Smith Deals, Dirtbags Dominate SDSU in NCAA Opener
LBSU won its opening game of the NCAA Regional, shutting out San Diego State, 6-0.
LONG BEACH, Calif. - The 2017 Long Beach Regional got off to a perfect start for the host Dirtbags, who needed just one arm to get through their opening game of the postseason. Senior RHP Dave Smith delivered a career-best performance in his first postseason start, throwing a complete game shutout in Long Beach State's 6-0 win over San Diego State on Friday night at Blair Field.
The top-seeded Dirtbags improve to 38-17-1 on the season and will face No. 2 seed Texas at 7 p.m. on Saturday in the winner's bracket. No. 4 seed SDSU falls to 41-20 and will take on No. 3 seed UCLA at 1 p.m. on Saturday in an elimination game.
This was Smith's first career shutout and first career complete game, following up a career-long start in his last outing at Blair Field. Smith helped LBSU clinch a Big West title with a then-career-high 8.0 innings pitched in a 2-1 win over Hawai'i on Senior Day. In his last two outings at Blair Field, Smith combined to throw 17.0 innings, allowing just one run on 11 hits and a walk. He lowered his season ERA to just 1.39 while improving his record to 9-1.
Smith benefitted from quick offense as Long Beach put a three-spot on the board in the first inning. A pair of infield singles by Jarren Duran and Lucas Tancas put the Dirtbags in business, then a double steal put two runners in scoring position for Ramsey Romano. LBSU's leading RBI man did his job with a grounder to the right side to plate Duran and put the Beach in front.
Brock Lundquist followed that up with an opposite-field RBI single to score Tancas and double the lead. After a David Banuelos single, Luke Rasmussen ripped an RBI knock to left field to score Lundquist and make it a 3-0 Dirtbags lead.
LBSU added another run in the second inning as Tancas singled through the left side to bring home Laine Huffman, who led off the inning with a hit-by-pitch. With Smith cruising on the mound, the Dirtbags added two insurance runs in the sixth. Duran came up with two outs and the bases loaded, lining a two-RBI single to left field to score Rasmussen and Banuelos and make it 6-0 Long Beach State.
Meanwhile, Smith scattered his five singles and benefitted from a pair of double plays. Only two Aztecs reached scoring position in the entire game as Smith gave his teammates in the bullpen the night off.
LBSU will be in the winner's bracket on Saturday, taking on Texas at 7 p.m. on ESPN3. Two-time Big West Pitcher of the Year Darren McCaughan (8-2, 2.66 ERA) will get the ball for the Dirtbags, taking on RHP Morgan Cooper (6-3, 2.32 ERA) for the Longhorns.
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