May 18, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - Johnny Bekakis was 3-for-3 with a double and two runs scored to stake Long Beach State to a 5-2 lead, and sophomore Kyle Friedrichs finished the job with a tremendous relief appearance, making a four-out save to seal the win and stop a late Pacific rally as the Dirtbags won 5-4.
Bekakis started off the bottom of the first with a double, and came around to score on an RBI single from Brennan Metzger, and Juan Avila, who had been hit by a pitch, scored on an RBI single by Josh Guerra to give the Dirtbags a 2-0 lead.
Matt Anderson, who had thrown two solid innings, ran into control issues in the third inning, walking three batters, making an error, and throwing a wild pitch, but with the bases loaded, induced a groundout from Tigers cleanup hitter Riley Drongesen to get out of the inning with only one run scored.
Matt Johnson took over in relief for the Dirtbags, throwing 4.1 innings and allowing just one hit and one run before reaching the eighth inning. In the meantime, Long Beach State had opened a 5-2 lead, putting the leadoff batter on in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, and pushing those batters all around to score.
In the eighth, however, after picking up an out, Johnson ended his day with a single, and Eddie Magallon surrendered three hits as the Tigers cut the Long Beach State lead to one with at 5-4. With the tying run at second base and the go-ahead run on at first, the Dirtbags turned to their closer Kyle Friedrichs, who struck out Taylor Murphy on three pitches to end the threat.
Friedrichs surrendered two hits in the ninth but struck out Tigers' star Erik Lockwood, who came into the game hitting .379, to end the game and collect his ninth save of the season. In addition to Bekakis' three hits, both Metzger and Josh Guerra finished the game with two RBI for the Dirtbags to lead the offense.
The Dirtbags return to Blair Field tomorrow for game two against the Tigers at 5:30 p.m. Ryan Strufing will take the hill for Long Beach State, while Mike Hager will get the start for Pacific. The first 1,500 fans in attendance for Saturday's game will receive an exclusive Jered Weaver bobblehead.
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