LONG BEACH, Calif. — Cal left-hander Justin Jones said when he warmed up in the bullpen he felt the best he’s felt since he was sidelined during last year’s College World Series with strained bicep. That didn’t transfer to the game mound, however.
Jones never found a rhythm and lasted only three innings. The projected early round draft pick only gave up three hits, but he allowed four runs thanks to three walks, two hit batters and three wild pitches.
After scoring four off Jones, Long Beach State tacked on single runs in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings and held on for a 7-4 win Friday night at Blair Field.
Shawn Stuart picked up the win, but it was the outstanding relief of Kyle Friedrichs that propelled the Dirtbags. Friedrichs entered in the sixth inning after Danny Oh cut the Long Beach lead to 5-4 with a two-run home run to right field. Friedrichs promptly ended the inning with a strikeout and ended up pitching 2 2/3 scoreless innings, striking out four. Jake Stassi came on to get the final two outs to record his first career save.
Juan Avila led the way for the Dirtbags offense with three hits, including a double. However, it was Ino Patron that had the big hit with a two-out, two-run single up the middle that bounded off shortstop Derek Campbell’s glove and into centerfield.
For the Golden Bears, preseason All-American Tony Renda showed why he is a candidate. He reached base four times, going 2-for-3 with a walk and a hit by pitch.
The two teams resume the weekend series at 5:30 PM Saturday evening.
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