Monday, April 18, 2011

Dirtbags Bounce Back Against UC Riverside; Take Two of Three

Jeff McNeil had a solid series vs. UC Riverside
Photo Courtesy of Long Beach State Baseball

Series Overview:
Game 1: W 1-0 (12 innings)
Game 2: W 7-5
Game 3: L 14-2

Game 1-

This was an old-fashioned pitching duel. Long Beach starter Andrew Gagnon threw eight strong innings, allowing just one hit and recording a season high 10 strikeouts. Not to be outdone, however, UC Riverside starter Matt Andriese pitched 10 innings allowing just three hits and recording six strikeouts.

The game was decided by the relief pitchers. The Dirtbags counted on Eddie Magallon and Branden Pinder who combined for four scoreless innings allowing just one hit. Once Andriese could no longer go, UCR left the game in the hands of Dylan Stuart.

Stuart gave up the winning run to Dirtbags second baseman Matt Duffy. Duffy singled up the middle in the bottom of the 12th inning which scored Ino Patron and sealed the victory for Long Beach.

Game 2 -

If the first game of this series was a sign of things to come, the sign was way off. The first match up of these two teams featured an amazing pitching battle between CSULB's Andrew Gagnon and UCR's Matt Andriese. This game featured an offensive burst from both teams that resulted in a 7-5 victory for the Dirtbags.

Ino Patron led the offensive charge going 2-4 on the day with two RBI. Second baseman Matt Duffy had a great game for Long Beach with four hits and three runs scored against UC Riverside.

Shawn Stuart got the start for the Dirtbags and tossed 4 1/3 innings allowing four runs on eight hits with eight strikeouts. Matt Johnson came on in relief of Stuart and pitched 4 2/3 strong innings allowing just one run on one hit with six strikeouts, earning him his second win on the season.

Game 3 -

After two solid victories over UC Riverside, the Long Beach State Dirtbags came out and layed an egg. Consistency has been the biggest problem for this team, and the 14-2 loss to UCR in the final game of the three game series proved they still have a ways to go.

The pitching struggled mightily, Long Beach used six pitchers in this game, by far their most this season. Ryan Strufing got the start for the Dirtbags, he went two innings allowing two runs, which is not the kind of production that you want out of your starter. The game got out of hand when Kyle Friedrichs came on in relief of Strufing. Friedrichs pitched 2 1/3 innings allowing six runs on eight hits. From that point forward, the game was out of reach for Long Beach State.

The offense for the Dirtbags did not provide much help either, the lone bright spot on an otherwise gloomy day was left fielder Jeff McNeil, who drove in both of the Dirtbags runs on the day.

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