Slow start hurts Long Beach State in 5-3 loss to Pepperdine
May 15, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - The Dirtbags pulled to within one run twice after Matt Johnson surrendered three runs in the first inning to Pepperdine, but Long Beach State was never able to get over the top in a 5-3 loss Tuesday night to the Waves. Josh Guerra and Jeff McNeil each had two hits for Long Beach State.
Trouble started right off the bat for Long Beach State (25-24), as Zach Vincej started the game with a double, and after a single and advance and a second double, Pepperdine (30-19) was up 2-0 without an out. A sacrifice and a single scored one more run as the Waves led 3-0 after the top of the first.
Johnson settled down, allowing one more hit over his next two innings, and Long Beach State pulled to within one run in the bottom of the third inning. Guerra picked up his second hit of the game to lead off the third, and after a walk to Ino Patron, Juan Avila singled to score Guerra and move Patron over to third base. Patron then scored on a sacrifice fly from Brennan Metzger, his sixth of the season to make the score 3-2.
Sam Meyer singled to start the fourth inning for the Waves, and came around to score on a groundout to add one more insurance run. LBSU answered back again with an unearned run as Royce Murai came around to score to cut the lead to one once more.
Pepperdine added one more run in the sixth inning, and turned the ball over to Eric Karch who had two hitless innings with four strikeouts.
Long Beach State had one final chance in the bottom of the ninth against closer Michael Swanner. McNeil hit a one-out double, and after Michael Hill was hit by a pitch, the Dirtbags had the tying run on base. A failed hit-and-run resulted in McNeil being thrown out at third base for the second out, and a popup then ended the game as Swanner collected his eighth save of the season.
Long Beach State returns to Blair Field this weekend, hosting Pacific for a three-game conference series beginning on Friday, May 18. The Dirtbags sit in second-place in the Big West with six games remaining in the 2012 season.