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Long Beach State Notebook: Dirtbags Off To Worst Start Ever

The Long Beach State Dirtbags are off to their worst start in program history.

LBSU (0-7) has lost its first seven games for the first time ever after getting swept by Nevada last weekend at Bohl Diamond at Blair Field. The previous worst start was 0-6 in 1954, the first season of the program, and LBSU hadn’t lost seven straight games since 2012.

The Dirtbags are hitting .156 as a team to go with a .203 slugging percentage this season, and have been outscored 10-29.

“I think we could be more competitive with more energy,” LBSU coach Troy Buckley said. “We’re not very aggressive and external. We’re not Type A and I want Type A guys out there. I want guys swinging the bat and playing the game.”

There were only a few bright spots over the weekend, and a pair of local boys played big roles on Friday night. Lakewood High alum Matt Fields made the first start of his collegiate career, and Millikan High alum Jacob Hughey got one of only two hits for LBSU in a 1-0 loss to Nevada.

Fields pitched 3.2 scoreless innings while stranding six runners on base. The redshirt sophomore walked two and struck out three, but also hit two batters. His ERA is still 0.00 after two appearances and six innings pitched.

“I thought he grinded,” Buckley said of Fields. “He’s a little outside of a year from his (Tommy John surgery) and the ups and downs are the normal process. He’s very trustworthy, and I give him a lot of credit for his maturity and growth.”

The Dirtbags fell behind again in the 5-3 loss to Nevada on Saturday, but they got  seniors Laine Huffman and John Sheaks back into the lineup. Sheaks allowed four runs on three hits in his first start in almost 20 months. Huffman got LBSU on the board in the bottom of the first inning with a clean RBI single that scored Brooks Stotler, but the Dirtbags were already trailing 3-0 after the rough start for Sheaks.

Nevada completed the sweep by holding off a late rally in a 3-2 win on Sunday.

Men’s Basketball

LBSU (11-18, 5-8) showed a lot of growth last week by closing out two wins in the final seconds and overtime. The Beach came back to beat Cal State Northridge 80-78 on Wednesday at Walter Pyramid thanks to Deishuan Booker’s three free throws on the final possession of regulation.

Booker became the Big West single-season record holder in free throws made with 216, passing Cal State Fullerton’s Leon Wood and UNLV’s Larry Johnson. Booker finished the week 19-for-19 from the line after the Beach came back to beat UC Riverside 71-67 on the road in overtime on Saturday.

Men’s Golf

Wilson High alum and LBSU freshman Tyler Schafer shot a 5-under in his final two rounds of the John A. Burns Intercollegiate in Hawaii last week to finish in a tie for 4th place. LBSU finished ninth in a stacked field of 20 teams.

Indoor Track & Field

Senior Kemonie Briggs and junior Jason Smith finished first and second in the men’s long jump at the MPSF Championships last weekend. Briggs won his second MPSF title while tying his own school record with a jump of 25′ 7.25″.

Women’s Basketball

LBSU (8-18, 5-8) snapped a three-game losing streak with a 62-53 win over UC Santa Barbara on Saturday. Sophomore Naomi Hunt recorded her first-career double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.

Softball

The Beach (6-8) only picked up one win over No. 24 North Carolina after four games at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs last weekend. Senior shortstop Nichole Fry hit a tournament-best three home runs.

Women’s Water Polo

LBSU (4-8) split four games last weekend thanks to wins over Cal State Northridge and San Jose State. Freshman Orsi Hertzka scored a team-best six goals over the weekend, and now leads the team with 30 goals this season.

Women’s Tennis

The Beach (6-0, 2-0) picked up two road wins in the Bay Area last weekend at San Francisco and Saint Mary’s.

Women’s Golf

Freshman Hunter Pate hit a hole in one in the final round of the Rebel Beach Invitational last week, but junior Euna Pak was the top LBSU finisher.

JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler
JJ Fiddler is an award-winning sportswriter and videographer who has been covering Southern California sports for multiple newspapers and websites since 2004. After attending Long Beach State and creating the first full sports page at the Union Weekly Newspaper, he has been exclusively covering Long Beach prep sports since 2007.
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