April 10, 2013
Long Beach, Calif. -
Fresh off of a win Tuesday, Long Beach State hosts UC Davis for a trio of Big West games over the weekend. The series with the Aggies begins on Friday with a 6 p.m. start, followed Saturday with a 2 p.m. game and finishes Sunday at 1 p.m. All Dirtbag games can be followed through live audio or Gametracker at www.longbeachstate.com.
Sunday, the Dirtbags scored three runs in the top of the ninth inning at Pacific to take a late 6-5 lead, but gave back three more in the bottom half of the inning in an 8-6 loss to drop the series. With that fresh in their minds, Long Beach State finished the job Tuesday against San Diego State, trailing 3-0 entering the bottom of the ninth in their return to Blair Field. With Jeff McNeil doubling to start the ninth, the Dirtbags scored three runs to tie the game and force extra innings. Ty Provencher struck out the side in the top of the 11th, and Ino Patron's leadoff triple in the bottom half of the frame led to the win after Josh Guerra drew a walk following intentional passes to Juan Avila and Richard Prigatano. With the win, the Dirtbags won their first and only extra inning game in 2013, and had their second walkoff victory of the season.
Scouting UC Davis
UC Davis comes into the weekend winless in Big West play, but faced two of the top teams in the conference in Cal Poly and Cal State Fullerton, both ranked when they faced the Aggies. Sophomore Nick Lynch is the top hitter for the Aggies, batting .354 on the season with a pair of home runs. Paul Politi also adds pop for UC Davis, leeading the team with 3 home runs and eight doubles while hitting .264. Overall, the team is hitting .284 as a team, fourth highest in the league. However, the staff is holding a 5.21 ERA overall, and has allowing a .300 batting average on the year. Long Beach State holds a 15-9 all-time series lead over the Aggies, though the Dirtbags two of three games in Davis last season.
In league play, the Dirtbags rank second offensively behind a few standout performers. Junior Michael Hill is leading the league with four triples this season, and is sixth in the Big West in slugging percentage at .505, adding four doubles and two home runs while topping the Dirtbags lineup with a .330 batting average. Just behind him is junior Jeff McNeil, who leads the Dirtbags with 40 hits in 124 at-bats, the most on the team. Also leading a conference category is sophomore Richard Prigatano, who has ten doubles, slugging .445 for Long Beach State while batting .319, third on the team with a team-high 19 RBI, just in front of junior Ino Patron, who has 16 RBI while hitting .274.
Jekyll And Hyde
Through non-conference, the Dirtbags have one streak that stands out; Long Beach State has had relative success against right-handed starters, going 10-8 overall on the year, but has gone 3-10 in games against left-handed starters, accounting for the team's sub-.500 record. The overall average of the team has been similar against left-handed hitting, but that success has not transferred into victories. In another similar split, the Dirtbags have welcomed playing at Blair Field, going 11-8 overall, but are now 2-10 on the road this season after dropping their series at Pacific.
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