Tuesday night’s matchup will be a clash between two of the best, most unique mascots in the country, and two good baseball teams. Long Beach State official mascot is the 49ers, but the baseball team goes by the nickname “The Dirtbags”. It’s a pretty bold move to just stare out at a baseball diamond, name your mascot after one of the first things you see, and call it good. Its a move that commands respect.
As a team the dirtbags are 6-8 on the year with a record that includes a series loss to Oklahoma and a sweep by Arizona State, both on the road. Against TCU they’ll be playing just their fifth game of the year at home, an environment where they’ve been much more successful with a 3-1 record.
Dalton Horton - So. LHP (9.00 ERA, 0-0, 5.0 IP)
vs AJ Jones - Jr. RHP (0.00 ERA, 0-0, 0 IP)
Dalton Horton was impressive in his return to the mound last Tuesday against Dallas Baptist. He went 4 innings allowing just one run on two hits with one walk and eight strikeouts. Horton was one of the best freshman in the nation during the first half of last year, and although he struggled in late April and May, the team is 12-1 with him as a starter.
AJ Jones has yet to pitch this season for the Dirtbags, joining the team during the offseason as a transfer out of College of Southern Nevada. There, he went 9-1 with a 3.91 ERA and was named 1st Team All Conference as a sophomore. He also recorded 74 strikeouts in 73.2 innings pitched.
Catcher David Banuelos leads the Dirtbags in batting average at .390 coming off a strong series against Arizona State last weekend. He was 5-for-9 in the series with a triple and a double. Second baseman Jarren Duran is batting .339 and leading the team in hits (20), stolen bases (6-8) and runs scored (15). Third baseman Ramsey Romano is hitting .367 and is second on the team in RBIs (8), hits (18) and runs scored (9) as part of a team-best nine game hitting streak. The Dirtbags are hitting .245 as a team.
TCU’s team batting average took a hit over the weekend as their team batting average fell to .267, but it could have been much worse without the 17 hit game on Sunday to avoid the sweep by UC Irvine. Currently they’re averaging 7.9 runs per game. Hopefully the offense stayed hot in the California sun on Monday’s off day.
The only two regular starters batting over .300 for the Frogs right now are Nolan Brown (.375) and Luken Baker (.354). Brown still leads the team in stolen bases (8-9) and hits (21) with five extra base hits and 13 RBIs. Luken still leads the team with four home runs, 21 runs scored and 17 walks on the season. The rest of the team had been hot and cold, but several got hot Sunday including Josh Watson who went 2 for 3 with four RBIs and Austin Wade who was 3 for 4 with three RBIs.
Tuesday’s game will not be televised, but fans can get audio on the radio at 88.7 FM or through Frog Vision. First pitch is scheduled for 8:00pm CST.