May 19, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - Sophomore Ryan Strufing struck out a career-high tying seven Tigers on Saturday, but left after seven innings and Pacific scored three in the ninth inning to steal a 5-3 victory over Long Beach State.
Pacific's Josh Simms doubled in the first inning, coming around to score on a single by Riley Drongesen, and then a one-out triple by Daniel Johnston led to a second run as Pacific took a 2-0 lead.
Long Beach State came back to tie the game in the fourth inning. Brennan Metzger led off the inning with an infield single, and after Josh Guerra was hit by a pitch, a sacrifice moved both runners into scoring position for Kellen Hoime, who picked up a pair of RBI with a two-out single.
That score held until the ninth inning. Strufing finished the day with seven strikeouts over seven innings, allowing two earned runs. Jon Maciel worked a 1-2-3 eighth, but took the loss with issues in the ninth.
Trouble began for the Dirtbags in the ninth inning with a single by Simms, his fourth hit of the day. Long Beach State then made an error on a bunt, and a fielder's choice brought home the go-ahead run with no outs. After a sacrifice and an intentional walk to load the bases, a sacrifice fly and a single brought home two more runs to give Pacific a 5-2 lead.
Brennan Fulkerson hit a pinch-hit double and came around to score in the bottom of the ninth, but the lead was too great as the Dirtbags fell 5-3. Mike Hager got the win after pitching eight innings, while John Prato Matthews picked up the save for the Tigers.
Both teams return to Blair Field for the rubber game on Sunday, with first pitch scheduled for 1 p.m.
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