March 31, 2012
San Luis Obispo, Calif. - Long Beach State had two leads on Sunday, one up to the third and one after the top of the seventh, but four unearned runs allowed Cal Poly to come back and even the series with a 6-4 win on Saturday.
The Dirtbags struck first in the very first inning. Ino Patron picked up the first of two hits on the day with one out, and Juan Avila drove in the first of three RBI on the day with a double to give Long Beach State a 1-0 lead.
The Mustangs responded by taking the lead with three runs in the third inning. With two runners on base, Mike Miller doubled to tie the game, and the Cal Poly leadoff hitter then came around to score as Mitch Haniger was able to reach base by beating a potential double-play ball that would have ended the inning.
Strufing continued to pitch well, however, keeping the score at 3-2 and Long Beach State regained the lead in the seventh inning. Kellen Hoime started the rally with a single, and after a double and a walk loaded the bases, Avila responded again with a two-run single to put the Dirtbags on top 4-3.
The Mustangs tied the game in the bottom half of that inning with an unearned run though, and took the lead for good in the bottom of the eighth. Strufing walked the first batter of the inning, and when Long Beach State turned to the bullpen, three hits along with a third error brought home two runs.
Chase Johnson retired the side in order in the ninth to seal the win for the Mustangs, recording his fifth save.
Cal Poly and Long Beach State will play to determine the winner of the series in the third game beginning at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Shawn Stuart will take the mound for Long Beach State, facing off against Cal Poly's Kyle Brueggemann.
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