Baseball, Sports

Dirtbags’ freshman homers twice in victory over UCSB

Box score

Freshman Ino Patron hit two home runs, including a three-run blast to guide the Long Beach State baseball team to a 6-2 victory over UC Santa Barbara in the final game of the three-game series Saturday at Caesar Uyesaka Stadium.

With the win, the Dirtbags (19-18, 6-6 Big West Conference) avoided a sweep from the Gauchos (17-17, 4-5 Big West), which took the first two games of the series.

LBSU had its best start of the series as it jumped out to take an early lead in the first inning. Matt Hibbert drew a leadoff walk to start the game, and after taking second on a wild pitch, he scored on a groundout by Matt Duffy. Patron then cracked his first home run of the day and the second of the series to give the Dirtbags a 2-0 lead.

The Dirtbags extended their lead in the third inning. Jeff McNeil drew a one-out walk, and after a single from Duffy, Patron belted his second home run over the right field wall to put the Dirtbags in front, 5-0.

A solo home run by Brennan Metzger put The Beach out in front, 6-0, all in support of Branden Pinder (3-4), who threw five perfect innings before allowing two runs in the sixth inning en route to the win.

A double by UCSB’s Ryan Palermo broke up the no-no in the sixth, before he came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Steven Moon.

The Gauchos then loaded the bases with one out against Pinder, who plunked Joe Wallace to bring home a second run.

Freshman Kyle Friedrichs entered the game at that point, and induced a ground ball for a 5-4-3 double play to end the inning. Friedrichs then pitched two more scoreless innings to finish the game to earn his first save of the season.

Meanwhile, Matthew Vedo was charged with the loss after allowing six runs on five hits in three innings of work.

LBSU will return to action for a nonconference game at USC on Tuesday. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. 

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