LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Long Beach State’s pitching continued its now week-long dominance with its fourth shutout in a row. The Dirtbags (23-21, 9-5 Big West) defeated visiting Cal State Fullerton 5-0 to set two school records and clinch a series win against their rivals for the first time since 2008.
With Saturday’s shutout win, the Dirtbags have recorded four consecutive shutouts for the first time in school history, extending their scoreless innings streak to 39 innings. It was also the 10th shutout of the season for Long Beach State, which surpassed the school record of nine set in 1965.
Josh Frye improved to 5-0 on the mound as a starter and four of those wins came via the shutout. Frye went eight shut down innings without allowing a runner as far as third and Logan Lombana polished off the win with a perfect ninth. Only Tanner Pinkston reached scoring position for the Titans (22-20, 6-8 Big West), and that came when he doubled in the first inning and was stranded there.
Frye scattered four hits over his eight frames without issuing a walk although he did hit a batter. He also fanned four Titans.
Colby Brenner led the Dirtbags at the plate with a 3-for-4 day. He sparked a rally in the first inning that gave the Dirtbags a 2-0 lead out of the gates. Both Brenner and Garrett Hampson singled and moved to second and third, respectively, on a sacrifice bunt. Michael Hill bounced a ball to first base but Brenner was speedy enough to slide in ahead of the tag for a 1-0 lead. Cameron Pongs brought in Hampson with a sacrifice fly.
Brenner singled in a run in the second to put the Dirtbags out in front 3-0.
Two more runs came across in the sixth on a bizarre play that ended with a Titan error. With Ino Patron on third and Pongs on second the infield was drawn in. A sharp grounder to Matt Chapman at third base left Patron in no-man’s land. He broke for home but ended up in a run-down.
Jared Deacon’s throw back to third base glanced off of Patron’s leg and redirected to the fence down the third base line. Both Patron and Pongs came around to score as the ball continued to roll along the fence line.
Justin Garza took the loss on the mound to fall to 3-3. He pitched seven innings and allowed just five hits and a walk. He hit a couple of batters in the sixth to set up the bizarre situation later in the inning.