Baseball, Sports

Fullerton hurler pitches gem against Dirtbags

Box score

The rivalry lived up to its hype, but the Long Beach State baseball team had no answer for Cal State Fullerton’s starting pitcher Noe Ramirez as the Titans upended the Dirtbags, 4-2, in the first game of a three-game series at Goodwin Field on Friday.

Ramirez (8-2) threw eight innings and allowed just two hits off one run while striking out seven.

LBSU’s starting pitcher Andrew Gagnon (4-8) pitched seven innings and allowed three runs on eight hits while striking out four.

LBSU (24-23, 8-8 Big West Conference) struck first when Dirtbags’ right fielder Matt Hibbert led off the first inning by drawing a walk before scoring on an RBI single by LBSU’s first baseman Ino Patron.

However, CSF (34-14, 15-4 Big West) responded in the bottom half of the inning following a sacrifice fly from Tyler Pill, who drove in Ivory Thomas to even up the score. Thomas reached on a leadoff double.

Both pitchers settled down after the first, but the Titans took the lead in the fourth. Nick Ramirez hit a solo home run — his eighth of the year — to give the Titans a 2-1 lead. Titans’ center fielder Michael Lorenzen followed up with a triple before scoring on a passed ball to give the Titans a 3-1 lead.

The Titans added an insurance run in the eighth inning. With one out and the bases loaded, CSF’s third baseman Richy Pedroza scored on an error from LBSU’s shortstop Kirk Singer. From there, LBSU’s reliever Matt Johnson recorded two strikeouts, to go with a fly ball to end the inning.

Two errors by Keegan Dale helped the Dirtbags put together a rally in the ninth inning with Hibbert reaching to start the inning.

Following a second CSF error to put runners on the corners, LBSU’s second baseman Matt Duffy singled through the left side to cut the lead to two runs.

Nick Ramirez then moved from first to close out the game at the start of the inning as he converted his 13th save of the year in the ninth in front of a season-high 2496.    

LBSU will continue its series against CSF on Saturday at 6 p.m. Freshman southpaw Ryan Strufing will take the hill for the Dirtbags against Fullerton right-hander Tyler Pill.

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