April 26, 2011
Los Angeles, Calif. - Senior Matt Hibbert set two career highs with four hits and two runs scored as Long Beach State defeated USC 7-1 on Tuesday evening. The Dirtbags had 10 hits on the evening and were helped by a trio of Trojan errors.
A leadoff walk by the Dirtbags in the bottom of the first ended up hurting Long Beach State (20-18), as Kevin Roundtree stole second base and then scored on a double by Joe De Pinto to put USC (18-22) on the board.
The Dirtbags answered back in similar fashion in the top of the fourth inning. Matt Duffy drew a leadoff walk on four pitches, and after a single by Ino Patron, Mike Marjama pushed both runners over. Duffy then came home on a wild pitch from Brandon Garcia, allowing Long Beach State to tie the game at 1-1.
Long Beach State was able to break the game open with a combination of hitting and USC miscues in the top of the fifth. Kirk Singer started off the action with a leadoff single, and after a base hit by Matt Hibbert, a sacrifice fly by Jeff McNeil gave the Dirtbags a 2-1 lead. Duffy singled to continue the inning, and a grounder by Patron was thrown away by the Trojans allowing another run to come home with one outs.
A double steal put two runners in scoring position for Marjama, but the Trojans cut down Duffy at the plate for the second out, but with runners on the corners, a failed pickoff brought home a third run in the inning, and then Marjama came home from second on an infield single by Brennan Metzger in a heads-up play to give the Dirtbags a 5-1 lead.
A Trojan error led to another run for the Dirtbags in the sixth when Hibbert, after collecting his third hit of the night, scored on a dropped pop fly by De Pinto to make the score 6-1. Then in the seventh, Metzger drew a leadoff walk and scored an unearned run after two groundouts and a passed ball.
Austin Boyle, pitching for the first time since March 19, pitched the first two innings, and was followed by five Long Beach State relievers, who held the Trojans scoreless the rest of the way, including setting down 15 straight batters from the third through eighth innings. Jake Stassi collected the win for Long Beach State, throwing two hitless innings while the Dirtbags took the lead during the fifth inning.
Long Beach State returns to Blair Field this weekend for an important Big West series, hosting Cal Poly for a three-game series beginning on Friday, April 29 at 6:30 p.m.
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