April 30, 2014
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Long Beach State took full advantage of a trio of Pepperdine errors and rode the advantage to a 7-0 win over No. 25 Pepperdine on Wednesday at Blair Field. The Dirtbags (21-21) climbed back to .500 with three consecutive wins over top-25 teams.
Ryan Millison had another outstanding performance on the mound, tossing seven shutout innings, and Nick Rossetta finished off the last two to complete the Dirtbags eighth shutout of the season and second in a row. Dirtbag pitchers have not allowed a run in the last 21 innings.
Millison was in trouble in the first and fourth innings with a runner on third and two outs. He was able to get the key strikeout to end both innings and keep the Waves off the board. He allowed just six hits over seven innings and five of those hits came in the two troublesome innings.
After getting the strikeout to wiggle out of the bases loaded jam in the fourth, Millison cruised with big lead. He allowed just one baserunner in his final three frames (he plunked Austin Davidson with a pitch) and retired the last eight batters he faced in order. He struck out five in the game and did not walk anyone. Rossetta allowed just one hit and struck out one in his two innings of work.
Offensively, the Dirtbags seized a couple free opportunities with the Waves (31-10) committing three errors. A Colby Brenner single and a walk to Colton Vaughn put two on with no outs in the third. Johnny Bekakis laid down the sacrifice bunt and Pepperdine’s starting pitcher Jackson McClelland’s throw sailed over the first baseman’s head, allowing Brenner to come all the way around to score. The flood gates opened from there as Garret Hampson’s ground out to short drove in another run and Ino Patron plated a third with a sacrifice fly.
Pepperdine made two more errors in the fifth to again open the flood gates for Long Beach State. Brenner was again the catalyst when he walked to start the inning. A single by Vaughn and a bunt single from Bekakis loaded the bases with no outs. Hampson’s fly ball into right wasn’t quite deep enough but the throw back into the infield short hopped the cutoff man and squirted away, allowing Brenner to score. Another run came in as Patron’s grounder was misplayed at first and Michael Hill beat out a double play attempt at first to drive in another run and make it 6-0. Cameron Pongs followed Hill with a single for the final tally of the ballgame.
The bottom of the Dirtbags order had a big day at the plate, especially Colton Vaughn. Vaughn was 3-for-3 and walked to get on base all four times. He also scored twice, as did Brenner. The Dirtbags 7-8-9 hitters were on base seven times in the game to help set up the two big innings. Bekakis also had two hits and two runs scored while Patron had two RBI in the game.
Millison picked up his third win of the season with the seven inning start and McClelland fell to 6-2.
The Dirtbags stay home this weekend for a three-game series with rival Cal State Fullerton. The series begins at Blair Field on Friday at 6 p.m.
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