more runs as the Matadors took a 6-2 lead.
The Dirtbags pulled back one more run in the bottom of the fourth inning, with Richard Prigatano extending his Big West lead with his ninth double before coming around to score on a groundout and a sacrifice fly from Zack Rivera.
The damage continued for Carle in the fifth, giving up three more runs on a walk and three hits, with the big knock coming from Kyle Attl on a two-run double to left center.
Both teams added runs in the late innings. The Matadors added one run in the top of the seventh, while Long Beach State pulled back two in the bottom of the eighth. Ino Patron led off the inning with a double, coming home to score on a pinch hit single from Zack Belanger. Belanger then scored on a fielder's choice that left two runners on when Michael Hill beat the throw at second, but both runners were stranded to end the threat.
The series continues tomorrow night at 6 p.m., with southpaw Jake Stassi taking the mound for the Dirtbags. The final game of the series is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday.
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