Monday, April 11, 2011

Long Beach State Drops Two of Three to UC Davis

Catcher Mike Marjama gets a base hit in Game 1 vs. UC Davis.
Photo Courtest of LBSU Athletics

Series Overview:
Game 1: L 8-1
Game 2: L 11-1
Game 3: W 3-1

Game 1 -

It looked like the Dirtbag's took the Aggies for granted. Yes, UC Davis has a horrendous record (6-18, 1-3), but they are a college baseball team, not a high school or little league one. The difference between good teams and great teams is great teams take advantage of lesser teams. UC Davis is a team that Long Beach State should feast on, not get beat by.

Nothing was working for the Dirtbag's on this day, not the offense, not the defense, and definitely not the pitching.

The only bright spot on offense was catcher Mike Marjama, who went 2-4 from the plate, other than that, it was a rough day for the Dirtbags on offense. If you take out Marjama's production, the rest of Long Beach State's batters went 3-28. Center fielder Brendan Metzger who scored LBSU's only run felt the lack of offense was only an aberration, "We have been playing well on offense, this was just one of those days where you can't get anything going", he said.

The pitching was just as dismal as the offense, Junior starting pitcher Andrew Gagnon had one of his worst outings of the season. He lasted only 3 2/3 innings while giving up six runs (four earned) and walking three. Freshman Kyle Friedrichs came on in relief of Gagnon and pitched 4 1/3 solid innings. Friedrichs gave up just two runs while the game was already out of reach.

This loss dropped the Dirtbags to 15-13 overall and 2-2 in the Big West

Game 2:

If the Long Beach State Dirtbags thought it couldn't get any worse than a 8-1 loss to UC Davis, it did. A day after dropping the first game of this three game series to the Aggies, the Dirtbags got routed 11-1 in the second game.

The Dirtbags offense was stagnant for a second straight game, the lone bright spot being left fielder Jeff McNeil who wen't 4-4, but other than that, the rest of the team combined to hit 3-27.

The pitching, again, was a big problem for Long Beach. Branden Pinder took the loss, dropping his record to 1-4 on the season. Pinder gave up eight runs (six earned) on 10 hits in just 3 2/3 innings. Junior Matt Johnson came on in relief, and didn't fare much better than Pinder. Johnson gave up three earned runs on five hits in just four innings.

When both the offense and the pitching are struggling, it is nearly impossible to beat anybody. The Dirtbags are now 15-14 overall with a 2-3 mark in the Big West.

Game 3:

After two disappointing losses to the UC Davis Aggies, Long Beach State finally got back on track. The Dirtbags defeated the Aggies 3-1 behind outstanding pitching from Shawn Stuart, Ryan Strufing and Eddie Magallon.

Stuart, the junior starter, pitched six strong innings, allowing just one run on six hits while striking out two. Stuart was happy with his performance, and glad that his teammates could sustain the lead, "I felt good out there today, I had my stuff going, and the guys behind me (Strufing and Magallon) picked me up", he said. Strufing earned his second relief win of the season, allowing just one hit and striking out two of the seven batters he faced. Magallon closed out the victory to get his eighth save of the season.

The stars of the day on offense were first baseman Ino Patron who went 3-4 from the plate with a run scored, center fielder Brennan Metzger who went 2-4 with a run scored and shortstop Kirk Singer who was 2-3 with a run scored.

The Dirtbags put together a solid performance on the mound, in the field, and at the plate - and the result? A win. It is all about consistency for this Long Beach State squad, the talent is unlimited, now they must put it all together on a consistent basis.

With the win, the Dirtbags improved their overall record to 16-14 and 3-3 in the Big West.

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