LOS ANGELES - With a walk-off sacrifice fly in the bottom of the 11th inning, UCLA (17-16) handed Long Beach State (22-13) its second consecutive loss on Tuesday night, winning 2-1 at Jackie Robinson Stadium. The Dirtbags are now 1-3 in extra innings this season, with all three losses coming on the road against Pac-12 opposition.
Daniel Jackson led the offense with a season-high three hits (including two doubles) plus a walk, but LBSU had just five total hits as a team. Dirtbags pitchers held UCLA to seven hits, but one of them was a game-tying solo home run by Michael Toglia in the bottom of the fifth, part of his three-hit night.
Junior AJ Jones got the start for Long Beach State and pitched well in his 6.0 innings of work, allowing just the one run on Toglia’s homer, with a pair of strikeouts and just three hits surrendered. There was a weather delay after the sixth inning due to fog, which halted the game for approximately 15 minutes. The game was then handed over to the Dirtbags bullpen, with Connor Riley working a scoreless frame and Chris Rivera working two.
Senior Josh Advocate suffered his first loss of the season, allowing a run on three hits in 1.2 innings. UCLA’s Sean Bouchard led off the bottom of the 11th with a triple off the wall in right center, then two batters later came home on Chase Strumpf’s sac fly.
LBSU took a 1-0 lead in the fifth with some small ball. Laine Huffman was hit by a pitch with one out in the inning, then two batters later Jarren Duran got sneaky with a two-out, two-strike bunt. Duran was able to beat out the infield single, and with an errant throw from Bruins third baseman Jack Stronach, Huffman came all the way around to score as Duran made it over to third base.
With his three hits, Jackson extends his hitting streak to 10 games, which is the second-longest streak of the season for the Dirtbags, trailing only Ramsey Romano’s 20-game hitting streak.
The Dirtbags return to Big West action this weekend with a series at Black & Blue rivals UC Irvine. Game one of that series will be at 6:30 p.m. on Friday night at Anteater Ballpark.
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