Feb. 28, 2013
Long Beach, Calif. -
Long Beach State returns home after one game on the road, hosting Seattle for three games this weekend. The Dirtbags begin the series with the Redhawks at 6 p.m. on Friday night, followed by day games on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. All Dirtbag games can be followed through live audio or Gametracker at www.longbeachstate.com.
Seattle has struggled in the early part of the season; after taking a game off of Santa Clara in the team's first series of the season, the Redhawks have lost six in a row, falling in midweek games to Portland and BYU (twice) while getting swept by a Big West competitor, Cal Poly, in a trip to Baggett Stadium. As a whole, the team is hitting .240, and are led by Sean Narby (.375),Ryan Summers (.353), and Landon Cray, (.345) who have all started each game for Seattle U. Pitching is where the Redhawks have been undone, however, with a 5.33 ERA and surrendering a .309 opposing batting average.
Hitting It Off
On the season, the Dirtbags are out-hitting their opposition .262 to .250, and have four regulars hitting over .300. Michael Hill has had a strong start, sitting third in the Big West in slugging at .640, and is leading the team as well with a .400 batting average. Fellow juniors Jeff Yamaguchi and Jeff McNeil are both also hitting over .340, while freshman Eric Hutting is fourth on the team with a .333 batting average. In the heart of the lineup, Richard Prigatano, Ino Patron, and Juan Avila have combined for 16 RBI, 26 hits, and eight extra-base doubles. On the whole, the team is reaching base at a .365 rate, and have also stolen eight bases in nine games.
Return To Form
After struggling on the road at No. 2 Vanderbilt, Long Beach State's pitching returned to the form that carried the team in the last two seasons. Last week, the Dirtbags held opponents to .213 hitting and a 1.40 ERA, allowing just seven earned runs in five games while going 4-1. Jon Maciel had a pair of decisions, picking up a save on Wednesday in the conclusion of game one against Arizona, before returning for a start on Sunday against Valparaiso, getting the win and combining in a shutout with Josh Frye and Eddie Magallon, who earned his first save of the season. Also earning his first save was freshman David Hill, finishing off Saturday's game in support of Landon Hunt (1-0), and Shane Carle had another strong start on Friday, striking out six over seven innings in a win. Carle's ERA is the best among the starters at 1.50, and as a team, the Dirtbags now have a 3.62 ERA through nine games.
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