Dirtbags Drop Opener To No. 18 Cal Poly 8-5
April 26, 2013
Long Beach, Calif. - Jeff McNeil had three hits for the Dirtbags as Long Beach State came close, but was never able to recover from a five-run first inning by Cal Poly, losing 8-5 to the No. 18 Mustangs.
Cal Poly (28-11, 8-5 Big West) got off to a blistering start in the first inning. Denver Chavez started with a bloop single to left, and two more infield singles loaded the bases for the Mustangs. A hit batter by Shane Carle then brought in the first run, and a double by Brian Mundell scored two more runs for Cal Poly, keeping two runners in scoring position. David Armendariz brought in both on a base hit, giving the Mustangs a 5-0 lead after a half-inning.
Carle settled down after the first inning, and Long Beach State (18-21, 7-6 Big West) pulled back into the game in the bottom of the second. Ino Patron led off the inning with a single, and Richard Prigatano walked to put two on with nobody out against Joey Wagman. Zack Rivera then singled to score Patron, and after a sacrifice, Colby Brenner drove in two runs with a single as the Dirtbags cut Cal Poly's lead to 5-3.
The Mustangs added three more unearned runs in the top of the fifth. After an error by McNeil put a runner on, Carle gave up a single and a double by Tommy Plushkell scored a pair of Mustang runs. Plushkell then came home to score on a single by Peter Van Gansen, making the score 8-3.
The Dirtbags scored an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth inning, and pulled back one more in the bottom of the sixth inning when McNeil doubled home Brenner after a two-out walk.
Carle finished with a career-high eight strikeouts, but took the loss while Wagman improved to 9-2 on the year.
The series continues on Saturday afternoon with a 2 p.m. start. Two southpaws will face off, with Cal Poly's Matt Imhof taking on Long Beach State's Jake Stassi at Blair Field.