Long Beach Stays Alive, Evens Series
May 26, 2012
Long Beach, Calif. - Brennan Metzger's two-out, three-run home run capped a four-run Long Beach State third inning and powered the 49ers to a 5-1 series-tying victory over 12th-ranked Cal State Fullerton Saturday night at Blair Field.
Ryan Strufing's (7-3), two-hit the Titans four eight innings, and came out in the ninth to attempt his first complete game of the year, but the Titans touched him for a run on three hits to spoil his shutout bid. Reliever Kyle Freiedrichs came on to get designated hitter J.D. Davis to strikeout looking to end the game and log his 10th save of the season. The win kept the 49ers alive in the Big West Conference standings, one game behind Fullerton with one to play. Sunday's 1 p.m. game will decide the conference's automatic berth to the NCAA postseason. Long Beach improves to 28-26 overall and 15-8 in league play.
Grahamm Wiest (5-5) suffered the loss, allowing all five runs on six hits in his five innings on the mound. With the loss, Fullerton drops to 34-19 overall and 16-7 in conference action. The Titans already earned at least a share of the conference title with a 4-0 win on Friday night.
A lead-off walk to Kellen Hoime in the bottom of the third led to the 49ers' first run. A two-out single by Ino Patron and the first of two RBI-doubles on the night by Juan Avilla scored Hoime and made it 1-0 Long Beach. The next batter Metzger deposited Wiest's 0-1 pitch over the left field wall for his second home run and 35th, 36th and 37th RBI of the year. It was just the 49ers' 7th home run of the season.
The 49ers added a run in the fifth when a single and a Wiest balk put Johnny Bekakis on second for Avila's second two-out, run-scoring double.
Titan reliever Jose Cardona threw three scoreless innings of two-hit relief and struck out two without a walk.
The Titans wrecked the shutout bit with hits by Matt Orloff, Carlos Lopez and Matt Chapman and a run-scoring fielder's choice by Michael Lorenzen. Orloff and Lopez had the other two hits off Strufing.
Avila led all players with three knocks. Bekakis added a pair of hits.
Kenny Mathews (5-2, 4.09 ERA) will throw for the Titans on Sunday. He will face Long Beach's Shawn Stuart (7-0, 2.21 ERA) in the final game of the regular season.