Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Dirtbags Put Up Fight Against #12 UCLA, But Fall Short

Ino Patron celebrates during a comeback.
Photo Courtesy of LBSU Athletics

In what can be described as the biggest test the Dirtbags may face all season, Long Beach State put up a good battle against the twelfth ranked team in the country, UCLA. The game went back and forth at Jackie Robinson Stadium, but ended with a 6-4 UCLA win. Despite the loss, there are a lot of good things that Long Beach can take away from this game.

The Dirtbags scored four runs on eight hits against UCLA starter Zack Weiss, but it wasn't enough against an extremely potent Bruin offense. Ino Patron led the way for Long Beach, going 2-3 with a run scored. Mike Marjama got back on track, going 1-4 with one RBI. Juan Avila and Kirk Singer combined to go 2-7 with two RBI.

The production by the Dirtbag offense was steady, but the pitching staff could not keep UCLA lead-off hitter Chris Giovinazzo off the base paths. Giovinazzo, a right fielder, went 3-5 from the plate with a homerun and two stolen bases. UCLA left fielder Cody Keefer also had a huge game for the Bruins, going 3-4 with three RBI.

Freshman Jake Stassi got the start for the Dirtbags, and he just couldn't get into a rhythm against the high-powered UCLA squad. Stassi lasted just two innings, surrendering three earned runs on five hits. Kyle Friedrichs came on in relief of Stassi and did a good job of keeping the Dirtbags in the game. Friedrichs pitched three strong innings, allowing two runs (both unearned on errors) while striking out four batters. Matt Johnson came on for Friedrichs in the sixth and pitched two innings allowing one run.

The Dirtbags performed well despite the loss, they had a solid offensive game, and it seemed like the game was too big for Freshman starter Jake Stassi.

With non-conference loss, Long Beach State dropped to 16-15 on the season, and stayed idle in the Big West.

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