Baseball Long Beach State

LIVE UPDATES: Long Beach State Dirtbags Host No. 22 UCLA Tonight

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The Long Beach State Dirtbags are trying to finish off a perfect five-game homestead and extend their eight-game winning streak when No. 22 UCLA comes to Bohl Diamond at Blair Field. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.

These proximity rivals are headed in opposite directions.

LBSU and UCLA have identical 18-8 overall records after the Dirtbags finished off last weekend with consecutive walk-off wins and the Bruins lost their seventh consecutive game.

UCLA is sending Michael Barnett to the mound while LBSU turns to sophomore righty Grant Cherry and the rest of the bullpen where LBSU coach Eric Valenzuela is still figuring out roles and responsibility for some young arms.

Despite not having that veteran stability, the new Dirtbags arms have produced well overall as a Top 50 group in the NCAA. The staff rank 15th in the nation with three shutouts and a 3.01 strikeout-to-walk ratio. The 3.37 walks per nine is ranked 22nd best, 4.26 ERA is 33rd, 1.34 WHIP is 39th, and 10.1 K/9 is 43rd.


Speaking of ranking nationally, the Dirtbags’ 33 home runs this season ranks eighth in the NCAA. First baseman Jonathon Long has a team-high seven home runs after hitting four (two walkoffs) last week. He’s second in the Big West.

UCLA also has some notable statistics with a 3.45 team ERA that’s 14th in the nation. The Bruins offense is slashing .261/.390/.426 while averaging just shy of seven runs per game.

The Dirtbags winning streak is their longest since 2017, and the longest in program history in 15 in 1989 when the Dirtbags made their first ever College World Series.

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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.