March 30, 2012
San Luis Obispo, Calif. - Brennan Metzger hit a two-run home run to give Long Beach State a 4-0 lead, and Kyle Friedrichs held off the Mustangs for his second save of the year with 1.1 scoreless innings of relief as the Dirtbags took their first Big West game of the season with a 4-3 win.
Long Beach State took the lead in the second inning, as Jeff Yamaguchi and Johnny Bekakis hit back-to-back doubles to score Yamaguchi, but was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a triple, which put a close to the rally.
That would be the end of the scoring for a while, however, as Joey Wagman for Cal Poly and Matt Anderson for Long Beach State matched up for a classic Friday night start for six innings, as the score stayed at 1-0 as Anderson finished with four strikeouts and Wagman had seven. Cal Poly hit back-to-back singles to lead off the sixth inning, but Long Beach State picked up an out on the lead runner and kept the Mustangs scoreless, foreshadowing a play down the stretch.
Leading 1-0 entering the seventh, Long Beach State opened up a little bit of a lead. Jeff McNeil started the inning with a single, and advanced to third via a groundout and a wild pitch. Bekakis then hit a ground ball to Jimmy Allen at third base, and McNeil beat the play at the plate to put the Dirtbags on top 2-0 with a runner on. Metzger then turned on a pitch from Wagman in the next at-bat, hitting Long Beach State's first home run to put the Dirtbags on top 4-3.
Cal Poly came storming back in the bottom half of the inning after the stretch. Tommy Pluschkell started the inning with a base hit, and a walk spelled the end of Anderson's day. A passed ball moved both runners over, and while Jon Maciel picked up two outs with a pair of groundouts, two runs scored on those plays to cut the lead in half. Mitch Haniger then hit his sixth home run, increasing his Big West leading total to make the score 4-3. Maciel got another ground ball out to end the inning, and would turn the ball over to Kyle Friedrichs with the lead.
In the bottom of the ninth, the defense came through again for Long Beach State. Just like the sixth inning, two straight singles put a pair of runners on, getting the winning run on base with no outs. Long Beach State was able to catch the lead runner on a sacrifice attempt, and picked up a second out on a long fly from Haniger, which would have tied the game if the bunt was successful. Instead, it only moved Mike Miller to third base, and popup from Allen ended the game as Friedrichs earned his second save of the year.
Long Beach State and Cal Poly return to Baggett Stadium on Saturday for game two of the series beginning at 6 p.m.
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