The Long Beach State Dirtbags outhit the Cal State Fullerton Titans on Friday night at Bohl Diamond at Blair Field, but that wasn’t enough to win the first game of the annual nonconference series between the Big West rivals.
Fullerton used seven drawn walks in the first two innings to build a big lead on its way to a 8-3 win. LBSU (3-17) left 11 runners on base after collecting 11 hits. The Titans (9-10) only needed seven hits to score eight runs. The Dirtbags also committed two errors.
“I don’t care if you’re playing the 2016 Long Beach PONY team, if you play like that, you’ll lose.” LBSU coach Troy Buckley said. “Some if it you just shake your head. I would sit there and wonder if we actually practice. We do. But it’s one of those things where you’re at a loss for words. You’re looking for small successes. You might get it, but its not manifesting into a team win.”
Fullerton jumped on Dirtbags starter Zac Baayoun by scoring three runs in the top of the first inning on three hits and a walk. Baayoun walked three consecutive batters to start the second inning, and his replacement John Sheaks walked the next two to bring in runs. A sacrifice fly gave the Titans a 6-0 lead with only three hits.
The Dirtbags got a run back in the bottom of the second when designated hitter Aidan Malm hit a 1-out single to center field, and then moved to third on a pair of wild pitches from Fullerton starter Tanner Bibee. Malm scored on Tyler Porter’s RBI single to center. Porter is the only Dirtbag to start all 20 games this season.
Malm and freshman Kaden Hogan each had a game-high three hits.
LBSU added its second run in the seventh inning on Hogan’s RBI double that scored Santino Rivera. First baseman Jacob Hughey drove in a run with 2-outs in the ninth to extend his RBI streak to five games. The Millikan High alum has a team-high 14th RBI.
Dirtbags senior Laine Huffman is still dealing with a hamstring injury, and doesn’t have a set date to return.
This nonconfernce series continues at 6 p.m. on Saturday, and concludes at 1 p.m. on Sunday.