A cold night combined with pitching struggles and inconsistent plate-appearances proved to be the difference as Long Beach State lost to Washington 4-1 Tuesday.
Sophomore RHP Jonathan Carlos made his first start of his Dirtbags (2-2) career, pounding the strike zone early in the first inning unharmed. Carlos went four innings in his debut, giving up six hits, one home run and three earned runs.
“This was a big experience for me and I had a lot of fun,” Carlos said. “I gotta give it up to [the Huskies], they are a pretty good team. After the home run, I told myself it was all good and bit the bullet. I was happy to go four innings.”
Trouble brewed early in the second as Washington (2-2) junior right fielder Christian Jones hit a moon-shot down the right-field line, easily clearing the 348-foot wall. A fielder’s choice RBI by junior catcher Michael Petrie following the homer gave the Huskies a 3-0 lead.
In his first at-bat of the year, senior second baseman Riki DeSa swung the momentum back the Dirtbags’ way in the bottom of the second, launching the team’s first home run of the season over the left-field wall.
“They were starting us off first pitch fastball and I was looking for something firm up there and got it,” DeSa said. “I didn’t think the ball would get out at first, so it was nice to put my team on the board.”
The Dirtbags offense stayed stagnant after the solo shot to the dismay of home fans in attendance, with five Dirtbags striking out looking on the evening.
The Huskies added insult to injury in the top of the eighth, as senior DH Rollie Nichols doubled to deep right-center, followed by an RBI single to left-center by Jones, ballooning the lead to 4-1. The Dirtbags couldn’t rally late, going down quietly against the overwhelming Huskies pitching that allowed no walks on the night.
“I’m not satisfied with one run on a Tuesday night, but we stung some balls even though we only had three hits,” Valenzuela said. “We are getting a lot of guys in there and that’s the plan right now, to keep giving different guys opportunities to continue fighting.”
The Dirtbags will host a three-game homestand against No. 18 Wake Forest starting Feb. 21 at 6 p.m. at Bohl Diamond at Blair Field.