Baseball, Men's Sports, Sports

Cole Santander’s late game heroics lift Dirtbags past Washington

Long Beach State defeated the Washington Huskies 3-2 at Bohl Diamond on Blair Field Saturday night, improving their season record to 2-0 and staying undefeated to start their season.

The Huskies came out strong, scoring two runs in the first inning from a RBI flyout by junior outfielder AJ Guerrero and a bases loaded full count walk from redshirt freshman catcher Colton Bower.

However, they would be shut out for the rest of the game and that allowed junior designated hitter Cole Santander to provide the hit that propelled the Dirtbags to take the lead during the bottom of the eighth inning.

Santander hit a double after Washington relief pitcher Sam Boyle hit two Dirtbags with pitches in back-to-back at-bats.

Junior outfielder Kyle Ashworth and sophomore infielder Ty Borgogno would come in to score after they were hit by Boyle’s pitch, giving Borgogno his second run of the night.

“We knew we were going to get a chance at some point,” Santander said. “Just had to put some runs up in the board and we were able to come through.”

The Univeristy of Washington would leave six people on base during the game, three of those bases coming in the first inning after freshman right fielder Carson Ohland struck out swinging with the bases loaded.

The Dirtbag bullpen came up huge in relief for the starter sophomore Myles Patton who went a strong 4.2 innings while giving up two runs and striking out 10 Husky batters. Relief pitchers senior Nick Wallerstedt, junior Jonathan Largaespada and junior Mike Villani all appeared and threw a combined 3.4 innings.

“We’ve gotten behind in the first inning for both of these games so far, and every single guy in that dugout knows that we have a chance to win,” Patton said. “One thing we were just talking about after the game is that we don’t deserve wins: we need to earn them.”

Villani, after coming in to start the ninth and final inning, struck out all three batters he faced, closing out the game for the Dirtbags.

“When you have a guy like that [Villani], that you believe in so much, we were just excited to see what he could do,” interim head coach Bryan Peters said

The Dirtbags close out their three-game series with Washington and look to go for the sweep on Sunday at Blair Field at 1 p.m.

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