Oct. 16, 2013
LONG BEACH, Calif. - The Long Beach State Dirtbags are back out on the baseball diamond for the start of their fall season this week. The fall season will feature a few games open to the public. The Dirtbags will be taking on USC at Blair Field on Nov. 23. Fans are also invited to get a sneak peek at the 2014 squad during the annual Dirt vs. Bags series to be played the weekend of Nov. 15-17. Start times will be announced at a later date.
The Dirtbags will suit up 35 players this fall as they prepare for the 2014 season - the fourth under head coach Troy Buckley's leadership. Buckley will look to lead the squad to a fourth consecutive winning season. Many of the players on Buckley's roster scattered over the summer to play in various leagues around the nation.
Several players report back to the Beach with summer awards under their belts and are ready to translate that summer success into success this spring. Pitchers Nick Rosetta and Nick Sabo were each named the Pitcher of the Year from their respective summer leagues. Sabo earned the top honors from the West Coast League where he played with the Klamath Falls Gems. He posted a 6-3 record in 12 starts with the Gems while having a 2.63 ERA. His six wins and 57 strikeouts led the league. Sabo made 15 appearances with the Beach in 2013, including five starts. He posted a 3.43 ERA on his way to a 3-3 record.
Rosetta was the Pitcher of the Year for the Texas Collegiate League where he played for the East Texas Pump Jacks. Rosetta tossed a pair of shutouts on his way to a 6-2 record with a league-low 1.23 ERA. Rosetta saw limited action with the Dirtbags last year but did not surrender a run in his five appearances.
Sabo wasn't the only Dirtbag honored by the WCL. Shortstop Alex DeGoti earned All-WCL Second Team honors while pitcher Ty Provencher also earned Honorable Mention from the WCL. All three Dirtbags honored by the WCL earned spots on the league's top-50 prospect list. Sabo was listed at No. 15, DeGoti was No. 37 and Provencher landed at No. 40. Baseball America listed Sabo as the sixth-best prospect out of the WCL.
Johnny Bekakis also earned some summer recognition out of the Northwoods League. Bekakis roamed the outfield for the LaCrosse Loggers, hitting .263 while drawing 34 walks. He also stole 12 bases and knocked in 46 RBIs. The league listed the Dirtbags outfielder as its No. 62 prospect.
Josh Frye also earned recognition on the Northwoods League All-Star team as a starting pitcher for the LaCrosse Loggers. Frye posted a 1.96 ERA in 17 relief appearances for the Dirtbags in 2013. Over the summer, he led the Northwoods League with 79 strikeouts over 12 starts. He tossed 76 innings over those 12 starts and posted a 3.32 ERA on the way to a 6-3 record.
The Dirtbags return seven regular starters and three of their five top-hitters to the lineup. Michael Hill led all returners last year with a .336 batting average in 36 starts to go along with his team-leading three home runs. Richard Prigatano and Ino Patron will also return to the lineup after hitting .302 and .301 last year, respectively. Bekakis will also return to the Dirtbags roster in 2014 after missing all of the 2013 season.
Jake Stassi will also return to the mound after leading weekend starters in 2013 with a 3.32 ERA. Lefty pitcher Ryan Strufing will also make his way back into the rotation while closer Kyle Friedrichs returns to bullpen after missing 2013.
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