April 21, 2011
Santa Barbara, Calif. - Andrew Gagnon hurled a complete game, allowing five hits, but five unearned runs proved to be Long Beach State's undoing as the Dirtbags fell 5-3 at UC Santa Barbara. Ino Patron hit his first home run to give Long Beach State a 3-1 lead.
Long Beach State (18-17, 5-5) took an early lead in the first inning as Brennan Metzger beat out a grounder to short that Brandon Trinkwon fumbled to get the Dirtbags going. Jeff McNeil followed with a single on a hit and run, and an RBI groundout by Matt Duffy put Long Beach State on the board with an 1-0 lead.
In the bottom of the first, the Gauchos added an unearned run of their own, as leadoff batter Derek Eligio led off the inning with a fly ball that was dropped by Juan Avila, a three-base error that led to a run scored on a sacrifice fly from Sean Williams.
Long Beach State took the lead in the third inning however, as Duffy led off the inning with a single and was followed by Patron, who crushed a home run to right field to give the Dirtbags a 3-1 lead.
That looked to be all that the Dirtbags would need, as Gagnon had allowed just one hit through six innings. Jesse Meaux, the Gauchos' starting pitcher, had settled down after allowing nine early hits.
In the seventh inning however, Mark Haddow doubled with one-out to start a rally for UCSB, and after Joe Wallce reached on an error with two outs, a double by Ryan Palermo tied the game at 3-3. UCSB's Joe Winterburn then hit his first home run of the season to give the Gauchos a 5-3 lead.
Meaux held off the Dirtbags in the eighth and ninth innings to earn the complete-game win for UC Santa Barbara (16-16, 3-4), while Gagnon also had a complete game in the loss, striking out four and allowing five hits over eight innings.
The teams meet again on Friday in game two of the series, scheduled to start at 3 p.m.
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