April 17, 2014
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Sophomore Eric Hutting rescued the Long Beach State Dirtbags with a game-winning double in the bottom of the ninth, which gave the Dirtbags a 3-2 win over No. 17 UC Santa Barbara. Hutting came into the game without an RBI this season but came through twice and delivered the game-winner just after the Dirtbags (17-18, 4-3 Big West) saw their 2-0 lead disappear.
Hutting and Alex Bishop each drove in a run with a groundout in the bottom of the fourth to put the Dirtbags up 2-0. Both the Dirtbags’ Andrew Rohrbach and the Gauchos’ Justin Jacome had solid starts on the mound and limited their opponents’ opportunities.
With both teams going into their bullpens in the ninth, the offenses went to work. Tyler Kuresa doubled to start off the top of the ninth for the Gauchos (23-9, 4-6 Big West) and scored with one out when a grounder to short kicked into left field. Robby Nesovic singled in another run before Kyle Friedrichs was able to shut the door on the rally with a strikeout to keep the game tied.
Michael Hill led off the inning with a single to immediately get the winning run aboard for the Dirtbags. After a strikeout, Hutting came to the plate and promptly stroked a double down the left field line that rolled all the way into the corner. Hill easily scored from first to give the Dirtbags to the 3-2 win.
Rohrbach pitched into the ninth inning and did not allow a runner to get to third through the first eight. The only runner that went for third came in the fourth inning when Nesovic tried to go first to third on a single into center. Colby Brenner fired a strike to a waiting Hill at third to cut down Nesovic.
Rohrbach allowed just six hits through the eight-plus innings and struck out five while walking one. He was charged with the first run of the ninth. Jacome went six for the Gauchos and allowed two runs on six hits. He fanned two and walked one.
Greg Mahle pitched the final 2.1 innings and gave up just the two hits in the ninth. He entered the game in the seventh with runners on first and second with no one out and was able to keep the Dirtbags off the scoreboard in the inning. However, he was charged with his second loss of the season. Friedrichs picked up his first win.
The Gauchos and Dirtbags will square off again tomorrow at Blair Field with first pitch scheduled for 6 p.m.
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