No. 7 Dirtbags Battle for 2-1 Win Over Hawai’i
LBSU improved to 6-0 in Friday home games with a 2-1 win over Hawai’i at Blair Field.
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Thanks to another impressive start from reigning Big West Pitcher of the Year Darren McCaughan, No. 7 Long Beach State (33-16-1, 16-3 Big West) improved to 16-3 at home this season with a 2-1 win over Hawai’i (26-20, 8-11 Big West). McCaughan made his 11th quality start in 14 trips to the rubber this season, improving to 8-2 on the year with eight scoreless innings.
The righthander scattered seven hits and a pair of walks during his 8.0 innings of work, benefitting from three double plays turned by the Dirtbags defensively. McCaughan also collected eight strikeouts to bring his season total to 92, which ranks second in the Big West.
LBSU gave McCaughan some early run support thanks to Jarren Duran’s leadoff triple in the bottom of the first inning. The speedy second baseman came home on a line drive RBI single from Daniel Jackson to put LBSU on top 1-0 after just two hitters.
Hawai’i threatened in the ninth inning after McCaughan departed the game, but came up a run shy. The Rainbow Warriors nearly had a one-out baserunner as Chayce Ka’aua reached on a ball that was dropped down the right field line. However, Ka’aua was thrown out at second base on a heads up play by Daniel Jackson, who picked up the ball in fair territory and threw out the runner. The very next batter, Alex Fitchett, hit a deep home run to center field, but it was just a solo shot instead of a game-tying homer thanks to Jackson’s play.
Dirtbags closer Chris Rivera shook off the home run and picked up a strike out to finish the game and secure his ninth save of the season.
LBSU will look to clinch yet another series in Saturday’s ballgame, and also has a chance to clinch at least a share of the Big West title depending on other results. RHP John Sheaks (7-2, 3.55 ERA) will start for the Dirtbags, taking on LHP Dominic DeMiero (2-2, 2.65 ERA). First pitch is scheduled for 2 p.m.
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