LONG BEACH, Calif. --- Long Beach State scored thee runs in the final two innings to erase a 3-1 lead to drop the Anteaters, 4-3, Saturday at Blair Field.
Matt Duffy made his first hit of the series count, lining to full-count pitch from Race Parmenter to centerfield to score Johnny Bekakis from second after the left-fielder had drawn a leadoff walk and advanced on a sacrifice bunt from pinch-hitter Brennan Fulkerson.
The Anteaters took the early lead in the first inning on an RBI single from Connor Spencer and a steal of home base by Jordan Fox. Christian Ramirez hit a clutch, two-out single up the middle to score Scott Gottschling from second to give UCI a 3-0 lead.
UCI starter Phillip Ferragamo dealt four shutout innings, retiring the first eight batters he faced before Kellen Hoime double to left to end the team's no-hit streak at 11.2 innings. Josh Guerra was hit by the pitch to lead off the fifth and eventually scored the team's first run of the series on an RBI fielder's choice by Hoime. On the ensuing play, Ferragamo was hit in the arm by a line-drive off the bat of Duffy but Taylor Sparks jumped on the ricochet and connected with Fox in time to secure the third out. Ferragamo would leave the game after five innings and allowed just one run on two hits in the no-decision.
Trailing 3-1, Jeff McNeil led off the LBSU eighth inning with a single to center and Dillon Moyer's error on a chopper by Matt Duffy put runners on first and third with no outs. Mitch Merten, in relief of Jimmy Litchfield, struck out the second batter he faced but then gave up back-to-back RBI singles to Juan Avila and Brennan Metzger as the Dirtbags knotted the score at 3-3.
LBSU reliever Matt Johnson picked up the win after hurling 2.2 shutout innings and holding UCI to a pair of hits.
The series concludes Sunday at 1:00 p.m.