Long Beach State’s fast finish in the regular season helped the 49ers tie for the Big West Conference title and earn the chance to play host to an NCAA regional.
The top-seeded 49ers, however, failed to capitalize on their home-field advantage Friday night in a 7-3 loss to Fresno State in front of 1,958 at Blair Field.
“For the way we’ve been playing down the stretch here to get to this point, this is disappointing,” Long Beach State Coach Mike Weathers said.
Fresno State pitcher Justin Wilson contributed to most of Long Beach State’s struggles and sent the 49ers into an elimination game against California today at 2 p.m. San Diego, a 5-0 winner Friday over California, plays Fresno State at 6 p.m.
Wilson (7-4), a junior left-hander, overcame early wildness and gave up only two runs and three hits in seven innings. He struck out 11.
“We talk about quality at-bats all the time, and we had three quality at-bats on my scoresheet all night,” Weathers said. “So we didn’t really do anything. We were dominated by [Wilson].”
Meanwhile, Fresno State (38-27) got to Long Beach State ace Andrew Liebel (8-4), touching him for seven runs and nine hits in 7 2/3 innings.
Fresno State built an early 3-0 lead, held off the 49ers when they got to within a run in the third inning and then put the game away with a three-run eighth.
Brandon Godfrey drove in all three runs for Long Beach State (37-20).
San Diego 5, California 0 -- Junior left-hander Brian Matusz, expected to be one of the top picks in Major League Baseball’s first-year player draft, looked the part, striking out 10 in the three-hit shutout.
Matusz improved to 12-2.