LBSU Drops Heartbreaker to Texas, 5-3, in 12 Innings
Long Beach State dropped an instant classic vs. Texas, losing 5-3 in 12 innings on Saturday night at Blair Field.
LONG BEACH, Calif. - The sellout crowd at Blair Field couldn't have asked for much more out of Saturday night's meeting between Long Beach State (38-18-1) and Texas (39-22) in the winner's bracket of the Long Beach Regional. The teams went back-and-forth for 12 innings, with the visiting Longhorns eventually pulling out a 5-3 victory on the road.
Travis Jones' two-run, two-out single in the 12th inning gave the Longhorns their first lead of the night in the top of the 12th, and that score would hold up in the bottom half of the inning. The Longhorns also scored on three solo home runs--two from Bret Boswell and one from Zane Gurwitz.
The Dirtbags took a 1-0 lead in the first inning, and led for most of the game by answering the Texas long balls. Daniel Jackson got the first inning rally going with a double past third base. He would later score on a steal of home as Ramsey Romano was caught stealing second, but not before Jackson touched home plate to give LBSU the edge.
After Texas tied the game in the second, Brock Lundquist answered with his fourth home run of the year, a shot to right field and into the Jered Weaver Bullpen to put the Dirtbags back in front, 2-1. The Longhorns tied it with Boswell's second home run in the seventh, but again the Dirtbags answered immediately. With runners at the corners, David Banuelos struck out swinging. The ball got away from Texas catcher Michael Cantu, causing Lundquist to break for second base. Cantu threw down to third base to try to catch Ramsey Romano leaning towards home, but hit him in the leg with his throw. The ball squirted away far enough for Romano to race home and score to make it 3-2 Long Beach State.
After Texas tied the game with their third solo home run, there were two men in scoring position in the top of the eighth. That's when freshman lefty Zak Baayoun came in to record a three-pitch strikeout looking of Boswell to strand a pair.
LBSU nearly won the game in the ninth inning as pinch-hitter Alex Muzzi hit a sinking line drive to right field. Pinch runner Brooks Stotler would've scored the game-winning run easily, but a terrific diving catch by Longhorns right fielder Patrick Mathis sent the game to extra innings.
Things got wild in the bottom of the 10th inning as LBSU nearly won the game again. Luke Rasmussen was thrown out trying to go from first to third on a failed pickoff attempt for the second out of the inning, and that set the stage for the play of the night for the Dirtbags. Jarren Duran hit a triple past Texas left fielder Austin Todd. With Duran's speed, he headed for home plate and a potential walk-off, inside-the-park home run. Instead, the Longhorns executed a strong relay for a close play at the plate, where Duran was called out to send the game to the 12th.
Chris Rivera worked a career-high 4.0 innings and eventually suffered the loss on Jones' game-winning hit. Rivera was nearly able to escape a 1-out, bases loaded jam before the Texas DH delivered the clutch single.
LBSU will look to bounce back on Sunday in the loser's bracket. The Dirtbags face San Diego State at 1 p.m. in an elimination game at Blair Field. The game will be televised on ESPN U. The winner of that game will face Texas at 7 p.m. with the Longhorns looking to win the Long Beach Regional in that game and their opponent looking to force a winner-take-all game Monday at 8 p.m.
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