May 7, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State scored four runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to rally past Loyola Marymount 7-5 in a wild back-and-forth affair to sweep a three-game non-conference series against the Lions.
Zac Fujimoto had three hits for LMU, driving in four runs with a triple and a double, but Long Beach State took the lead four different times and held on in the ninth to improve to 24-21 in 2012.
Trailing 5-3, Long Beach State put together a two-out rally with some timely pinch hitting along with excellent base-running to capture the win. Ryan Hawthorne, who had pitched both the sixth and seventh innings for the Lions, retired the first two batters he faced, but then walked Jonathan Kim and then Jeff McNeil singled to put two runners on for the Dirtbags in back-to-back pinch hit appearances.
After McNeil moved to second on a passed ball, Johnny Bekakis beat out an infield single, and McNeil was able to push all the way around from second to score, allowing Bekakis to advance safely to second on three consecutive close, but safe, calls. With the go-ahead runner in scoring position, Ino Patron then came on as a pinch hitter and singled to give the Dirtbags the lead. With Guerra coming on as a pinch runner, Metzger was plunked to put two runners on, and Guerra came around to score on a passed ball and an error on the throw to second base.
Long Beach State opened up the scoring in the bottom of the second, as Matt Duffy walked and then scored on a double by Richard Prigatano. LMU answered back to tie the game in the top of the third inning, as Fujimoto singled and then scored on a sacrifice fly after advancing on a stolen base and an error on the throw.
The Dirtbags moved back out on top once more, as Jeff Yamaguchi tripled to start the fourth, and scored on a single by Duffy. The Lions again bounced back however, scoring a run on an RBI triple by Fujimoto following a double by Sean Harkin.
A third lead materialized for the Dirtbags with another lone run, as Juan Avila doubled to score Johnny Bekakis, giving Long Beach State another one-run lead. The Lions had one more answer from Fujimoto however in the top of the sixth inning, as the right fielder doubled with the bases loaded to put the Lions on top 5-3, setting the stage for LBSU to reclaim the lead one final time.
The Dirtbags used three relievers to get through the ninth, each getting one out with the last, Edgar Gomez, collecting his first collegiate save. Eddie Magallon picked up the win in relief, throwing 2.1 scoreless innings.
Long Beach State hits the road this weekend for the team's final away games in the regular season, playing three games on the road against UC Davis. The Dirtbags will then return to Blair Field for seven straight to close out the year.
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