The second-guessing could last eons for Long Beach State.
Some aggressive baserunning twice backfired for the Dirtbags in the 10th inning Saturday night at Blair Field in an NCAA baseball tournament regional against Texas, extending a game that might have otherwise ended there.
The second-seeded Longhorns capitalized in the 12th inning, scoring two runs for a 5-3 victory that sent the top-seeded Dirtbags into an elimination game Sunday afternoon against San Diego State.
Travis Jones’ two-out, two-run single to left field off Dirtbags closer Chris Rivera broke the deadlock and gave Texas (39-22) a second consecutive victory in the regional. The Longhorns will play the winner of the Long Beach State-San Diego State game at 7 p.m. Sunday, with a chance to advance to a super regional against Cal State Fullerton should they prevail.
Long Beach State (38-18-1) ran itself out of two potential chances to win in the 10th inning. Luke Rasmussen, who was hit by a pitch leading off the inning, raced to second on an errant pickoff throw but was thrown out trying to go all the way to third base.
Jarren Duran then laced a ball that skipped past Texas left fielder Austin Todd and rolled all the way to the wall. Duran tried to circle the bases on the play but was called out after the relay throw from third baseman Ryan Reynolds arrived just before Duran touched home plate.
Long Beach State looked like it might be on the way to winning the game in the bottom of the ninth inning when the Dirtbags put a runner on second with two out and pinch-hitter Alex Muzzi hit a liner to shallow right field. But Texas right fielder Patrick Mathis charged in to make a diving catch and send the game into extra innings.
Texas tied the score in the back-and-forth game at 3-3 in the eighth inning on Zane Gurwitz’s solo home run, the third solo shot of the game for the Longhorns after Brett Boswell had hit one in the second and seventh innings.
Boswell came to the plate in the eighth with two out and runners on second and third but was struck out on three pitches by Long Beach State freshman reliever Zak Baayoun, who pumped his left arm in triumph on the way back to the dugout.
Long Beach State had edged ahead 3-2 in the seventh inning after Ramsey Romano led off with an infield single and went to third on Brock Lundquist’s single through the right side of the infield. David Baneulos struck out, but Texas catcher tried to throw out Romano drifting off third base and the throw hit Romano, allowing him to race home with the Dirtbags’ third run.
Long Beach State scored the game’s first run in the first inning after Daniel Jackson doubled down the left-field line with one out and Lucas Tancas walked. Romano reached on a fielder’s choice and was thrown out trying to take second base, but not before Jackson crossed home plate for the game’s first run.
Texas tied the score in the second inning on Boswell’s first homer, but the Dirtbags took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the inning on Lundquist’s solo homer to right field.
The Longhorns threatened in the sixth inning when they loaded the bases on two singles and a two-out walk. But Long Beach State right-hander Darren McCaughan got Todd to fly out to center field to end the inning.
Boswell blasted his second homer in the seventh to tie the score at 2-2.