Dirtbags Even Series With Extra Inning Win
Joey Sanchez was 5-for-5 and scored the game-winner.
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Joey Sanchez went 5-for-5 and scored the winning run as the Long Beach State Dirtbags evened the series with a 4-3 win over UC Riverside. Sanchez led off the bottom of the tenth with a single and scored the winning run on an error.
Long Beach State (20-14, 6-5 Big West) picked up its 20th win of the season and their second in extra innings with the 4-3 win. Sanchez had a double, two singles and two bunt singles to lead the Dirtbags at the plate. He also scored two of the four runs.
Sanchez led off the 10th with a bunt single up the first base line and moved to third when fellow freshman David Banuelos smacked a single into left field. A chopped to second moved Banuelos up to second but Sanchez had to stay put at third.
A failed squeeze attempt resulted in Banuelos being retired between second and third after a lengthy pickle. UCR looked like it had again escaped a jam when Zack Domingues hit a routine grounder to short but Joe Chavez fumbled the grounder, allowing Domingues to reach first and Sanchez to easily score to win the game.
The Dirtbags never trailed in the game as they scored three early runs. Freshman Luke Rasmussen hit his first career homer to start off the second inning. Sanchez sparked a rally later in the second with a double down the left field line and came home to score when Eric Hutting followed with a single up the middle.
With two away in the third Garrett Hampson and Rasmussen laced back-to-back singles with an error on the latter single putting runners on the corners. Rasmussen later broke for second and stopped halfway to bait the defense into a pickle. While he was hung up, Hampson sprinted home and slid in just ahead of the tag to pull off the double steal.
UCR (11-25, 1-7 Big West) scored its first run in the third with the help of one of the Dirtbags' three errors in the game. A leadoff double in the fourth was cashed in on Tony Gudino's single to bring the Highlanders within one.
Gudino also doubled in the seventh and scored on a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 3-3. He would be one of the last Highlanders to reach as the Dirtbags bullpen allowed just one hit and one walk over three and two-thirds.
Darren McCaughan and Austin McGeorge recorded the final two outs of the seventh and McGeorge went on to pitch a perfect eighth and perfect ninth. He retired all seven batters he faced with three strikeouts. Ty Provencher tossed a scoreless 10th to pick up the win.
Sanchez became the first Dirtbag since current major leaguer since Matt Duffy on April 1, 2011 to record five hits in a game. Between Sanchez, Rasmussen and Banuelos, the Dirtbags freshman combined for eight of the Dirtbags' 11 hits.
The rubber match between UCR and LBSU gets started tomorrow at 1 p.m.
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