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Baseball Long Beach State

Mistake Derails Long Beach State Dirtbags In Loss To Cal State Northridge

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Everything was going according to plan Friday night on Bohl Diamond at Blair Field.

The Long Beach State Dirtbags had an early lead over visiting Cal State Northridge with ace Graham Osman on the mound when freshman Ty Borgogno hit a second-inning home run.

However, Borgogno didn’t touch second base and CSUN noticed. They threw the new ball to second and recorded the out that ended the inning. 

“I saw him miss it and I almost ran out there to tell him to go back,” Dirtbags coach Eric Valenzuela said. “It was like momentum shifted to their direction.”

CSUN (20-8, 7-3) proceeded to score three runs in the next frame, and 11 total runs in the next three innings, to beat the Dirtbags 12-6 in Big West Conference action.

Despite the disappointing loss, Valenzuela thinks his team won’t be adversely affected.

“We knew (CSUN) is a good team that leads the conference in hitting,” he said. “We learned a lot tonight about how to get these guys out.”


Osman (4.2 IP, 11 H, 9 ER, 3 K, 2 BB) suffered his first loss of the season, but Jake Rons (4 IP, 4 H, ER, K, BB) came out of the bullpen and stopped the bleeding.

“I’m proud of how Rons pitched, we’re going to need him down the stretch,” Valenzuela said. “He ate up innings and we didn’t have to go to our bullpen very much. I like the way we ended, scoring that four (runs in the ninth inning). Hopefully we can take that momentum into the rest of the weekend.”

Both teams had a misplayed ball in the outfield in the first inning to kick off a weird night. Osman stranded the runner at third base thanks to a popped up bunt and a fly out. CSUN starting pitcher Lucas Braun wasn’t so lucky.

Eddie Saldivar led off with a single, took second on an errant pickoff throw and came home on Rocco Peppi’s double down the left field line. Peppi came around to score on a ground ball to put LBSU up 2-0.

The Borgogno home run that wasn’t marked a true turning point as CSUN took the lead in the third inning. Shunsuke Sakaino drove home Andrew Sojka with a double down the left field of his own, and then the visitors loaded the bases with two outs. Ali Camarillo gave his team the lead for good with a two-run single through the right side.

Northridge added to its lead in the fourth inning and it ended up 6-2 after RBI hits from Sakaino, Tarlow and Fitzer.

CSUN scored again in the fifth to chase Osman, and Grant Cherry came out of the bullpen but was greeted rudely by a grand slam from Jakob Simons that gave CSUN an 11-2 lead.

The Dirtbags (21-11, 8-5) finally made some noise again in the ninth inning with four runs. Right fielder Joey Walls led the offensive charge with two hits, two RBI and a run scored. Saldivar and Peppi also had two hits and a run scored.

“It is what it is,” Valenzuela said. “We’ve been here before, so we’ll see what we’re made of tomorrow.”

The series continues Saturday at 6 p.m.

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.