Jolted by an offensive surge, the Long Beach State Dirtbags won back-to-back games for the first time this season with a doubleheader sweep Saturday against Cal State Northridge.
The Dirtbags scored 17 runs on the day, two runs short of their season total, which stands at 19 runs through the first five games combined.
Freshman starting pitcher Luis Ramirez provided a strong outing for the Dirtbags to earn his first win of the season.
Ramirez was otherwise dominant besides CSUN executing a first-and-third double steal to take an early lead and a 2-out homerun to Matadors’ junior catcher Angel Mendoza in the seventh inning.
He allowed five hits, three runs, one walk in seven innings of work and struck out nine CSUN hitters on an even 100 pitches.
Aidan Malm singled to score Tanner Carlson to tie the game at two-a-piece in the fifth inning before a walk and two wild pitches by CSUN’s pitcher Jayson Newman gave the Dirtbags a 4-2 lead.
The Beach added insurance runs in the following inning with a two-run homerun from redshirt freshman Charlie Loust to stretch the lead to 6-2.
Freshman Dirtbag pitcher Devereaux Harrison collected his second save of the season, tossing two clean innings to close out the game one 7-3 win.
Sophomore transfer Jack Noble struck out the first two Matador hitters on his way to a one-two-three first inning to open up game two for the Beach.
Dirtbag leadoff hitter Connor Kokx was quite the catalyst in game two, being hit-by-pitch a total of four times, the first coming from CSUN starting pitcher Ryan Wentz’s first pitch of the game.
Kokx stole second base and came around to score on a fielding error by Matadors shortstop Bobby Silvis to put the Beach on the scoreboard.
After four walks in his first four plate appearances of the season, Dirtbags outfielder Jesse Lopez recorded his first official at-bat in the second inning with a solo dinger.
Following another Kokx HBP, Loust doubled down the third base line to drive in two more runs to give the Beach a 4-0 lead.
Senior outfielder Calvin Estrada pushed the lead to five with a solo homerun in the third inning.
Three straight two-out hits for CSUN chased Noble from the game as Dirtbags head coach Eric Valenzuela decided to go to the bullpen for freshman pitcher Jake Rons.
Rons allowed an RBI single to Matadors catcher Jose Ruiz to cap off the two-run inning for CSUN, cutting the deficit to 5-3 in the top of the fifth inning.
The Dirtbags responded in the bottom of the inning with three singles allowing Estrada to hit his second home run of the day, a grand slam pushing the lead to 9-3.
Rons was credited with his first collegiate win, pitching 2 ⅓ scoreless innings as Ethan Clough tossed the final two innings of the Dirtbags 10-5 win.
The Dirtbags (3-4) have a chance to win their first series of the season Sunday against CSUN (2-5) at 1 p.m. at Blair Field. Games will be streamed via Big West.