Jeff McNeil had three hits and three runs scored against San Diego State.
April 10, 2012
San Diego, Calif. - Sophomore Jeff McNeil led off Tuesday's game at San Diego State with a triple, and the Dirtbags worked from there, taking a 9-4 over the Aztecs behind three hits from McNeil, who also scored three runs. Long Beach State finished with 14 hits on the day, as freshman Josh Guerra also added three hits for the Dirtbags.
McNeil scored on an RBI groundout after his triple in the first inning as Long Beach State scored in the top of the first for the fourth straight game. The Aztecs answered with a triple of their own in the bottom half, but the Dirtbags took a 2-1 lead in the top of the second when Johnny Bekakis singled, stole second, and scored on an RBI single from Guerra.
A leadoff double by Tim Zier led to the Aztecs tying the score in the bottom of the fourth inning, but the Dirtbags bullpen held strong for the next two innings as the Dirtbags were unable to find the big hit, leaving seven stranded through five innings.
Long Beach State was able to finally break through in the seventh inning, and again it was McNeil that was the spark. McNeil singled, and after getting pushed to second base, Ino Patron and Juan Avila hit back to back singles to give the Dirtbags the lead with runners on the corners. Bekakis walked to load the bases with two outs, and Robert Vickers singled to score two runs, putting the Dirtbags on top 5-2.
Chris Wilson hit a solo home run to cut the Long Beach State lead to two after the bottom of the seventh, but the Dirtbags broke the game open in the eighth. McNeil walked as the first batter on again, and after an intentional pass to Patron, a second single by Avila again scored McNeil. Brennan Metzger drove in another run for the Dirtbags, and Bekakis scored two more with a triple to put Long Beach State on top 9-3.
Kyle Friedrichs entered the game with two on and one out in the bottom of the eighth inning with one run already in, but the sophomore picked up the next five outs to finish off the win for Long Beach State. Landon Hunt earned his first win as a Dirtbag with 1.1 scoreless innings.
Tuesday's game marked the end of a stretch which saw Long Beach State play 14 of 15 games on the road. The Dirtbags return to Blair Field for their first home series since March 9 when they host UC Santa Barbara beginning on Friday, April 13 at 6:30 p.m.
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