May 31, 2014
Gainesville, Fla. - An error at a crucial moment in the seventh inning sunk the Dirtbags' chances at victory in a 6-3 loss to College of Charleston in the team's second game at the Gainesville regional.
Leading 2-1, the Cougars tied the game after a leadoff walk with a single and a sacrifice fly. With one out, starting pitcher Josh Frye caught a comebacker, but the attempt to double off the runner at first to end the inning sailed wide, scoring one more run, and the next pitch to Ben Boykin was launched to right field, giving the Cougars a 5-2 lead.
The Dirtbags pulled back one run in the top of the seventh inning on a sacrifice fly by Garrett Hampson after a leadoff single by Colton Vaughn, but a solo home run from Nick Pappas pushed the Cougar advantage to three runs.
The College of Charleston (43-17) drew first blood, taking advantage of a leadoff walk. With Blake Butler on base, an infield single moved the runner over, and then a deep fly ball and a groundout pushed Butler across to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead after the first inning.
Long Beach State (33-25) evened things up in the fourth inning, as Richard Prigatano walked with one out. The junior proceeded to steal second base, setting up the run and becoming the 10th LBSU player to steal 20 bases in a season.
Johnny Bekakis came through with an RBI single through the left side, bringing home Prigatano to tie the game.
Frye was able to escape a jam in the fifth, and then The Beach was able to take the lead in the sixth inning. Ino Patron doubled down the line to start the rally, and after Prigatano was hit, Michael Hill beat out a bunt to load the bases. A sacrifice fly from Zack Belanger scored Patron to give the Dirtbags a 2-1 lead.
The loss puts the Dirtbags in the elimination game against North Carolina at 10 a.m. PT on Sunday. A win in that contest for Long Beach State would give the Dirtbags a rematch with the Cougars at 7 p.m. in the Regional Finals.
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