Baseball, Sports

Dirtbags swept away by Titans, emotions

Box score

After the final out in Cal State Fullerton’s 6-4 win on Sunday at Blair Field, CSUF first baseman and closer Nick Ramirez rolled the ball toward the Long Beach State (22-26, 7-11 Big West Conference) dugout, infuriating several Dirtbags players.

“There was a little words spoken there at the final out,” the Dirtbags’ head coach Mike Weathers said. “We thought it’d be better not to shake hands. That’s not a first time.”

After the Titans controlled the game for the first eight innings, LBSU loaded the bases in the final inning to put the go-ahead run on first base with two outs.

First baseman Joey Terdoslavich hit a liner down the third base line that CSUF third baseman Richie Pedroza reached out and snagged, giving the Titans (34-14, 18-3 Big West) the victory to complete the three-game sweep.

The Dirtbags’ defense once again made several costly mistakes early in the game that put the team in a hole.

“As coach [Troy] Buckley just told them, even though Pedroza caught that line drive and everybody thought we got bad luck … that’s only part of it,” Weathers said. “It’s what went on before that.”

In the first inning, CSUF’s speedy center fielder, Gary Brown, hit a routine grounder to Dirtbags shortstop Matt Duffy and beat it out when Duffy did not charge the ball. Brown stole second on a pitchout after catcher Joel Thys double clutched.

The next batter singled off of second baseman Derek Legg’s glove for an RBI single resulting in the Titans’ first run. The shaky defense continued as the Titans scored one run in each of the first four innings and scored two in the seventh.

Dirtbags starting pitcher Branden Pinder (4-6) was forced to work hard, allowing six runs in 6 2/3 innings, striking out three and walking three. Dylan Floro (5-0) picked up the win for the Titans after striking out six batters and allowing two runs on eight hits in 6 2/3 innings.

“We made some mistakes that led to their runs and they’re too good,” Weathers said. “They capitalize on stuff like that.”

On the offensive side of the ball, LBSU designated hitter Steve Tinoco went 2-for-4, finishing the series with seven hits in 10 at-bats.

Jonathan Jones went 2-for-2 with a run score and an RBI. Right fielder TJ Mittelstaedt and second baseman Derek Legg had two hits apiece.

The Dirtbags will open a three-game series Friday at Cal State Northridge, starting at 3 p.m. After the game, The Beach had a particularly lengthy team meeting in the outfield.

“Coach Buckley presented his state of the union,” Weathers said. “At this point, it’s about next season.”

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