McGeorge Solid in Relief, Dirtbags Win Series at Hawai’i
Garrett Hampson became just the 12th Dirtbags player to reach 200 career hits with a ninth inning bunt single on Sunday in Hawai’i.
Honolulu, Hawai'i - The Dirtbags walked the tightrope again on Sunday afternoon, but gutted out another close win in Honolulu, taking a 4-3 victory over Hawai’i (19-25, 8-10 Big West) to win the series with the Rainbow Warriors. With the victory, Long Beach State improves to 28-18 overall, with an 11-7 record in conference play. Thanks to a UC Santa Barbara loss earlier on Sunday, the Dirtbags are now alone in second place in the Big West behind only Cal State Fullerton.
LBSU scored its winning run in the ninth inning as a sacrifice fly from Zack Domingues brought in pinch runner Zack Rivera for a 4-3 lead. The inning started with a pinch-hit double down the left field line from freshman outfielder Domenic Colacchio, extending his hitting streak to five games. Long Beach State played classic small ball, executing a sacrifice bunt with Jarren Duran before Domingues came through with a sacrifice fly for the go-ahead run.
Garrett Hampson made history in the next at bat, with a bunt single to the right side to record his 200th career hit at Long Beach State. Hampson becomes just the 12th player in Dirtbags history to reach the 200 hit mark in his career. It was part of a three-hit day for Hampson, who had a pair of triples in the game as well. He’s the first LBSU player to hit two triples in one game since Richard Prigatano against Utah Valley back on Mar. 7, 2014.
The Dirtbags led 3-0 with single runs in the first, second and fifth innings. Duran started the game off in an unorthodox way, coming around to score in the game’s first at bat. The freshman second baseman hit a fly ball to left, where Marcus Doi lost the ball in the sun and let the ball drop in for a double. Doi then made an errant throw to the infield which found its way into the Dirtbags dugout, letting Duran come all the way home to score for a 1-0 lead.
In the second, the Dirtbags started the inning with back-to-back singles from Brock Lundquist and Alex Muzzi to get a rally going. After an unsuccessful squeeze play, freshman Brooks Stotler drilled an RBI double to left center, his first of two hits on the afternoon. LBSU added another run in the fifth on Hampson’s two-out triple and an infield RBI hit from Daniel Jackson to score the run.
The Dirtbags offense had at least one hit in every inning, finishing with a total of 15, and everyone who had a plate appearance recorded at least one hit.
Hawai’i put up a three spot in the sixth inning to tie the game, as the first four batters had a hit for the Warriors. The first three were allowed by starter Tanner Brown, who did a nice job through the first five innings before fading in the sixth. Austin McGeorge entered with no outs in the sixth, and despite giving up an RBI groundout to tie the game, 3-3, escaped the inning and stranded a runner at third base.
A walk and a throwing error put two men in scoring position with one out in the seventh, but McGeorge got a grounder to shortstop where Hampson brought a throw home from a drawn-in infield to cut down the potential go-ahead run. All told, McGeorge worked four scoreless innings, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out a pair. It was the junior’s second appearance in less than 24 hours after he pitched a scoreless inning of relief in Saturday night’s win.
Following a Sunday night flight home to the mainland, the Dirtbags will prepare for a weekend series at home against San Jose State. The opening game of the non-conference series is Friday night at 6 p.m. at Blair Field.
NOTES: Long Beach State is now 10-2 in series this season … Luke Rasmussen extended his hitting streak to 12 games, just one shy of LBSU’s season best of 13 games from Lundquist … Speaking of Lundquist, he recorded a hit for the 10th game in a row thanks to his leadoff single in the fifth … Hampson became the first Dirtbag other than Lundquist to triple this season, doing so twice … LBSU had three triples entering this weekend’s series, but now have six as a team … There was only one walk issued in the entire game, drawn by Hawai’i in the seventh inning.
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