LONG BEACH, Calif. - A complete game effort from Darren McCaughan and a 13-hit performance from the Dirtbags offense led Long Beach State (21-11, 6-1 Big West) to a 6-2 win over CSUN (16-19, 3-4 Big West) on Thursday night at Blair Field. It’s the seventh straight win for Long Beach State, and the 10th straight win for the Dirtbags at home, improving LBSU’s home record to 13-1.
McCaughan tossed his third career complete game and second of the season, allowing two runs in the second inning, but nothing else. He surrendered five hits and struck out six, while retiring the final 17 batters he faced. None of the final 13 CSUN batters hit a ball out of the infield as McCaughan seemed to get stronger as the game progressed.
Every Dirtbags starter had a hit, with four players recording two-hit games. Junior shortstop Laine Huffman helped provide the offense in support of McCaughan, hitting a solo home run in the second inning and adding an RBI triple in the eighth. Huffman also walked and put down a sacrifice bunt. His home run in the second doubled LBSU’s lead after Ramsey Romano scored on a strike-em-out, throw-em-out double play.
CSUN tied the game with two runs on three hits in the third. The Matadors hit three singles up the middle on three straight pitches to load the bases with one out. A hit batter and a sacrifice fly brought home the runs and McCaughan shut the door from there on.
LBSU answered immediately in the bottom of the third, starting with a leadoff single and stolen base from Jarren Duran. He was brought home on an RBI double from defending Big West Player of the Week, Lucas Tancas, who had two more hits on Thursday. Daniel Jackson’s RBI single scored Tancas to make it 4-2 Dirtbags.
David Banuelos hit a leadoff double in the fourth and was brought home on a line drive single from Domenic Colacchio. Huffman’s triple off the left field wall in the eighth inning scored Colacchio to make it 6-2 Dirtbags.
Interestingly, both head coaches were ejected from Thursday’s game. CSUN head coach Greg Moore was tossed in the second inning and LBSU head coach Troy Buckley was ejected in the third.
The Dirtbags will look to win the series on Friday night as RHP John Sheaks (4-1, 3.38 ERA) takes the hill against CSUN RHP Samuel Myers (2-4, 4.31 ERA). First pitch is set for 6 p.m. and there will be a fireworks display after the game.
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