LONG BEACH, Calif. - Senior Dave Smith was just the next in line for the Dirtbags on Sunday, as once again a brilliant performance by a starting pitcher led to a win at Blair Field. Smith was ultra-efficient, needing just 77 pitches to go 7.2 innings against UC Riverside (12-15, 1-5 Big West), allowing no runs on four hits with three strikeouts in a 3-0 Dirtbags win. Long Beach State (20-11, 5-1 Big West) has now won six in a row, has a 12-1 record at home, and has swept all three home series this year.
Lucas Tancas provided most of the offense on Sunday, with three more hits including his fifth home run of the year. Tancas was 8-for-12 (.667) on the weekend with a pair of home runs, two doubles, four runs and five RBIs. Brock Lundquist also added a pair of hits at the top of the lineup.
LBSU opened the scoring in the third inning on consecutive two-out doubles from Lundquist and Jarren Duran. Remarkably, it’s the first run Long Beach State has scored in the third inning this season, going scoreless in the third through the first 30 games. Tancas doubled the lead with a leadoff home run in the fourth, crushing a no-doubter to deep left field. The junior also keyed a rally in the sixth as his two-out single was followed by hits from Daniel Jackson and Ramsey Romano to push another run across and make it 3-0 Dirtbags.
Smith cruised through seven frames with a six-pitch inning and a five-pitch inning, and only encountered trouble in the eighth. After a leadoff single and a two-out walk, Josh Advocate came in to relieve Smith. The senior reliever got a lazy fly ball to strand the runners, then pitched a perfect ninth to seal the win and pick up his third save of the season.
Sunday’s game took only two hours and seven minutes to complete, going down as one of the fastest games in Dirtbags history. That time falls just four minutes shy of the top five fastest games on record.
LBSU will look to keep the winning streak rolling next weekend as CSUN will visit Blair Field for a three-game series starting on Thursday at 6 p.m. There will also be games Friday (6 p.m.) and Saturday (2 p.m.) with the fireworks display following the second game of the series on Friday night.
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