Dirtbags Rally to 9-8 Win over UCSB in Series Opener

Cole Mueller (Photo by Tony Mastres)
Cole Mueller (Photo by Tony Mastres)

LONG BEACH, Calif. – The Long Beach State Dirtbags rallied from an eight-run deficit to stun the UC Santa Barbara baseball team 9-8 at Blair Field on Friday night.

The Gauchos used a big six-run second inning and a run apiece in the third and fourth to take a commanding 8-0 lead early on. Tevin Mitchell, Clay Fisher and Tommy Jew each tallied an RBI double in the second while Thomas Rowan came up with an RBI single and the Gauchos capitalized on a Dirtbag error for another run.

In the third, freshman Cole Mueller stroked a one-out double to left field and came home on another Mitchell double to make it a 7-0 Gauchos lead.

In the fourth, Jew manufactured another run for UCSB by drawing a walk, stealing second, and coming around to score on a Michael McAdoo single to left center.

Gauchos starter Stevie Ledesma, fresh off a complete game shutout victory over CSUN last Saturday, was cruising for the most part tossing five shutout innings while striking out three and allowing just two hits.

In the sixth, however, Long Beach's first three batters reached base which led to a two-RBI double, followed by back-to-back RBI groundouts to cut UCSB's lead in half, 8-4.

After a quiet seventh, the Dirtbags strung together four hits for four runs to tie the game 8-8 in the eighth.

Long Beach led off with a single to start the bottom of the ninth, and after a sacrifice and an intentional walk, Shaq Robinson worked a walk after going full count to load the bases. A wild pitch allowed the winning run to cross the plate.

Mueller tallied a career-high four hits in five at-bats with two runs scored while Jew also scored two runs on a 1-for-3 day with two RBIs. Fisher and Mitchell both finished 2-for-4 with a run while Mitchell tied for team-high honors with two RBIs.

Chris Troye (0-4) was handed the loss while Long Beach State's Chris Rivera (2-2) picked up the win after striking out the side in the ninth. UCSB starter Ledesma through six innings while allowing five hits and four runs with five walks and three strikeouts in 103 pitches.

UCSB continues series action at Long Beach State tomorrow, May 12 at Blair Field at 2:00 p.m.