LONG BEACH, Calif. – Even though the geographic region of Southern California is somewhat of college baseball’s mecca, with nationally ranked squads within a thirty minute drive of one another, I was pleasantly surprised to be sitting in traffic on the way to the Dirtbags home opener. It being February, and the support for both the Long Beach State and USC baseball squads this early in the season was quite surprising. Obviously, last years season of success for the Dirtbags is still carrying momentum into this season, which brought the biggest crowd in Long Beach State baseball history, what actually looked much bigger from within, a tally of 3, 342 fans at Blair Field.
As the Dirtbags return the favor and host USC in the second game of three, the pitching and defense pretty much were the keys of the game up-through the late innings. It started with all three putouts to the Dirtbags third baseman in the first inning to the fourth inning unbelievable fence slamming grab in right field to keep the Trojans scoreless.
USC’s Kevin Couture kept the Dirtbags silent as he threw seven shutout innings, on just two hits, while striking out 10.
LBSU starter Jake Thompson was just as impressive throwing seven shutout innings and allowing three hits. Then reliever Manny McElroy took the hill who eventually gave up the winning runs.
The Trojans brought in Ryan Cabral to close it out, with two scoreless innings. USC takes the game two win 4-0 and will return back to Dedeaux field, up 2-0 against LBSU, for the third and final game of the series.