May 22, 2014
LONG BEACH, Calif. – Undeterred by a late inning rally that them in a hole, the Long Beach State Dirtbags countered with a rally of their own to grab a 3-2 comeback win over UC Irvine on Thursday. The Dirtbags (30-24, 15-7 Big West) scored twice with two outs in the eighth inning to get their 30th win of the season and pull into a tie for second place in the Big West.
UC Irvine (30-24, 15-7 Big West) score twice in the top half of the eighth to take a 2-1 lead but the Dirtbags immediately countered. Colby Brenner singled with one out and moved to third as Ino Patron ripped a single into right field with two outs.
After the singled, the Anteaters went to closer Sam Moore in the bullpen to match up with the Dirtbags’ Richard Prigatano. Prigatano sent the second pitch he saw bouncing back up the middle and into center field to tie the game at 1-1.
Both starting pitchers were solid on the mound with Rohrbach getting no decision after 7.1 innings and Andrew Morales taking the tough loss after a spectacular 7.2 innings. Morales was charged with both runs in the eighth after giving way to his bullpen.
Morales struck out eight and allowed just five Dirtbag hits. Rohrbach allowed seven hits through his seven-plus innings and struck out five. He was charged with both runs.
Both of those runs came in the eighth when UCI strung together four of their seven hits. Two one-out singles put runners on the corners with one out. However, Rohrbach had already wiggled out of a couple of jams unscathed. He left the bases loaded in the fifth and stranded runners on the corners in the seventh to maintain the Dirtbags 1-0 lead.
This time, Taylor Sparks smacked a liner back up the middle to score Chris Rabago. That was when head coach Troy Buckley went to the bullpen. Provencher went up 1-2 on Jonathan Munoz but Munoz was able to muscle a fly ball out to left deep enough for Connor Spencer to score and give UCI its short-lived lead.
Hill scored in the second after leading off the inning with a double to give the Dirtbags an early lead. Johnny Bekakis drove him with a grounder to third.
Both Prigatano and Brenner had two hits to lead the Dirtbags to the much-needed win in their final series of the season. The Dirtbags will look to clinch the series tomorrow when the Black & Blue Rivalry resumes at Blair Field at 6 p.m.
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