May 25, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - Cal State Fullerton's Dylan Floro pitched a complete-game shutout, holding off the Dirtbags as Long Beach State fell to the Titans 4-0 in the first game of a series that will decide the Big West championship. Matt Duffy and Juan Avila each had two hits for Long Beach State.
Floro was solid throughout, finishing the game on 117 pitches and allowing six Dirtbag hits on the day to collect his third complete game of the season, as Long Beach State was held scoreless for just the third time in 2012.
For Long Beach State, Matt Anderson pitched well for three innings, striking out four, but ran into trouble in the fourth inning. The Titans picked up back-to-back singles to start the frame, and Anderson followed with a walk to load the bases with nobody out. Derek Legg singled to drive home one run, but the Dirtbags recovered to get out of the inning. Jeff McNeil made a spectacular diving catch for the first out, and after a flyball, a groundout by Ivory Thomas ended the inning with the Titans scoring just one run.
Two errors led to three more runs in the top of the sixth inning for the Titans, while Matt Johnson was on the mound. Legg was hit by a pitch to start the rally, and an overthrow on a play at first from Avila allowed Legg to score and Deacon to reach first. Another overthrow, this time as Ino Patron attempted to cut down Deacon at the plate, put another runner in scoring position, and the Titans took advantage with an RBI single by Carlos Lopez to make the score 4-0.
The Dirtbags threatened in the bottom of the seventh, loading the bases after hits from Avila and Duffy and a walk to Josh Guerra, but Michael Hill struck out to end the inning and maintain the shutout for Floro.
Long Beach State now needs to win both Saturday and Sunday to claim the Big West championship and reach the NCAA Regionals as an automatic selection. First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., with Ryan Strufing taking the mound for Long Beach State and facing Cal State Fullerton's Grahamm Wiest.
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