The Dirtbags’ first series win of the year, capped by a 7-4 victory over CSUN (16-19, 4-5 Big West) Sunday, came with the offensive consistency they’ve been looking for all year. Long Beach (7-27, 2-4 Big West) erupted for 34 hits this weekend taking the home series 2-1.
“We know how to win on a weekend now, so that’s a big deal,” co-interim head coach Greg Bergeron said.
Dirtbags starting LHP Zak Baayoun (2-6) allowed consecutive singles and a walk to load the bases in the first. Jose Ruiz singled giving CSUN a 1-0 lead. Long Beach allowed Northridge to score first in all three games of the series.
Senior center fielder Brooks Stotler led off the third inning with a triple to right center. Junior designated hitter Jacob Hughey drove him in and tied the game with his fourth hit of the series. A walk brought up catcher Chris Jimenez who drove in Hughey giving the Dirtbags a 3-2 lead and knocking Matador starter Blake Sodersten out of the game.
“Our guys have seen really good pitching and they’re now learning how to hit mistakes up in the zone,” Bergeron said.
Baayoun allowed a walk and a single to put runners on the corners with nobody out in the fifth. A sacrifice fly tied the game, 3-3. Baayoun went six innings allowing three runs on seven hits with three strikeouts and two walks.
The Dirtbags attacked in the bottom of the fifth. Freshman left fielder Chase Luttrell singled senior first baseman Laine Huffman to third. Junior right fielder Jake Vander Wal lined a single that rolled under the glove of the outfielder scoring Huffman and Luttrell. Jimenez’ third hit of the day gave the Dirtbags a 6-3 lead.
“Definitely in the last 48 hours our emotions have been running and that’s driven us a lot more,” Jimenez said.
Hughey stole third for his first career stolen base in the sixth. He scored on Luttrell’s third single. Four Dirtbags had at least four hits this weekend.
The Dirtbags start a series against Cal Poly 6 p.m. Thursday at Bohl Diamond at Blair Field.