March 30, 2013
Long Beach, Calif. - Sophomore Richard Prigatano was 2-for-3 with two RBI, leading the Dirtbags to a 7-5 victory as Long Beach State opened Big West play with a series victory. Freshman hurler David Hill picked up his first collegiate win, striking out five over 6.1 innings pitched.
Long Beach State (11-16, 2-1 Big West) jumped out to an early lead and never trailed Saturday in the rubber game of the series. Jeff McNeil singled to start the bottom of the first inning, and a second single by David Hill put runners on the corners with no outs. Juan Avila then lifted a fly ball to the gap into right center, and a collision between Chester Pak and Michael Livingston allowed the ball to drop for a double, scoring two. Advancing to third on a wild pitch, Avila scored on a sacrifice fly from Prigatano, giving the Dirtbags a 3-0 lead after one inning.
The Dirtbags added two more in the bottom of the third inning, with Hill, Avila and Ino Patron loading the bases for Prigatano, who came through again with a base hit in station-to-station baseball. A grounder from Yamaguchi scored one more run on a double play.
David Hill ran into his first piece of genuine trouble in the fourth inning, as Pak doubled with one out followed by a walk. Hill was able to strike out Alexis Mercado, but a double brought home one run, and a hit batter loaded the bases, bringing up the top of the order. Prigatano was able to make a sliding catch in right field to save at least two runs and get the Dirtbags out of the inning with a 5-1 lead.
Prigatano sparked one more rally for Long Beach State, doubling to start off the bottom of the sixth inning. Moving to third on a sacrifice, Prigatano scored on a ball four wild pitch. Pinch runner Josh Guerra stole second, and then scored on a Colton Vaughn single to give Long Beach State a 7-1 edge.
Cal State Northridge (12-14, 1-2 Big West) made a rally in the top of the seventh inning. Hill earned the first out of the inning, but then walked Anthony Lombardo and allowed a double to Kyle Attl before giving way to Ryan Millison. Millison struggled, hitting his first batter to load the bases before giving up a two-run double to Josh Goossen-Brown to make the score 7-4, with another batter reaching on an error. Josh Frye induced an inning-ending 6-4-3 double play from Kyle Ferramola to end the inning.
Pak scored on a Long Beach State error in the top of the ninth inning with two outs, but Frye finished off an eight-out save with a final flyout, his first of the season, as Long Beach State collected the win.
The Dirtbags continue Big West action on the road next weekend, traveling to Pacific for three games beginning on Friday, April 5.
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