LBSU Dirtbags
Long Beach State

Long Beach State Dirtbags Roll Over Fresno State 24-10


Thursday’s series opener at Fresno State (11-15) will go down as Long Beach State’s (11-15) best offensive performance of this millennium. The Dirtbags racked up 24 runs on 25 hits in a 24-10 thrashing of the host Bulldogs at Bob Bennett Stadium.

Redshirt sophomore and Long Beach native Jacob Hughey led the charge offensively, making just his fourth career start in the batting order. Primarily used as a pitcher in college after serving as a two-way player at Millikan High School, Hughey has started the last three games at first base for the Dirtbags. On Thursday, Hughey tied Long Beach State’s single-game hits record, joining Jaron Madison (Apr. 17, 1998) as the only Dirtbags to have six hits in a single game.

Hughey was 6-for-7 with a double, six runs scored and five RBIs. Entering Thursday’s game, he had six hits, one run scored, and zero RBIs in his career.

But it wasn’t just Hughey having a career night at the plate, as LBSU reached the 25-hit mark as a team for the first time since 2001. Eleven different players had hits for Long Beach State, including all nine starters. Every starter also scored at least two runs in the win, and six hitters had multiple RBIs.

Clayton Andrews, another two-way standout for the Dirtbags, was 3-for-3 with three runs, three RBIs, two walks and a sacrifice fly. Tristan Mercadel had a career-high four hits and three RBIs to go with a pair of doubles. Brooks Stotler had Jarren Duran also added three hits apiece, with Stotler collecting three RBIs. The Dirtbags did mix a home run in there as well, as Shaq Robinson hit his first homer as a Dirtbag with a two-run shot in the fourth inning.

LBSU only failed to plate a run in two innings on Thursday, and scored a combined total of 18 runs in innings 4-6. After taking a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, LBSU scored six times in the fourth to make it 10-0, then led 14-0 at the halfway point. After Fresno State got on the board with four runs in the bottom of the fifth, the Dirtbags scored eight times in the top of the sixth to put the game out of reach for good.

In the early stages of the game, the Dirtbags found interesting ways to score before the hit parade began in earnest. LBSU’s first six runs were scored via an RBI single, a balk, a passed ball, a bases-loaded walk, a wild pitch, and a sacrifice fly.

Sophomore Zak Baayoun, the reigning Big West Pitcher of the Week, was perfect through three innings before running into some trouble in the middle innings. He was able to get through six innings to pick up his fifth win of the season, allowing four runs and recording five strikeouts.

The Dirtbags will look to provide an encore and clinch the series on Friday, sending Tyler Radcliffe (1-3, 1.77 ERA) to the mound to face expected starter RHP Ryan Jensen (0-3, 3.18 ERA) for the Bulldogs.

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.