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Six-Run Fifth Sparks Dirtbags Win at CSUN

April 13, 2018

Box Score

NORTHRIDGE, Calif. - Long Beach State (14-20, 2-2 Big West) scored six times in the fifth inning, capitalizing on some key mistakes by CSUN (16-17, 4-3 Big West) to earn a come-from-behind 7-5 win on Friday afternoon at Matador Field. Five of LBSU’s runs were unearned, and the six-run inning helped erase a 3-0 deficit as the Dirtbags rattled off seven unanswered runs to win their first conference road game.

Tristan Mercadel reached base in all four trips to the plate, singling twice and drawing a pair of walks. He was one of four Dirtbags with multiple hits on Friday, joining Jacob Hughey, Chris Jimenez and Santino Rivera. For Hughey, it was his third straight multi-hit game, and his two-run single with the bases loaded in the fifth inning gave LBSU its first lead of the day. The Dirtbags also benefitted from some defensive miscues by the Matadors to score six runs on four hits in what proved to be a decisive fifth inning.

LBSU would add another run in the seventh as Hughey came home on a wild pitch, and that proved to be important cushion. Chris Rivera entered the game in the eighth inning with two on and two outs, getting a lineout to strand the runners. He would finish off his 10th save of the season with a perfect ninth inning, which started with a pair of strikeouts.

Sophomore Zak Baayoun picked up his sixth win of the season, covering seven innings while allowing three runs (two earned) on four hits with seven strikeouts. He struggled a bit early, and ran into trouble in the fourth allowing two runs on three hits, but really settled in over his final three innings to give Long Beach State a chance to come back for the win.

LBSU will look to win the series on Saturday, sending reigning Big West Pitcher of the Week Clayton Andrews (3-5, 2.66 ERA) to the hill. He will be opposed by another southpaw in Isaiah Nunez (0-0, 3.38 ERA) for a 1 p.m. first pitch in Northridge.

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