May 23, 1998
NCAA West Regional
Friday, May 22, 1998
STANFORD, Calif.--Long Beach State (38-21-1) took advantage of a nine-run second inning and went on to defeat Loyola Marymount (34-22-1), 19-9, in game #5 of the NCAA West Regional at Sunken Diamond.
Long Beach State will now face host and No. 1 seed Stanford Saturday at 3 p.m. Loyola Marymount will take on the loser of Friday night's North Carolina State-Alabama game Saturday at 11 a.m.
In Long Beach State's nine-run second inning, the big hitters for the 49ers were Justin Hall and Termel Sledge. Hall hit a two-run homer off of LMU starter Billy Traber and then later in the inning Traber gave up a solo homer to Sledge. Traber (4-5) got the loss, pitching only 1.7 innings with six hits, six runs, no walks and no strikeouts. Hall finished the day 3-for-6 with three RBI and Sledge was 4-for-6 with a double, home run and two RBI. Another outstanding hitter for the 49ers was Paul Day, who went 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI.
Loyola Marymount ended-up going through eight pitchers who gave up 19 runs, the most runs given-up by LMU since they lost to CS Fullerton, 17-9, Feb. 4 at Fullerton.
The winning pitcher for Long Beach State was reliever Darren Merrill (6-0), who came in in the fourth inning and pitched 4.3 innings with two hits, one run, no walks and two strikeouts. Top hitter for Loyola Marymount were Matt Riordan, who was 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI. The Lions also had home runs from Joe Sulentor, a two-run homer in the fourth, and Kevin Gustorf, who had a solo home run in the third inning.
"We offensived it real well, it has been a trade mark for us this year and it showed up today," said Long Beach State head coach Dave Snow. "Getting a lot of runs on them (Loyola Marymount) early helped our defense, because it forced them to sit back and swing their bats."
Long Beach State 193 110 040 x 19 21 1
Loyola Marymount 012 401 001 x 9 10 3
WP: Merrill (6-0) LP: Traber (4-5)
2B: Sledge (26), Lopez (17), Kennedy (24), Madison (9), Riordan (17), Gustorf (14)
HR: Sledge (11), Day 2 (15), Hall (7), Sulentor (7), Gustorf (10)
Battery: Leuenberger, Merrill, Frizzelle and Kennedy (LBSU). Traber, Gray, Bonilla, Clelland, Fujinaga, Madsen, Demosthenes, Cecchin and Walter, Martinez (LMU)
LMU Head Coach Frank Cruz:
"It was a tough one today. They hit everything we threw out there."
"LBSU has always hit well, it's no suprise. They hit the ball well all year and as the competition gets tougher, they get tougher."
LONG BEACH STATE HEAD COACH DAVE SNOW:
"We offensed it real well. It's been a trade mark for us this year and it showed up today."
"Getting a-lot of runs on them early helped our defense because it forced them to sit back and swing their bats."
"(On the offense) We're fortunate to have some great hitters in our program at this time."
"(On breaking LBSU's single seaason hit record) It's a good record to have but my focus was on winning the game. It was a great team effort and a good win for us."