Dirtbags Comeback Falls Short In 11-10 Loss vs. UCLA
LBSU was in an 8-0 hole after the top of the first inning, but chipped away and nearly made a complete comeback in an 11-10 loss.
Long Beach, Calif. - After the first inning of Tuesday night’s ballgame, Long Beach State (26-17) outscored UCLA (21-21) by a 9-3 margin. Unfortunately, the eight runs scored by the visiting Bruins in the top of the first helped provide a big enough cushion to survive the Dirtbags’ rally, and UCLA walked away with a narrow 11-10 victory.
“I’m really proud of the guys from a position player end to come back and make this a competitive game, because it was not competitive,” said LBSU head coach Troy Buckley. “I think the most frustrating thing about the early hole is how it occurred with the walks and the errors and things like that … We just weren’t able to stop the bleeding early, and guys did a good job from the fifth inning on, we were able to keep them scoreless and kind of chip away. I’m really proud of the position players, I think they showed a lot of heart.”
LBSU issued six walks in the first inning, with four of those runners coming around to score and another forcing in a run with the bases loaded. The Bruins also had five hits in the inning, with three players (Brett Urabe, Luke Persico and Sean Bouchard) each collecting a pair of RBIs in the first inning alone. The Bruins added three more runs in the third inning as they collected three more hits, including a two-out, two-run single from Cristoph Bono.
That hit put the Bruins up 11-2 in the third inning, but it would prove to be their last runs of the night, and they wouldn’t record another hit until the ninth inning. The Dirtbags bullpen, while a bit shaky in spots, did a great job overall to stop the bleeding. LBSU used a season-high eight pitchers in the game, and the six who pitched from the fourth inning on combined for a line of: 6 IP, 1H, 0R, 3BB, 5K.
That set the stage for the offense to chip away. The Dirtbags scored a run in each of the first two innings—on an RBI single from Luke Rasmussen then an RBI double from Brooks Stotler—but made their biggest dent with a four-spot in the third. Rasmussen singled to lead off, then a walk and a hit batter loaded the bases with no outs. Domenic Colacchio then squared one back up the middle to drive in a pair. An RBI groundout from Stotler then a two-out RBI single up the middle from Jarren Duran made the score 11-6 after three long innings
Zack Domingues ripped a two-run single to center in the fifth inning, followed by an RBI single from Garrett Hampson to account for three more runs in the fifth. LBSU’s best chance to tie the game came in the eighth inning as Hampson roped a double to left to lead things off. Rasmussen was the next batter, and he crushed a pitch to deep left. A ball that surely would’ve left the yard during a day game hung up in the night air of Blair Field, allowing left fielder Kort Peterson to try to make a play up against the wall, but he was unable to hold on, resulting in an RBI double.
The Dirtbags would later load the bases with two outs, but they stranded the bases loaded as Bruins closer Moises Ceja got a big strikeout to end the inning. Ceja also got Rasmussen to pop up to end the game in the ninth and record his fourth save of the year.
Hampson and Rasmussen each had three-hit ballgames, each with a run scored and Rasmussen with a pair of RBIs (the first and last for LBSU, coincidentally). Rasmussen extended his hitting streak to nine games and he now has multiple hits in six straight contests. He continues to rack up RBIs as he is now up to 35 on the year.
LBSU returns to conference action this weekend with a road series at Hawai’i (18-23, 7-8 Big West). First pitch for Friday’s series opener is set for 9:35 p.m. PT.
NOTES: At 4 hours, 44 minutes Tuesday’s game was the longest nine-inning game of the year for the Dirtbags, and second only to a 4:54, 12-inning game at San Diego State for longest overall … Freshmen Stotler and Colacchio made their second career starts in CF and RF, respectively and they each had a pair of RBIs … Colacchio also recorded multiple hits for the second straight game to run his modest hitting streak to three games … Stotler also walked twice and recorded his first career double … Duran was on base four times with a single and three walks, scoring twice … Daniel Jackson scored a career-high three runs despite recording just two official at-bats … Between both teams combined, there was an unsightly K:BB ratio of 13:19.
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