LONG BEACH, Calif. (AP) — Zak Baayoun escaped a sixth-inning jam with back-to-back strikeouts and five Long Beach State pitchers combined on a four-hitter to beat Texas 2-1 on Monday night and reach its first super regional since 2004.
Long Beach State (41-18) will play Cal State Fullerton in a best-of-three series for a chance at the Dirtbags’ first College World Series appearance since 1998.
Dave Smith opened with four scoreless innings on 51 pitches, and Baayoun (3-0) stranded two runners in scoring position with his strikeouts in the sixth. Chris Rivera threw an inning of relief for his 12th save.
Leadoff hitter Jarren Duran opened the scoring in the first for LBSU. He singled and advanced to second on an error, took third on a wild pitch and scored on a throwing error. Lucas Tancas made it 2-0 in the third inning when he scored from third during Ramsey Romano’s rundown between first and second.
Texas (39-24) starter Nick Kennedy (8-2) allowed two runs in 2 2/3 innings. Bret Boswell scored on a wild pitch in the fourth to get to 2-1 after he singled, stole second and advanced to third on a groundball out.