No. 12 Dirtbags Clinch Series with 8-2 Win at UC Irvine
Long Beach State clinched its fifth consecutive series victory thanks to Saturday’s 8-2 win at UC Irvine.
IRVINE, Calif. - No. 12 Long Beach State (24-13, 9-2 Big West) clinched its fifth straight series win on Saturday, defeating UC Irvine (14-22, 2-6 Big West) by an 8-2 margin at Anteater Ballpark. LBSU collected 13 hits for the second day in a row, getting a career-best four RBIs from Jarren Duran in the victory.
Junior John Sheaks wasn’t his sharpest on Saturday, but battled for his team-leading sixth win of the season. The righthander went 5.1 innings, allowing two runs on six hits and five walks, striking out a pair. Eli Villalobos was strong in relief, pitching the final 3.1 innings while allowing just one baserunner via walk to pick up his second career save.
The Dirtbags started quickly with a run in the first inning, coming via an RBI single from Ramsey Romano to score Duran. Romano started the day with two singles, giving him six singles in his first six plate appearances in the series.
After UCI tied the game in the second, Lucas Tancas answered with a solo home run off the scoreboard in left field to give LBSU a 2-1 edge. It was Tancas’ sixth home run of the season to give him sole possession of the team lead. The Dirtbags added two more runs in the fourth, kicked off by a Brooks Stotler double, then back-to-bac singles from Laine Huffman and Brock Lundquist.
The game’s decisive blow came in the sixth inning, however, as Duran smacked a bases-clearing double to put the Beach on top, 7-2. The sophomore slapped the ball the other way, tucking it just inside the third base bag all the way to the left field corner, scoring Lundquist, Stotler and David Banuelos. Huffman’s second RBI of the day added an insurance run in the ninth to make it an 8-2 final.
LBSU will look to complete the sweep on Sunday at 1 p.m. as RHP Dave Smith (3-1, 1.30 ERA) takes on RHP Jordan Bock (0-3, 5.62 ERA) in the finale.
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