Early run enough for Long Beach State in 1-0 upset of No. 2 Cal Poly
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Ty Provencher pitched Long Beach State out of a jam in the seventh and finished off the game to preserve Nick Sabo’s gem and a 1-0 Dirtbag victory against No. 1 Cal Poly on Sunday. The win gave the Dirtbags (20-21, 7-5 Big West) the upset series win over No. 2 Cal Poly (36-7, 12-3 Big West).
Sabo limited one of the top hitting teams in the nation to just two hits through 6.2 innings. He struck out two and walked three to get the win on the mound and Provencher finished off the masterpiece for his second save.
Sabo pitched most of the game with a lead as the Dirtbags scored the game’s only run with a two-out rally in the bottom of the first. With two away, Ino Patron’s grounder was misplayed at first base to extend the inning.
The Dirtbags capitalized with back-to-back singles. Richard Prigatano singled up the middle to move Patron up to second and Michael Hill followed it up with a line drive into center field. Patron motored around third and slid in ahead of the throw at the plate to give the Dirtbags the lead.
That was all Sabo needed. The Mustangs first challenged the Dirtbags lefty in the fifth when Chris Hoo’s single loaded the bases with one out.
Matt Mathias came to the plate but Sabo induced a ground ball directly to Hill at third. Hill promptly stepped on third and made a strong throw to first to double up Mathias and end the threat.
Casey Bloomquist went to work on the mound to keep the Mustangs in the game. He allowed just the one unearned run through five innings before leaving with an injury. The Dirtbags touched him up for seven hits but never had a runner stand on third after the first inning. Colton Vaughn rounded third in the fifth, but was cut down at the plate after Colby Brenner’s double.
Taylor Chris pitched the final three frames and allowed just one infield single to Johnny Bekakis but kept the Dirtbags off the scoreboard.
The Mustangs threatened again in the seventh when an error and a couple of walks issued by Sabo loaded the bases with two outs. Provencher came out of the bullpen and escaped Sabo’s jam with an inning ending foul out to Patron at first.
Provencher went the final two frames and sat down the last five batters in order, including a pair of strikeouts in the ninth. He issued an inning-opening walk in the eighth, but Garrett Hampson erased it when he snagged a soft liner moving into center field and doubled off the runner at first.
Sabo and Provencher combined for the Dirtbags seventh shutout of the season and their second 1-0 win of the season.