LBSU Clinches Series vs. Hawai’i with 8-4 Win
Long Beach State fell behind 2-0 early, but scored seven unanswered runs to take an 8-4 win on Saturday.
LONG BEACH, Calif. - The Dirtbags shrugged off a 2-0 first-inning deficit with seven unanswered runs to take an 8-4 victory over Hawai’i (26-21, 8-12 Big West) on Saturday afternoon at Blair Field. Long Beach State (34-16-1, 17-3 Big West) has now won nine consecutive series and is an impressive 18-4 at home this season. LBSU is just one win away from clinching at least a share of the Big West championship, and could clinch the title outright in Sunday’s series finale.
Brooks Stotler had two hits and a pair of RBIs, Laine Huffman collected two hits and two runs, and Ramsey Romano also had a two-hit day at the plate. In total, eight different players recorded hits for the Dirtbags, with seven players scoring runs and six recording RBIs.
That balanced offensive attack keyed LBSU’s comeback after Kekai Rios gave UH an early lead with a two-run home run in the top of the first inning. Long Beach State would score seven unanswered runs to take a 7-2 advantage after five innings, allowing the bullpen to finish things off.
Stotler got the Dirtbags on the board with a two-out, two-RBI single in the second inning to bring home Brock Lundquist and Luke Rasmussen. Laine Huffman then put LBSU in front with an RBI single to left, bringing in Stotler for a 3-2 lead. David Banuelos tacked on a run in the fourth with an RBI single to score Romano, who led off that inning with a double.
LBSU put up another three-spot in the fifth as the Dirtbags loaded the bases with no outs, setting up Lucas Tancas for a two-run double to right center, extending his hitting streak to 15 games. Romano then drove a sacrifice fly to the warning track in left, making it 7-2 Long Beach State. Jarren Duran’s RBI double to bring home Huffman ended the scoring in the sixth.
Tyler Radcliffe worked 4.0 innings of solid relief to pick up the win, his first of the season. Radcliffe entered in the second and worked four scoreless innings before encountering trouble in the sixth as the Rainbow Warriors scored twice. Connor Riley worked a scoreless inning despite allowing a single and two walks, Zak Baayoun was effective in his 2.0 innings of work picking up a pair of strikeouts, and Josh Advocate pitched a perfect ninth inning to end it.
The Dirtbags will look for the sweep on Sunday after honoring its seven seniors from the Class of 2017. First pitch for the final regular season home game is set for 1 p.m. as senior RHP Dave Smith (7-1, 1.77 ERA) takes on RHP Jackson Rees (5-1, 3.77 ERA).
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