Long Beach State Earns 4-3 Win Over Cal Poly in Big West Baseball Opener
SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. – Long Beach State scored three unearned runs in the seventh inning for a 4-0 lead and held on to defeat Cal Poly 4-3 in a Big West Conference baseball opener for both schools Friday night before 1,038 in Baggett Stadium.
Cal Poly answered with three runs in the bottom of the seventh and had two runners on base with nobody out in the ninth, but couldn't capitalize in falling to 16-9 on the year.
Long Beach State, now 5-9 in one-run games this season, improved to 9-15 overall.
Right-hander Matt Anderson (2-1) allowed two runs and five hits in six-plus innings for the win. Kyle Friedrichs secured the final four outs for his second save.
The loss went to Mustang junior right-hander Joey Wagman (4-2) as he allowed four runs (one earned) and seven hits in seven innings with seven strikeouts and one walk. Redshirt freshman right-hander Reed Reilly tossed two scoreless frames in relief of Wagman, striking out three.
Long Beach State scored a run in the second inning on an RBI double by left fielder Johnny Bekakis and added three more, all unearned, in the seventh on a Mustang throwing error to the plate and a two-run home run by center fielder Brennan Metzger, his first of the year.
Cal Poly rallied for three runs in the bottom of the seventh. Redshirt freshman first baseman Tommy Pluschkell singled and junior second baseman Evan Busby walked. Both runners advanced 90 feet on a passed ball.
Grounders to shortstop by both senior shortstop Mike Miller (pictured above) and pinch-hitter Matt Russell drove in the two runners and junior center fielder Mitch Haniger homered to left field, his sixth of the season, to make it a one-run game.
Both Metzger and Haniger hit the top of the left-field wall in nearly the same spot for their homers.
Pinch-hitter Tim Wise and Miller both singled to open the Mustang ninth. Russell tried to lay down a sacrifice bunt, but third baseman Juan Avila's throw to shortstop Matt Duffy covering third base was in time for the first out.
Haniger flied out to left-center field for the second out, Miller taking third base. Sophomore third baseman Jimmy Allen popped up to second base to end the game.
Both teams collected eight hits.
Miller, Haniger and Allen each had a pair of hits for Cal Poly while Duffy led Long Beach State with a pair of doubles. Miller extended his hitting streak to 13 games with a leadoff single in the first inning and has reached base safely in 24 straight games.
The Mustangs stranded 10 runners on the basepaths.
Second game of the series is scheduled for Saturday night at 6, weather permitting, with senior southpaw Kyle Anderson (4-1, 1.74 ERA) to take the mound for Cal Poly against Long Beach State sophomore left-hander Ryan Strufing (3-1, 2.487 ERA).
Final game of the series is set for Sunday at 1 p.m.