April 25, 2014
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Long Beach State climbed out to an early lead but couldn't hold on as the Dirtbags fell 6-3 to No. 1 Cal Poly (36-5, 12-1 Big West) on Friday at Blair Field. Cameron Pongs doubled twice for the Dirtbags (18-21, 5-5 Big West) in a 3-for-4 night at the plate.
Pongs first double came at the end of a two-run first for Long Beach State. Bekakis walked and later scored on a wild pitch for the game's first run. Cal Poly's Matt Imhof had two wild pitches in the inning to help the Dirtbags along.
Michael Hill took advantage with Ino Patron in scoring position in the first to put the Dirtbags up 2-0. Hill took an 0-2 pitch right back up the middle to plate Patron, who had singled earlier in the inning. Pongs doubled as Hill took off for second but Cal Poly's relay came in just ahead of Hill as he was cut down at the plate.
Andrew Rohrbach breezed through the first two innings on the mound but ran into trouble in the third after a Dirtbags error and single led off the inning. With runners on the corners, Chris Hoo laid down the squeeze bunt to cut the Dirtbags lead in half.
Rohrbach ran himself into trouble in the fourth when two walks and a hit batter loaded the bases but he was able to get the inning ending 3-6-1 double play to escape the jam. A similar story played out in the fifth as he plunked Hoo and walked Mark Mathias. A bunt single loaded the bases and a wild pitch from Rohrbach tied the game at two. A ground out to short plated the go-ahead run.
After the initial runs from the Dirtbags, Imhof settled in and kept the hosts relatively quiet in the middle of the game. Pongs doubled off Imhof to start the seventh and put the Dirtbags in business. After Eric Hutting's sacrifice bunt moved Pongs up to third, Cal Poly went to Reed Reilly in the bullpen. Colby Brenner came through with a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 3-3 before Reilly closed out the inning.
Both pitchers were able to overcome some free passes handed out to hold their opponents to three runs. Imhof went 6.1 innings with four strikeouts and four walks. Rohrbach finished the seventh and struck out seven. However, he surrendered five walks and four batters. Each came away without the decision.
Cal Poly loaded the bases in the eighth and took the lead on Jordan Ellis' slow grounder. Nick Torres then smacked a single into center to score two and set up the final tally on the scoreboard. He had three RBI in the game to lead the Mustangs.
The Dirtbags brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth before Reilly was able to shut the door on the game and earn his third win. Logan Lombana was charged with the three runs in the eighth to get his first loss of the season.
The Dirtbags and Mustangs will meet up again tomorrow at Blair Field at 2 p.m.
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