The Long Beach State Dirtbags were eliminated from post-season play Monday night when they were dispatched by the College of Charleston 4-2.
The game was the second of the day for the Dirtbags who had their Sunday game with the University of North Carolina postponed due to rain and had to make up the remaining innings Monday morning. Long Beach pulled away from the Tar Heels in the top of the ninth inning, scoring five runs in a route to a 12-5 victory and a matchup with CoC later in the day.
The game got off to a rocky start for Dirtbag’s starter Nick Sabo as the Cougars scored in the top of the first inning when Carl Wise singled to center bring home outfielder Brandon Murray. However, Long Beach fought back in the bottom half of the inning, scoring two runs compliments of a RBI double from Richard Prigatano and a run scoring single by Johnny Bekakis.
Control issues surfaced for Sabo in the fourth inning. After walking the leadoff batter, Sabo hit the next Cougar batter. The runners advanced to scoring position with no outs after a wild pitch from Sabo which led coach Troy Buckley to lift him from the game. Both runners ended up scoring in the inning.
The two unearned runs proved to be the Dirtbag’s undoing as the Cougar’s relief pitchers Nick Rosetta and Logan Lombana combined to blank the Long Beach offense over the final six innings. With the win, College of Charleston advances to the NCAA Super Regional in Lubbock, Texas where they’ll face the Texas Tech Red Raiders.
The host Florida Gators were considered the team to beat in the region since they were the number two seed nationally but the fourth seeded Cougars who surprised the field, winning the regional and advancing to Lubbock.
The loss ended the a successful season for the Dirtbags. They reached their first super-regional since serving as a host after the 2008 campaign. Long Beach ended the season winning 16 out of their final 21 games. The 34 wins registered by the Dirtbags were the most in the Troy Buckley era.