Long Beach State Evens Series Wtih Pacific Baseball, 6-2
Gio Brusa went three-for-four while Tyler Sullivan and Dustin Torchio each collected a pair of hits, but Long Beach State emerged with a 6-2 in in game two over the Pacific baseball team Saturday at Klein Family Field.
Sophomore RHP Michael Benson was solid for eight innings, allowing three earned runs on eight hits while striking out five and walking none. But Long Beach State bunched their hits together in the fourth for all three runs.
Pacific opened with a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Sophomore CF Tyler Sullivan doubled to center and after sophomore 1B Erik Lockwood reached on an error, freshman LF Brett Sullivan's chopper to first plated his brother for the first run. Junior C Jason Taasaas followed with a fielder's choice for the second run.
In the top of the second, Long Beach 1B Jeff Yamaguchi led off with a triple to left center and RF Richard Prigatano followed with a single to the hole in short. After Benson fanned DH Zack Belanger, LBSU executed a hit an run with C Eric Hutting slapping a bouncer through the vacated hole at second base. CF Colby Brenner added an RBI double to right and 2B Jeff McNeil hit a sacrifice fly to left before Benson escaped further damage.
Both starters found their grooves after that, as Benson retired nine in a row and didn't let two men on base at the same time again, scattering three hits over the following six innings.
LBSU LHP Jake Stassi held the Tigers at bay, as the Tigers put a runner on in each of the second through fifth innings. But opportunities to score never materialized as Pacific hit into a pair of double-play balls.
In the seventh, down 3-2, Brusa - the Tigers' freshman DH - singled up the middle to lead off the inning, but a pair of foul bunt attempts preceded a fielder's choice. After Stassi came back with a strikeout for the second out, Tyler Sullivan singled to left to set up first and second with two outs, but Stassi recorded a strikeout to end the inning.
Long Beach tacked on three in the nit, as Prigatano reached and took second on a throwing error, and after a sacrifice bunt, Hutting, Brenner and McNeil hit consecutive RBI doubles before freshman RHP Nick Viola got out of the inning with a strikeout.
Brusa's double off the wall in left was Pacific lone hit of the ninth.
Benson fell to 2-3 on the season, while Stassi improved to 3-1 and RHP Jon Maciel registered his fourth save. Maciel entered with two outs in the eighth, in a 3-2 ballgame, and retired four of the five men he faced.
Pacific falls to 8-17 on the year and 1-4 in the Big West, while Long Beach moves to 12-17 overall (3-2 Big West).
The Tigers will go for the series victory in the rubber game of the three-game set on Sunday at 1 p.m.