April 28, 2012
Northridge, Calif. - Long Beach State out-hit the Matadors and took a pair of late leads on Saturday, but were unable to hold on in a 6-5 walkoff loss in 12 innings at Cal State Northridge. Johnny Bekakis and Richard Prigatano both had four hits for the Dirtbags in the loss.
Long Beach State scored in the top of the first inning when Brennan Metzger singled in Bekakis following a leadoff hit, but that was one of the few times that it paid off for the Dirtbags. The Dirtbags had the leadoff batter on in 10 of 12 innings, but did not have any luck bringing those runners around to score against Matador starter Jerry Keel.
Keel went seven innings and gave up seven hits with two walks, but allowed just the one run while Cal State Northridge took the lead on an unearned run in the second inning and a solo home run by Adam Berry in the third.
That was the score until the seventh inning, when the Matadors added one more on a grounder that bounced away from Matt Duffy, but the Dirtbags cut down the run at the plate to keep the lead at two.
Rallying from that play, Long Beach State scored twice in the top of the eighth to tie the game without getting the ball out of the infield. After a walk and a hit batter put two runners on, a sacrifice put both runners in scoring position and an RBI groundout by Prigatano made the score 3-2. Jeff McNeil then hit a tapper to the right side of the mound and out-raced pitcher Louis Cohen to first to allow Metzger to score.
Bekakis and Metzger teamed up once more in the top of the ninth inning to give the Dirtbags a one-run lead at 4-3, when Bekakis singled to start the frame and scored on a two-out RBI single by Metzger.
A flare single by Cal Vogelsang was just out of the reach of Matt Duffy to lead off the bottom of the ninth inning, however, and a single off the wall scored the tying run as Long Beach State was unable to close out the win in regulation.
Closer Kyle Freidrichs pitched two scoreless innings after that, however, giving the Dirtbags a chance to take one final lead. Metzger doubled to lead off the top of the 12th inning, and scored on a sacrifice fly by McNeil to give Long Beach State a 5-4 lead.
Eddie Magallon came on in the bottom of the twelfth, and gave up two base hits surrounding a sacrifice to put runners on the corners. A wild pitch then tied the game, and when Ring attempted a steal of third, an overthrow by Royce Murai allowed the winning run to score.
The teams return to Matador Stadium tomorrow for the rubber game in the series. Southpaw Ryan Strufing takes the mound for Long Beach State, with first pitch at 1 p.m.
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