Freshman designated hitter Brock Lundquist’s game winning hit in the bottom of the 13th carried the Long Beach State baseball team past No. 2 UCLA in a 2-1 win at Blair Field on Tuesday night.
“[I was] trying to hit the ball up the middle or somewhere in the gap,” Lundquist said. “I shortened up a little bit and took a two strike approach there.”
Junior right-hander Ryan Cruz allowed only one run in eight innings of work. Bruins (31-9, 16-5 Pac-12) junior right-hander Cody Poteet matched Cruz when he allowed only one base runner through his first four innings. Both starters delivered one shutout inning after another until the Dirtbags broke through in the fifth inning.
Freshman outfielder Tristan Mercadel was the second Dirtbags’ base runner after a hard hit shot to shortstop forced a fielding error. Mercadel advanced to second off another error by the Bruins and sophomore catcher Daniel Jackson brought him when he singled to the right side to give the Dirtbags the 1-0 lead.
The Dirtbags threatened to score again in the sixth inning when freshmen left fielder Luke Rasmussen and designated hitter Brock Lundquist were each hit by a pitch. Senior first baseman Alex Bishop went down swinging and LBSU was unable to capitalize.
Cruz’s shutout ended in the eighth inning when he walked UCLA second baseman Trent Chatterton and pinch runner Brett Urabe stole second. Two straight wild pitches allowed Urabe to make his way home and knot it up at 1-1.
“We had a little bit of trouble pushing the fastball down in the strike zone,” head coach Troy Buckley said.
Junior righty Tanner Brown replaced Cruz on the mound to begin the ninth inning. The Bruins had an opportunity, but failed to take the lead when sophomore first baseman Luke Persico reached third off a base hit to right field from senior third baseman Chris Keck.
Junior righty Logan Lombana replaced Brown with two outs and escaped the inning unscathed, leaving Persico stranded on third. The Dirtbags went down quietly in the ninth, and the game headed to extra innings.
Lombana gave up a single and a walk in the 10th inning to put a runner in scoring position. A grab and throw by sophomore shortstop Garrett Hampson ended the scoring threat. The Dirtbags failed to get another man on base until the 12th inning.
The Dirtbags let another scoring chance get away when junior second baseman Zack Domingues grounded out with runners on second and third. Freshman righty Darren McCaughan went three up and three down in the top of the 13th inning to set the stage for the Dirtbags offense.
Freshman Joey Sanchez hit a routine groundball to shortstop, but a throwing error allowed Sanchez to advance to second base. Hampson walked and both runners advanced on a groundout.
Freshman Brock Lundquist got the chance to end the game and didn’t disappoint. He hit a single up the middle of the field, bringing Sanchez in for the game-winning run.
“It’s a needed win and a good win and anything at this particular point in the season is a major value,” Buckley said.
The Dirtbags will host Hawai’i for three game conference series starting Friday night 6 p.m. at Blair Field.