Following a hectic past two days of baseball, the Long Beach State Dirtbags stand one win shy of reaching its first Super Regional in 13 years.
To reach such stage, however, the Big West Conference Champion must fend off the No. 2 Texas Longhorns (39-22) in a deciding Game 7 at Blair Field later tonight.
Home field advantage may indicate an early edge for Long Beach State, but Texas can certainly offset that by the added rest under its belt.
After winning their initial contests against San Diego State and UCLA, both teams squared off for the first time Saturday in front of a loud and packed house, which saw the Longhorns win in 12 innings, 5-3.
Long Beach State, sent to the brink of elimination, followed up by playing a doubleheader on Sunday, starting against San Diego State — the team they had previously defeated in its first Regional game, 6-0.
Despite falling to an early 2-0 hole in the 1st inning, the Dirtbags’ offense eventually delivered, with seven of nine batters getting base hits and scoring a total of seven runs. John Sheaks powered the Dirtbags through six hard-fought innings, allowing four runs, before Zak Baayoun and Eli Villalobos sealed the deal through the seventh and ninth innings of play.
Not finished yet, Long Beach came back onto the field hours later in another must-win situation against Texas.
Tyler Radcliffe, who only threw for 18 innings and 12 strikeouts during the regular season, was sent to the mound for his first start in his career. Similar to Sheaks, Radcliffe did just enough to keep the Dirtbags in play. Exceeding over half the amount of strikeouts thrown in the season, the sophomore showcased great composure through five innings pitched. Baayoun, who faced one batter in LBSU’s win against San Diego State, gave up lead in Radcliffe’s relief, but was later neutralized by Jarren Duran’s game winning RBI-single to center field in the Top of the 8th.
Long Beach State continues its quest to Omaha, Nebraska for the College Baseball World Series, as they try to clinch the Long Beach Regional with a win over Texas tonight.
Catch The Action
MATCHUP: No. 2 Texas Longhorns vs. No.1 Long Beach State Dirtbags
TIME: 8:00 P.M. PT
RADIO: KBEACH RADIO