Dirtbags Hold On at LMU for Sixth Straight Win
LBSU stranded the bases loaded in the ninth inning to escape Los Angeles with a 5-4 win over LMU.
Los Angeles, Calif. - The Dirtbags walked the tight rope in the ninth inning, but made it safely to the finish line in a 5-4 win over Loyola Marymount (26-27) on Tuesday night. Long Beach State (32-18) allowed a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth, and ended the game with a bases-loaded strikeout to secure the one-run victory. The Beach has now won six straight games, representing a season-long winning streak for the No. 25-ranked team in the country.
Lucas Jacobsen made his first career start for the Dirtbags and looked good in his new role, covering a career-high 4.2 innings while allowing just one hit. The southpaw also issued a career-best six strikeouts, but did walk four batters, two of which came around to score on a bloop single against reliever Chris Rivera.
From that point on, Rivera was solid. The freshman worked 3.1 innings, the longest of his brief career, allowing no runs on three hits with a career-high three strikeouts.
Austin McGeorge gave up four hits and a walk in an uncharacteristically shaky ninth inning, but the junior came up with a huge strikeout to strand the bases loaded and secure his fourth save of the season.
The Dirtbags never trailed in the game, taking a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Luke Rasmussen started the rally with a single to left field, which extended his hitting streak to 16 games. He would later score on an RBI single from Daniel Jackson. The lead doubled in the fourth on a solo home run off the bat of Brock Lundquist, his second of the season. The left fielder finished the night with two RBIs, extending his hitting streak to 14 games.
After Spencer Erdman’s two-run bloop single for LMU tied the game in the fifth, LBSU went right back to work. Zack Domingues and Garrett Hampson both reached on consecutive bunt singles to lead off the top of the sixth, then the bases were loaded on a walk to Rasmussen. After an RBI groundout and an intentional walk, David Banuelos lined a crucial RBI single to left field to score a pair. The sophomore catcher continues to deliver with runners in scoring position, and he collected his seventh multi-RBI game of the campaign.
The Lions put together quite the rally off McGeorge in the ninth, as the first three batters singled to bring in a run and put the tying run on base in a 5-3 ballgame. The Dirtbags then caught a break as pinch runner Joe Murray tried to advance to third on a ball in the dirt, but was gunned down at third base for the first out on a nice play from Banuelos behind the plate. Banuelos also caught a runner trying to steal second in the bottom of the eighth.
After a walk and a hit-by-pitch loaded the bases again with one out, McGeorge got a flyout to center to record the second out. Erdman then hit one to the left side of the infield, past a diving Domingues at third. Hampson was able to range back at make a diving play to keep the ball in the infield and halt the potential tying run at third. After a long at-bat, McGeorge was able to strike out Austin Miller on a 2-2 pitch to strand the bases loaded for the victory.
LBSU has now concluded its non-conference schedule and has two more Big West series remaining. This weekend, the Dirtbags are on the road at UC Davis, before hosting first-place Cal State Fullerton to close out the regular season the following weekend at Blair Field.
NOTES: The loss ends LMU’s season as the Lions did not qualify for the West Coast Conference Tournament … Jeff Nellis made his first career start at second base on Tuesday night … Brooks Stotler started in center field and batted in the leadoff spot for the first time in his career … This was the first time McGeorge has allowed more than one run in an appearance … Jacobsen pitched 2.2 innings longer than his previous longest outing, and racked up twice as many strikeouts (6) than he’s had in any other appearance.
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