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No. 30 Long Beach State Rallies to Tie No. 23 Pepperdine, 7-7, in Home Opener

Feb. 6, 2007

Malibu, Calif. - Sophomore Eric Thames continued his torrid hitting with a three-run double that capped a five-run fourth inning and staked Pepperdine to a 7-0 lead over No. 30 Long Beach State Tuesday afternoon at Eddy D. Field Stadium. However, that lead would not hold up as the 49ers took advantage of eight walks and tied the game on a three-run home run by Danny Espinosa in the eighth inning.

That was how the game would end as it called due to darkness before the Waves (1-2-1) could bat in the bottom of the ninth inning.

Things began well for Pepperdine as it took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, rallying for a pair of runs with two outs. Freshman designated hitter Mark Tracy singled to center and senior left fielder Luke Salas walked ahead of a two-run double to left-centerfield by sophomore second baseman Denny Duron.

The Waves appeared to have broken the game open in the fourth inning as they sent nine batters to the plate and scored five times to take a 7-0 lead. A leadoff walk to open the inning started the rally that was highlighted by a run-scoring single by junior shortstop Danny Worth and Thames' bases-clearing double.

However, walks would come back to haunt the Waves as Long Beach State (2-1-1) took advantage of three free passes to begin the fifth inning and scored four times to cut the deficit to 7-4.

Junior right hander Robert Della Grotta, who seamed in control, walked the first two batters he faced to open the fifth before giving way to junior right hander Adam Olbrychowski, who immediately surrendered a walk and two-run single. Shane Peterson, who started on the mound for the 49ers, singled with two outs to drive home a pair of runs and make it a 7-4 game.

That would be all the scoring until the eighth inning when Espinosa hit a 3-2 pitch from freshman left-hander Jonathan Harmston over the left-centerfield fence for a game-tying three-run home run.

Della Grotta, making his first start of 2007, worked four innings, allowed one hit, two runs, walked two and struck out one before giving way to Olbrychowski.

Pepperdine returns to action on Friday when it opens a three-game series against UC Davis at Eddy D. Field Stadium beginning at 2 p.m.