Highs Become Lows As Dirtbags Fall 8-6 At Pacific
Three-run ninth inning comeback turns sour on Pacific walk-off home run.
April 7, 2013
Long Beach, Calif. - Down 5-3 going to the ninth inning, Jeff Yamaguchi sparked a three-run rally with an inside-the-park home run as Long Beach State took a 6-5 lead at Pacific after trailing from the end of the first inning on. It was the Tigers who laughed last, however, capping a two-out rally with a walk-off home run from Taylor Murphy, handing Long Beach State an 8-6 loss.
Long Beach State (12-18, 3-3 Big West) jumped out to an early lead in Sunday's finale, scoring twice in the top of the first inning. Yamaguchi singled with two outs to extend the inning, and after a walk to Ino Patron, Juan Avila doubled to give the Dirtbags a 2-0 lead.
Pacific (9-17, 2-4 Big West) recovered immediately though in a tough day for LBSU starter David Hill. The Tigers opened the game with three consecutive singles, and drove in one more run on a Tyger Pederson single to tie the game in the first.
A single and an RBI triple by Tyler Sullivan put the Tigers on top in the bottom of the second inning, and a sacrifice fly made the score 4-2 in favor of Pacific.
Hill would load the bases with two outs in the third inning, but Nick Sabo came on in relief and struck out Sullivan to start 3.1 innings of solid relief, allowing just one additional run to keep the game close at 5-2.
In the eighth inning, Avila picked up his second double of the day to get on base, scoring on an RBI single by Eric Hutting, his third hit of the day, bringing the Pacific lead back to two.
With one out in the top of the ninth, Yamaguchi struck a ball to the deepest park of Klein Family Field, hitting the wall where it caromed away from Sullivan, allowing the junior to round the bases and cut the lead to one. Patron then reached on an error, and Avila singled, putting a runner in scoring position for Richard Prigatano, who tied the game with a base hit to right field. With runners on the corners, Josh Guerra then gave the Dirtbags a 6-5 lead with a single, Long Beach State's first lead since the top of the first inning.
Jon Maciel came on in relief and made two quick outs, but Tyger Pederson lifted a flare into shallow left for a double, and then Jason Taasaas, who had given up the three ninth-inning runs in relief, cracked a double to the gap to tie the game. Freshman Taylor Murphy then ended the contest in dramatic fashion, sending a home run down the line to right field.
Avila and Hutting both finished with three hits for Long Beach State, while Yamaguchi had two, including the home run to lead the Dirtbags offense.
Long Beach State returns to Blair Field for its next four games. The Dirtbags will host San Diego State on Tuesday, April 9 at 6 p.m. before returning to conference play, hosting UC Davis starting on Friday.
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