Title on the Line in Regular Season Finale
May 24, 2008
LONG BEACH-- Long Beach State's Bryan Shaw picked up his eighth save, getting the final two outs in the ninth after Jonathan Jones' two-run double completed a three-run eighth, forcing a Sunday finale for the Big West Championship, following a 8-6 win over No. 6-ranked CS Fullerton (37-18, 16-7 Big West).
LBSU (36-19, 15-8 Big West) sits one game back in the standings, but the winner of Sunday's game at 1 p.m. will receive the automatic berth in next week's NCAA Regional. A Fullerton win gives them the title outright, a win by the Dirtbags sets up a co-championship following a back-and-forth game that saw the Titans lead three times.
Shaw's final two outs were anything but easy, as he got Jared Clark to strikeout with runners on the corners, before Brian Wilson grounded out to even the series. Clark had driven two runs last night and his solo home run in the seventh had given the Titans a 6-5 lead.
The Dirtbags took the lead in the eighth off of reliever Jason Dovel (3-3) and closer Adam Jorgenson. After Dovel put two runners on in a 6-5 game in the eighth, Jorgenson proceeded to walk two of the next three to tie the game at 6-6. Jones then followed with an RBI double over third baseman Joel Weeks to make it 8-6.
It was then up to the bullpen, as Nick Vincent (4-0) finished off the eighth, after Brett Lorin went 4.1 innings or relief of starter Jake Thompson, allowing a single run to Clark, and three hits. Vincent got the first out of the ninth, before Christian Colon singled and Erik Komatsu singled off of reliever Adam Wilk, putting runners on the corners. Shaw then came on for the save.
Daniel Renken pitched the first six innings for CSUF, giving up five runs (three earned) on five hits, as the Dirtbags twice tied the game following leads.
LBSU tied it in the sixth at 5-5, paced by an RBI triple by Danny Espinosa and an RBI groundout by Jason Tweedy. The triple, Espinosa's 13th in his career, moved him into third place all-time.
Jake Thompson's second shortest outing of the season, gave the Titans a 5-3 lead with two straight ground outs in the fourth. Thompson gave up the first five runs on seven hits.
The Titans scored three times against Thompson in the second to lead 3-1, before LBSU tied it up at 3-3 with two runs in the bottom of the inning, the second straight inning the Dirtbags scored following a Titan error.
Regional site announcements will be announced at 4 p.m. on Sunday, while the 64-team field will be announced on Memorial Day at 9:30 a.m. on ESPN.
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