No. 25 Long Beach State Stomps UC Davis, 14-1
The Dirtbags matched their highest run total of the season and scored their largest margin of victory with a 14-1 win.
Davis, Calif. - Long Beach State (34-18, 13-7 Big West) controlled every facet of Saturday’s game against UC Davis (16-33, 4-16 Big West), recording their biggest win of the season with a 14-1 drubbing of the host Aggies. The Dirtbags matched their season high with 14 runs, and every LBSU player that came to the plate recorded at least one hit.
Brock Lundquist was the offensive standout, setting a new career high with five hits in his first five at bats. The sophomore left fielder drove in three runs and had a pair of doubles, extending his hitting streak to 16 games. Leadoff man Jarren Duran matched his career high with three runs scored, doubling twice, walking twice, and driving in a pair at the top of the lineup.
Luke Rasmussen collected a pair of hits including a three-run double to break the game open in the top of the second inning, tucking a sharp grounder inside the bag at third to clear the bases for a 4-0 lead. It was one of seven doubles on the day for the Dirtbags, the most they’ve hit as a team since doubling eight times against UC Riverside on Apr. 17, 2010.
The LBSU hitters never let off the gas against the Aggies, scoring a pair of runs in four straight innings from the 5th-8th. The three players who came off the bench and got at bats (Eric Hutting, Garrett Nelson and Alex Muzzi) went a combined 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Nelson, a native of nearby Concord, Calif., ripped the first pitch he saw deep into the right field corner for an RBI double, and received a nice hand from the Dirtbags crowd behind the dugout.
The Dirtbags were also patient at the plate, drawing eight walks. The top four batters in the order (Duran, Zack Domingues, Garrett Hampson and Rasmussen) each drew two walks apiece and scored a total of eight runs combined. LBSU also executed a pair of sacrifice bunts and had two more bunt singles on the day. In the fifth inning, after David Banuelos started with a lined single to left, the Dirtbags executed three straight bunts, with Brooks Stotler and Joey Sanchez both bunting for hits before Duran executed a squeeze bunt in the next at-bat.
Lost in the offensive barrage was Darren McCaughan picking up his ninth win of the year while lowering his ERA to 2.04. He pitched seven innings, allowing a run on six hits with a walk and two strikeouts as he cruised with a big lead. Lucas Jacobsen struck out a pair in the eighth and Jacob Hughey pitched a 1-2-3 ninth as rain started to come down in the final inning.
Saturday brought win No. 34 for the Dirtbags, matching the most for Long Beach State during Troy Buckley’s tenure as head coach. LBSU also won 34 games in 2014, which included a pair of postseason victories.
Long Beach State will look for the sweep of UC Davis tomorrow as senior Tanner Brown (6-3, 3.58 ERA) will take the hill against senior RHP Nat Hamby (3-5, 4.99 ERA). First pitch for the finale is set for 1 p.m.
NOTES: Despite scoring 14 times, there could’ve been even more offense as the Dirtbags left 13 runners on base … LBSU stranded the bases loaded in the fourth, sixth, and ninth inning … A total of 10 players came off the benches in Saturday’s game, either as pinch hitters or defensive substitutions … UC Davis’ starting second baseman Caleb Van Blake pitched the ninth inning for the Aggies, and was the only UCD pitcher to not allow a run.
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