Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Live Blog: Feb. 26 @ Southern California

12:00 AM (ET): I'm not waving the white flag just yet, but I think it's time for me to wrap up this live blog. Hopefully the Dirtbags' bats wake up, but should they fail to....

These first two weeks have gone pretty much as well as you could've hoped for for Long Beach State. Losing the series (but taking a game) on the road to one of the top teams in the nation (Vanderbilt), splitting with the defending national champs, and sweeping a home series versus a mid-major.

Tonight's (possible) loss, however, is pretty disappointing. Granted, games like this are bound to happen over the course of the season and being a road match the RPI effect is only 0.7 losses. However, tonight's team seemed much to similar to the Dirtbags of 2011 and the down moments of 2012. The offense was missing and the pitching shot itself in the foot over and over.

A home series versus a struggling mid-major like Seattle is a nice way to avoid running into a losing streak, so hopefully the 'Bags will get things turned around this weekend. Series Preview due up Thursday.

And if we manage to comeback beat the ballclub formerly known as Southern Cal.... well that'd be totes cool.

11:49 PM (ET): Ryan Millison stays in the game for one batter too long and his control finally gets the best of him. Millison exits the game after tossing a solid 4 innings. He struggled with his command early on, throwing 4 wild pitches with 2 HBP in his first 0.2 innings but settled down to shutout USC in the 4th, 5th, and 6th. His first two walks of the night do him in, walking in a Trojan run. Nick Rosetta and the Dirtbag offense will have to pick up the slack.

10:09 PM (ET): Nick Sabo's status in the mid-week spot probably isn't in too much question right now, but the southpaw's start tonight certainly did look a lot like his stints from last year when he struggled mightily as a freshman.

Sabo exits the mound at Dedeaux Field with the follwing line: 2.2 IP, 4 hits (1 homer), 2 runs (1 earned), 3 BB, 1 K. Millison gets out of the third but Dirtbags trail 2-1.

9:25 PM (ET): The Colby Brenner Show may yet have some life in it. A walk in the top of the first followed by gunning down a running in the bottom half.

Unfortunately it wasn't enough to get Sabo out of the inning. Rookie catcher Eric Hutting is still struggling behind the dish. Another passed ball set up the Trojans to score on a ground out. Dirtbags trail 1-0 after 1.

8:31 PM (ET): Lineups...

CF Colby Brenner
2B Jeff McNeil
3B Juan Avila
DH Ino Patron
RF Richard Prigatano
C Eric Hutting
1B Jeff Yamaguchi
LF Josh Guerra
SS Michael Hill

CF Greg Zebrack
2B Adam Landecker
1B Dante Flores
C Jake Hernandez
RF Vahn Bozoian
SS James Roberts
3B Kevin Swick
DH AJ Ramirez
LF Timmy Robinson

Pretty conventional for both teams, although you have to wonder how long Hill will remain in the 9th spot with his slugging percentage being as high as it is. Hutting has hit himself up a notch into the 6th slot.

8:00 PM (ET): Well, the next 72 hours are going to suck for me and on top of that I'll probably miss most of this weekend's series will Seattle, so let's make this game count, guys.

LHP Nick Sabo gets the ball for LBSU, fresh off the best start of his career against Arizona last week. RHP Brent Wheatley gets the ball for the Trojans. Wheatley tossed five scoreless innings against a solid Loyola Marymount team last week, K'ing four and walking three. The true freshman is one of many highly touted rookies from the Trojans' top ranked recruiting class (#24 by Collegiate Baseball).