Long Beach State Dirtbags (1-3) grabbed their first win of the 2021 season defeating Hawai’i 8-5 on Sunday afternoon, avoiding a four-game series sweep.
The Dirtbags offense came out of the dugout locked in. Senior outfielder Aidan Malm got the day started knocking in an RBI single while senior outfielder Calvin Estrada added an RBI sacrifice fly. Before the first inning ended, the Dirtbags added another run when sophomore outfielder Chase Lutrell hit a solo home run to take a 3-0 lead.
Long Beach starting pitcher Basilio Pacheco made his first start since the 2019 season, after missing last season due to Tommy John surgery. He found himself in a traffic jam, after walking three straight batters to load the bases. Pacheco was relieved in the first inning by freshman Noah Carbajal who limited the damage to one run.
Calvin Estrada hit his second RBI of the day, hitting an opposite-field solo home run in the top of the third inning to give the Beach a 4-1 lead.
The Rainbow Warriors tied the game in the bottom of the third inning after loading up the bases again. A throwing error by the second baseman Estrada allowed Hawa’ii to clear the bases and tie the score at four.
The Dirtbags answered right back, a leadoff single by freshman outfielder Alex Pimentel and a walk to freshman catcher Connor Burns allowed the Beach to execute a safety squeeze to take the lead. Freshman infielder Connor Kokx, who had a nice weekend at the plate, hit an RBI single to make it 6-4 in the top of the fourth inning.
Hawai’i once again loaded up the bases, something they did five times throughout the game including the first four innings. However, they were unable to capitalize with runners in scoring position.
Long Beach added a couple more RBIs with hits from Estrada and freshman Charlie Loust. Connor Kokx stole a career-best three bases, including four over the weekend.
The Dirtbags will prepare for their home opener Mar. 26 against California State Northridge.
Friday’s game will be the first of a four-game weekend series. The first pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.