The Dirtbags (0-3) endured stormy weather while competing in their first series of the season this weekend, dropping both games in the Saturday doubleheader against University of Hawai’i (11-2 overall, 3-0 conference) at Les Murakami Stadium in Honolulu.
Hawai’i opened the scoring in game one off an early walk and double from Adam Fogel. The Dirtbags’ starting pitcher Luis Ramirez settled in afterward, stranding a runner to end the first and striking out four of the next six batters he saw.
Ramirez, a 2020 All-American, ended the night with eight strikeouts, giving up one run on three hits and a walk through seven innings pitched.
Hawai’i’s starting pitcher Cade Halemanu stifled the Dirtbags’ lineup through 8.1 innings of work, giving up no runs on five hits and striking out four batters. Long Beach’s offense couldn’t catch its stride throughout the night, ultimately leaving five runners on base.
Hawai’i manager Mike Trapasso brought reliever Calvin Turchin in the ninth inning with two outs to go, and with the rain beginning to fall again, Chase Luttrell was forced into a 6-4-3 double play to end the game 1-0 Hawai’i.
The sophomore’s debut was a sour one, hitting the leadoff batter, walking three and giving up a hit to end his night after getting only one out. Freshman reliever Jake Rons came in for a double play to end a rough first inning for the team.
Problems continued for the Dirtbags in the second, giving up an unearned run on two errors, both directed at Lutrell at first base. Hawai’i’s Kole Kaler made it 4-0 in the second inning with an RBI double that bounced inside the first base line.
The Dirtbags slowly chipped away at the Rainbows’ pitching staff, scoring two runs off starting pitcher Austin Teixeira with a fourth inning sacrifice fly and fifth inning groundout. However, four walks and two errors accounted for four of Hawaii’s six eventual runs.
Long Beach senior Aidan Malm laced an RBI double along the first base line. After trading runs in the sixth, the Rainbow Warriors’ bullpen came in and pitched the final 4.1 innings of the game, staving off multiple rallies in the final innings as the Beach fell 6-4 in game two.
The series finale between Long Beach and Hawai’i will be Sunday at 4 p.m on the Big West Network.