May 12, 2014
DIRTBAGS HOST SAN DIEGO IN FINAL MIDWEEK GAME
The Dirtbags are back in Blair Field on Tuesday for their final midweek game of the season to host the University of San Diego Toreros at 6 p.m. Long Beach State returns home after a series sweep of Hawai’i last weekend. The Dirtbags have won eight of their last 10 games and are three games above .500 for the first time this season. San Diego dropped a West Coast Conference series last weekend at Pepperdine and owns a 34-19 overall record.
Long Beach State and San Diego squared off three weeks ago in San Diego with the Toreros sneaking away with a dramatic 4-3 win. The Toreros scored three times in the ninth to capture the comeback win. USD is one of the best hitting teams in the nation and leads the country with 604 hits this year. The hot-hitting Toreros also rank among the nation’s best in slugging percentage and have the second most doubles in the NCAA with 121. Tuesday’s matchup will be a classic matchup as the Dirtbags come into the game with a 3.07 ERA, which ranks 42nd in the nation. They also rank 31st in the country in limiting opponents to 7.8 hits per nine innings. Dirtbag pitchers have help opposing lineups to less than three runs in seven of the last 10 games.
HILL HEADING FOR THREE
Senior Michael Hill was one of three Dirtbags to hit a triple over the weekend, joining Colby Brenner and Richard Prigatano. Brenner became the fourth Dirtbag to hit multiple triples this year and Hill became just the seventh Dirtbag to hit seven triples in a season. The last Dirtbag to hit seven in a single year was TJ Mittelstadt in 2009. His seven triples rank second in the country and are just one behind the national leader. The Dirtbags’ 18 triples rank 15th.
A RARE WEEKEND FOR THE DIRTBAGS
Last weekend’s sweep of Hawaii was riddled with a few rare accomplishments for the Dirtbags. It was Long Beach State’s first road sweep of a three-game series since April of 2009 when LBSU took all three games from Pacific in Stockton, Calif. The middle game of this weekend’s series also marked the first time the Dirtbags had 20 hits in a game since 2011. The opponent the last time the Dirtbags had 20 hits was again Pacific. The same game also featured the last time the Dirtbags had a player record two hits in the same inning. Kirk Singer accomplished the feat on April 1, 2011 against Pacific and freshman Garrett Hampson hit two singles in the fifth inning on Saturday.
PATRON ON FIRE
Senior Ino Patron is heating up at the right time and the Dirtbags are heating up with him. LBSU is three games above .500 for the first time this season after winning eight of its last 10 games. Patron has been the driving force behind the offense, hitting .395 over that stretch to up his batting average to .296. He has four runs batted in and a pair of doubles in the last 10 games. He is one of six Dirtbags to have four RBI in the hot stretch with Michael Hill’s six leading the team.
PERSPECTIVE ON PRIGATANO’S BASE STEALING
Junior Richard Prigatano added two more stolen bases to his league-leading total this weekend. He is now up 18 stolen bases in 20 attempts after totaling just 10 stolen bases in his first two years at the Beach. His total of 18 swipes this year is just one shy of the top-10 seasons in terms of stolen bases in Long Beach State history. Jeremy Reed currently ranks 10th in the record book with 19 stolen bases in 2002. He already has the highest total of stolen bases during the tenure of head coach Troy Buckley and the most since 2009.
HAMPSON HITS KEEP COMING
Freshman Garrett Hampson has been leading the Dirtbags at the plate for most of the year. With four hits this weekend, Hampson pushed his season total to 64 hits during his freshman campaign while starting every game at shortstop. He is the first Dirtbag freshman to reach 60 hits in a season since Troy Tulowitzki did so in the 2004 season. Hampson leads the squad with a .318 batting average and a .413 slugging percentage as well as 32 runs scored.
YES, WE’RE REALLY CALLED THAT
The OFFICIAL nickname of the Long Beach State baseball program is the Dirtbags.
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