LONG BEACH, Calif. -- All the runs came early as the Long Beach State Dirtbags came from behind with an 8-5 win over No. 17 UCLA on Sunday. The Dirtbags (15-15) captured the series win against UCLA (18-12) behind another three-RBI day from Richard Prigatano and a shutout effort from the bullpen.
Nick Rossetta and Logan Lombana combined for the shutout effort in relief. The Dirtbags were forced to go to the bullpen early after Ryan Strufing was touched up for five runs on four hits in the second inning. Rossetta came in to finish up the second and needed just one pitch to get out of the bases loaded jam.
From then on, Rossetta and Lombana took control on the mound. Rossetta went four more innings without issuing a walk. He allowed just two hits through his four innings and never allowed a runner to reach third after retiring the first four batters he faced.
Lombana took over in the seventh and retired nine in a row after a small hiccup to start off his relief effort. He hit the first batter he faced and walked the next to put two on with no outs. A couple of strikeouts and a ground out ended the threat with no damage and Lombana went 1-2-3 in the eighth and ninth to earn the save. Rossetta came away with his first win.
The Dirtbags took a 2-0 lead in the first when Ino Patron doubled in Garrett Hampson and Prigatano singled in Patron. UCLA responded by sending 10 batters to the plate in the second to take the 5-2 lead. A sacrifice fly plated Ty Moore, who doubled to start the inning. With two on and one out, Trent Chatterton laid down the squeeze bunt to score the next run and Pat Galagher’s single handed the Bruins the lead.
A walk and hit by pitch scored one more UCLA in the second before another bases loaded walk brought in the fifth run of the inning and ended Strufing’s day.
UCLA wouldn’t get many scoring opportunities the rest of the day while Long Beach State continued to light up the scoreboard, scoring in each of the first four innings. Three singles in a row from the bottom of the order plated the Dirtbags’ first run in the third with Colton Vaughn knocking in Eric Hutting. A bunt single from Bekakis loaded the bases and chased UCLA starter Cody Poteet from the game as UCLA was forced to take an early dip into its bullpen.
Scott Burke was the first of four relievers in the game and retired the first two Dirtbags he faced. However, Richard Prigatano dropped a single into right field to score two more runs and tie the game at 5-5. Michael Hill’s chopper back to the mound was misplayed, allowing a run to score instead of ending the inning, to give the Dirtbags the 6-5 lead.
Hutting’s triple to start the third was cashed in by Vaughn for his second RBI and Alex Bishop brought home Prigatano with a ground out in the fourth to completes the scoring. The Dirtbags weren’t able to get much more going off the UCLA bullpen but held on to the 8-5 lead to capture the series.