Bohl Diamond at Blair Field was Sunday’s go-to destination for families and Dirtbag fans as Beachwood Brewing sponsored “Bark in The Park”, an event which encouraged game attendees to bring their dogs to the ballpark.
Senior child development major Keeleigh Vargas regularly attends Dirtbags baseball games accompanied by her friend Gracie Hardy, but the “Bark in The Park” was an added bonus, as she was able to bring her lovable dog Oden to the game alongside her.
Sunday’s game and series against Seattle University had previously been moved from its original date due to the growing winter storm that has engulfed much of Southern California in snow and downpours. Following anticipated weather conditions, 3 p.m. was set as the game’s new first pitch time.
This didn’t stop fans from showing out to support the Dirtbags on a cold afternoon in Long Beach. The stands were packed to the walls with many ballgame attendees bringing their own blankets from home.
The Dirtbags struggled to find footing as Seattle took an early 2-0 lead at the top of the third inning with a RBI double from sophomore outfielder Jackson Reed. The lead for Seattle widened to 3-0 as sophomore designated hitter Ryne Hays hit his first solo home run of the season at the top of the fourth inning.
The Dirtbags managed to squeeze in a run at the bottom of the fourth inning through senior right fielder Joey Walls Jr. as an RBI from sophomore second baseman Alex Champagne led the way. It didn’t take long for cheering fans to rally behind as the Dirtbags tore through the bottom of the fifth inning to tie the game at 4-4. The three runs scored were ushered in mostly by throwing errors on Seattle’s University’s behalf.
After two innings of back-and-forth outs and another run scored by Seattle University, the game was set at 5-4 in favor of Seattle as the bottom of the eighth inning approached. Seattle University would only briefly be able to enjoy its narrow lead, as the Dirtbags would send them scrambling to defend.
A well placed double with the bases loaded by junior shortstop Nick Marinconz brought in three runs for the Dirtbags to retake the lead at 7-5. Shortly after, Seattle walked redshirt sophomore utility player Rocco Peppi, placing two runners on. Yet another RBI double was hit, but this time by junior first baseman Jonathon Long to stretch the lead even further to 9-5.
The scoring was capped off as senior right fielder Joey Walls Jr. would launch a homerun to left field sending himself and Long in to score. Dirtbags’ fans erupted in excitement and joy as they witnessed seven runs scored in a single inning.
The Dirtbags would complete the 11-5 victory against Seattle University as the top of the ninth inning closed without a single run scored by Seattle.
After losing the final game of their series against Wichita State and dropping the single game against Loyola Marymount, the Dirtbags have redeemed themselves with a fresh start for this series against Seattle University.
The Dirtbags managed to overwhelm offensively and play off of throwing errors to build a strong lead late against Seattle University. This victory against Seattle University, is a welcomed one, as it leads into the series finale which is a double-header Monday.