Freshman Zack Rivera hit a three-run home run, the first of his career.
May 24, 2013
Irvine, Calif. - Zack Rivera hit a towering, three-run home run in the seventh inning for the Dirtbags, but Long Beach State was already in too big of a hole, and ended up falling Friday at UC Irvine by a final score of 8-4.
Left-hander Jake Stassi set down the Anteaters in order during the first inning, but UC Irvine (33-21, 15-11 Big West) took a lead in the second inning as Taylor Sparks hit a solo home run to get a rally going. Ronnie Shaeffer kept the action going with a single, and after a walk, Scott Gottschling drove in both runs to give the Anteaters a 3-0 lead.
Leadoff doubles in both the third and fifth inning by UC Irvine led to additional runs, as each came around to score, but Long Beach State (28-27, 14-12 Big West) was able to keep the damage to just a single run each time. Stassi continued through six innings, despite giving up two more runs in the bottom of the sixth.
Long Beach State charged back in the top of the seventh inning. Juan Avila and Ino Patron each hit singles to start the inning, and Rivera cracked a mammoth homer to left field to get the Dirtbags on the board. Eric Hutting and Josh Guerra each followed with singles, and after an error loaded the bases, Jeff McNeil hit a sacrifice fly to center, making the score 7-4.
The Anteaters added one more run in the bottom of the seventh on an RBI triple by Chris Rabago, but Ty Provencher was able to limit the damage to a single run.
The Dirtbags finish off the 2013 campaign with one final game at UC Irvine, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m. A victory would give Long Beach State its third consecutive winning season under head coach Troy Buckley.
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