It was Bark at the Park day at Blair Field, but the only barks in the park came from the Long Beach fans after witnessing another disappointing performance by the Dirtbags. The bats came alive for the Aggies at the top of fourth inning, bringing home seven runs and demoralizing the Dirtbags early on.
Long Beach’s (17-26, 4-8 Big West) 10-1 loss against UC Davis (15-23, 7-8 Big West) gave the Aggies the season series. Long Beach accounted for 10 hits, but failed to take advantage of having runners on base, only bringing one home.
“They capitalized on a few poor pitches, and when we get down significantly we have a tough time putting runs together,” head coach Troy Buckley said. “They didn’t walk us, hit us, or make an error, so now it’s on us to go out there and produce.”
The Dirtbag’s struggles stemmed from junior right hand pitcher Chris Rivera’s performance. Rivera, who usually closes for the team, got the start but had an underwhelming performance. He began with an optimistic three strikeouts, but would find himself out of the game early on.
“Your best pitcher needs to be out there, and if we’re not going to win a game because we fall too early, then we never use the guy,” Buckley said.
Rivera’s fourth inning meltdown would force Buckley to pull him out and replace him with redshirt junior and right handed pitcher, Tyler Radcliffe.
“All I wanted to do was minimize the damage,” Rivera said. “I wanted to give the team a chance regardless of my performance.”
Radcliffe would quickly be replaced after giving up a three run homerun with freshman and left hand pitcher Adam Seminaris, but it wouldn’t be enough to stop the bleeding. The cherry on top came in the ninth and final inning when left fielder Ryan Anderson hit a home run, sealing the fate of the Dirtbags.
“We have to find a way to keep getting better,” Buckley said. “We don’t have a lot of power and we’re always playing behind the eight ball a little bit.”
Long Beach showed some signs of life in the eighth inning after scoring a run, but the Aggies quickly shut them down.
The Dirtbags will head down to the Inland Empire Friday at 6 p.m. for a three-game series against UC Riverside.