April 15, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - Senior Shawn Stuart came through for the Dirtbags once again, striking out seven over seven innings while allowing one run on four hits as Long Beach State finished off a sweep of UC Santa Barbara with a 4-3 win on Sunday.
Junior Matt Duffy was 2-for-3 on the day for the Dirtbags, while Brennan Metzger scored twice, but pitching dominated the first half of Sunday's game. Stuart didn't allow a hit until the fifth inning, when a roller hit the bag at third base just fair, while the Dirtbags couldn't get anything going against UCSB's Zak Edgington until the fifth inning.
Metzger drew a leadoff walk in the bottom of the fifth to get things going for Long Beach State. Jeff McNeil walked to put two runners on, and then the Dirtbags broke the tie with a single from Richard Prigatano. A double steal moved McNeil and Prigatano into scoring position, and then a sacrifice fly gave the Dirtbags a 2-0 lead.
UC Santa Barbara scored one run in the top of the sixth, but the Dirtbags answered back once more in the bottom half with an RBI single from McNeil, and then scored once more in the seventh to provide another insurance run when Kellen Hoime scored following a sacrifice from Ino Patron.
Sophomore Kyle Friedrichs surrendered a couple of infield hits leading to a run in the top of the ninth, but held on to record his fifth save of the season.
With the win, the Dirtbags improve to 16-17, and are now 7-2 in league play and are tied for first place in the Big West with Cal State Fullerton. The Gauchos fall to 17-17 and 4-5 in conference after coming tied with Long Beach State.
The sweep over the Gauchos is the first of an opponent by LBSU since the 2009 season, and the first against UCSB at Blair since 1998. The Dirtbags travel to Loyola Marymount on Tuesday, and then return to Blair Field for a three-game series with UC Irvine beginning on Friday, April 20.
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