No. 12 Long Beach State Wins 5-2, Sweeps UC Irvine
LBSU completed its fourth sweep of the season Sunday, opening up a two-game lead atop the Big West standings.
IRVINE, Calif. - A balanced effort offensively, combined with another quality start from senior Dave Smith, led to Long Beach State’s sweep of UC Irvine on Sunday. The Dirtbags claimed a 5-2 victory at Anteater Ballpark, securing a two-game lead atop the Big West standings. UCI dropped to 14-23 overall and 2-7 in Big West action while Long Beach State improves to 25-13 overall, 10-2 in conference play to sit above Cal Poly (8-4) in first place.
Every Dirtbags starter recorded at least one hit in Sunday’s win, with five different players scoring runs and four different players collecting an RBI. David Banuelos and Luke Rasmussen each had two-hit days at the plate.
Smith held the Anteaters scoreless through seven innings before hitting some trouble in the eighth, but still finished with a solid line. The senior righty went 7.1 innings, allowing two runs on six hits with no walks and three strikeouts. He improved his win-loss record to 4-1 on the year while seeing his Big West-leading ERA creep up to 1.50.
The Dirtbags gave Smith come cushion with three runs in the third inning, all scoring with two outs. Jarren Duran hit a one-out double, then moved to third with two outs. Ramsey Romano pulled a single through the left side to score him and put LBSU on top, 1-0. After advancing to second on a wild pitch, Romano scored on a line drive RBI single from Daniel Jackson, who reached second base on an error in center. That mistake proved costly as Rasmussen followed with a third straight RBI single to make it 3-0 Dirtbags.
David Banuelos added a run in the sixth inning with an infield single, moving to second base on a throwing error and reaching third on a wild pitch. With two outs, a balk by UCI starter Jordan Bocko brought him home for a 4-0 lead. LBSU added a fifth run in the eighth inning on an RBI grounder from Laine Huffman with the bases loaded.
Long Beach State will return home for a Tuesday night rematch with UCLA at 6 p.m. The Dirtbags will be looking for revenge against the Bruins after losing 2-1 in 11 innings in Los Angeles last Tuesday. LBSU will then travel to UC Davis for its next weekend series, Apr. 28-30.
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