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Long Beach State success continues on the road

No. 8 LBSU wins eighth straight weekend series against Minnesota.

Senior+pitcher+Dave+Smith+allowed+11+hits+in+five+innings+of+work+and+gave+up+two+runs+in+a+5-2+victory+over+the+Mustangs.+
Senior pitcher Dave Smith allowed 11 hits in five innings of work and gave up two runs in a 5-2 victory over the Mustangs.

Senior pitcher Dave Smith allowed 11 hits in five innings of work and gave up two runs in a 5-2 victory over the Mustangs.

Jose De Castro

Jose De Castro

Senior pitcher Dave Smith allowed 11 hits in five innings of work and gave up two runs in a 5-2 victory over the Mustangs.

Luke Ramirez, Assistant Sports Editor

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The No. 8 Long Beach State Dirtbags Friday and Sunday starters turned in two great pitching performances in the team’s series victory against Minnesota. Junior Darren McCaughan and senior Dave Smith opened and closed the series on the mound and guided LBSU to wins.

In game one, McCaughan took the mound after coming off a complete game shutout against Cal Poly (23-17, 11-7) May 5. The LBSU (32-16-1, 15-3) ace pitcher lasted 7 1/3 innings, allowed two runs and struck out four Minnesota (30-17) in Friday’s 3-2 win.

McCaughan improved his season record to 7-2 and now has an ERA of 2.93. He induced 12 ground ball outs with the help of his mid-‘80s sinking fastball and looks to be in top form with two more regular season starts on May 19 and 25.

Senior first baseman Daniel Jackson hit a go-ahead home run in the top of the sixth inning that gave LBSU a 2-1 lead and put his starting pitcher in line for the win. It was Jackson’s fourth home run of the campaign and the Dirtbags’ veteran leader has shown much better power numbers over the last month.

LBSU gave up nine runs in the bottom of the sixth inning of game two that lead to a 12-6 Gopher win. Junior starting pitcher John Sheaks gave up five runs over five and ⅓ innings in a losing effort, dropping his record to 7-2 and raising his ERA to 3.55.

Junior shortstop Laine Huffman continued his torrid month of May with a 4 for 4 day at the plate, scoring a run and driving one in for LBSU. After the series, Huffman’s ERA jumped to .328 and he is now the Dirtbags second leading hitter.

Lucas Tancas, the LBSU junior left fielder was 2 for 3 with a 3-run home run and now leads the team with nine home runs and a .552 slugging percentage.

With the series tied 1-1, the Dirtbags’ offense exploded for nine runs behind junior right fielder Brock Lundquist’s 2 for 4, 2 RBI day at the plate. Sophomore second baseman Jarren Duran hit leadoff for the Dirtbags and was 1 for 2 with 2 RBIs in LBSU’s 9-1 win.

Minnesota was stifled for runs by Smith, who started the decisive game three for the Dirtbags (7.0 IP, 8 H, 1 ER, 4 Ks). Smith also picked up his seventh victory 2017 and now all three LBSU weekend starters have seven wins.

Sophomore relief pitcher Tyler Radcliffe threw two scoreless and hitless innings to clinch the series against Minnesota.

LBSU will be back at Blair Field May 19-21 for a Big West conference series against Hawai’i (26-17,8-8 Big West).

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