Dirtbags Outlast Hawai’i, 11-4, in 12 Innings
The Dirtbags busted out for seven runs in the 12th inning to finally finish off Hawai'i on Saturday night.
Honolulu, Hawai'i - The Dirtbags survived on Saturday night, grinding their way to an 11-4 win in 12 innings against Hawai’i. Long Beach State (27-18, 10-7 Big West) let a two-run lead slip away in the ninth inning, stranding the bases loaded to reach extra innings against the host Rainbow Warriors (19-24, 8-9 Big West), before capturing a marathon win thanks to a seven-run 12th inning.
LBSU took a 1-0 lead in the second on a bases-loaded infield single from Joey Sanchez to score Luke Rasmussen. Hawai’i then responded to tie the game in the third with three softly-hit singles off Long Beach State starter Darren McCaughan.
Three straight hits to begin the sixth inning led to two runs for the Dirtbags, as Brock Lundquist started the rally with a leadoff double, then scored on an RBI single from David Banuelos, who later came around on an RBI groundout from Domenic Colacchio. That was the only time Colacchio was retired on Saturday as the freshman was 3-for-4 to set a new career-high in hits. It’s also his third straight multi-hit game.
Hawai’i grabbed another run in the seventh to close the gap to a 3-2 game as an Ethan Lopez’s would-be-single skidded across the outfield turf past Sanchez in center and all the way to the wall for an RBI triple.
McCaughan pitched well, but was a bit unlucky to allow a pair of runs on five hits in seven innings of work. He walked just one and struck out four, and was in line for his eighth win before a ninth-inning rally from the Warriors spoiled those plans.
Prior to that, however, Austin McGeorge stranded runners at the corners in the eighth inning, striking out the fourth and fifth hitters in the UH lineup to preserve a one-run lead going to the ninth. The Dirtbags tacked on an insurance run off a Hawai’i error, and it would prove necessary in the bottom half.
Closer Chris Rivera got the first out in the bottom of the ninth, then walked Ethan Lopez on a 3-2 pitch after a long battle. The next three batters for Hawai’i recorded base hits, tying the game at 4-4 with just one out in the inning. Following a flyout, Rivera fell behind 3-0 on Jacob Sheldon-Collins and was replaced by Ty Provencher. After throwing a ball to send Sheldon-Collins to first, Provencher induced an inning-ending ground ball to strand the bases loaded and send the game to extra innings.
In extras, both teams had baserunners in every inning leading up to the decisive 12th, with the Dirtbags leaving the bases loaded in the 10th and stranding two more runners in the 11th. In total, LBSU stranded 16 runners while UH left 11 men on base.
Finally, the floodgates would open for Long Beach State in the 12th inning as Brooks Stotler opened the frame with a deep double to right field. Garrett Hampson walked on four pitches while trying to sacrifice bunt, then Jarren Duran’s sacrifice turned into an infield bunt single thanks to his speed. With the bases loaded, Daniel Jackson drilled an 0-2 pitch to the left field corner to score a pair and put the Dirtbags up, 6-4. Later in the inning, Garrett Nelson put an exclamation point on the inning with a towering three-run home run to right field, putting Long Beach on top 11-4. It was Nelson’s fourth homer of the year, tying him for second on the team.
Provencher worked a season-high 3.1 innings of solid relief to pick up the win. The redshirt senior stranded five runners on base, including three in the ninth and one in scoring position in both the 10th and 11th frames.
The game lasted four hours and 54 minutes, which is the second-longest game in Hawai’i baseball history. Interestingly, Saturday’s contest was only 10 minutes longer than Long Beach State’s Tuesday night game against UCLA this week, which was a nine-inning game.
The Dirtbags will look to win the series on Sunday as Tanner Brown (6-3, 3.32 ERA) takes the hill against RHP Brendan Hornung (3-7, 3.23 ERA). First pitch will be at 1:05 p.m. on the islands, which is 4:05 p.m. PT.
NOTES: The three-run home run for Nelson gave him a new career-high on just one swing … Rasmussen extended his hitting streak to 11 games by recording his 12th multi-hit game of the season … The Dirtbags had six players record two or more hits, finishing one off their season high with 20 hits on the night … 11 different players recorded a hit for LBSU and nine different players scored runs … Hawai’i head coach Mike Trapasso was ejected in the 11th inning for arguing an out call at first base … The Dirtbags have now scored double-digit runs five times in their last nine games, going 3-2 in those contests … LBSU improves to 4-1 in extra-inning games this year, none of which have lasted fewer than 12 innings.
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