April 17, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State opened up a 3-1 lead on the road at Loyola Marymount on Tuesday, but a three-run error by Johnny Bekakis in the seventh inning cost the Dirtbags as LBSU lost its sixth game via a walkoff 5-4.
Tied 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth, Loyola Marymount's Joey Boney reached on a bunt single, and after moving over on a wild pitch, a single by Cullen Mahoney gave the Lions the 5-4 victory over Long Beach State.
Bekakis was 3-for-4 and led the Dirtbags offensively, reaching base four times, while Matt Duffy drove in a pair of runs for Long Beach State.
The Dirtbags scored the first run of the game with some typical small ball. Jeff Yamaguchi drew a leadoff walk in the third inning, and after a sacrifice, Johnny Bekakis reached on an infield single. A second sacrifice bunt, this time from Duffy, scored Yamaguchi to put Long Beach State on top 1-0.
Keeping things close defensively, Matt Johnson cut down a run at the plate on a squeeze play in the bottom of the third, and Brennan Metzger threw out a runner at the plate to end the fourth, keeping the Lions scoreless.
Long Beach State added an insurance run in the top of the fifth inning. Yamaguchi singled with one out to get the Dirtbags started in the inning. Bekakis came through with his second hit of the day to keep the rally going with two outs, and then Duffy singled to score Yamaguchi for the second time.
Back-to-back hits to start the bottom of the fifth helped Loyola Marymount pull back a run, bringing the score to 2-1. Josh Frye came on and picked up the final out of the inning however, stranding a Lion at third to keep the lead for LBSU.
Long Beach State added one more in the top of the seventh inning, scoring a run on a balk with runners on the corners, but the Dirtbags left three runners stranded in the inning, missing a chance to further increase their lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Dirtbags' success with runners on base ended however. Mitch Esser started the inning with a base hit, and another single and a walk around a fielders' choice loaded the bases with two outs. Changing pitchers to Jon Maciel, it appeared that the Dirtbags would get out of the inning, but a fly ball to left field was misplayed by Bekakis, allowing three runs to score and giving the Lions the lead.
The Dirtbags tied the game in the top of the next inning, putting runners on the corners via a pair of hit batters, and then Yamaguchi drove in a run on a groundout to even the score at four.
Long Beach State returns home on Friday for continued Big West action, as the Dirtbags start a three-games series with UC Irvine at 6:30 p.m. The Dirtbags will play a split series with Loyola Marymount later in the year, starting on May 5.
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