Around the Bases
Peterson ends marathon
for No. 10 LBSU vs. No. 13 WSU
By Abbey Mastracco
LONG BEACH, Calif. — Two near defensive collapses
pushed No. 10 Long Beach State and No. 13 Wichita State late
into Friday night at Blair Field.
The Dirtbags took Game 1 of the three-game series
3-2 in dramatic fashion when Shane Peterson crushed a fastball
to the deep center-field warning track to drive in Devin Lohman
in the bottom of the 12th inning for LBSU’s second
walk-off win of the season.
The Dirtbags advanced to 3-2 on the season, while
handing the Shockers (3-1) their first loss.
“Somebody has got to do it,” Peterson said. “I
knew we had a pretty good chance [going into extra innings]
because our bullpen was so good. So I knew we could do it as
long as we could manufacture a run.”
Peterson finished 3 for 6 with a RBI, and Danny
Espinosa continued his hot start for the Dirtbags, going 4 for 5
with a run and a double.
Ryan Jones led the Shockers, reaching base safely
three times – two singles and on an error – and scoring once.
Connor Gillaspie also went 2 for 5 and had a double.
The Shockers fell behind early as the Dirtbags
put a run on the board in the third. In the bottom of the sixth,
Long Beach was poised to break open the game with an offensive
burst but managed to drive in just one run, despite four runners
Andrew Liebel proved why he is the Dirtbags’
Friday-night ace. In his second appearance in the role, Liebel
tied his career-high in strikeouts, fanning 11 for the second
time in as many starts.
“There’s not much else to say about how
outstanding he’s been,” LBSU head coach Mike Weathers said. “We
stretched him out to 109 [pitches], and we tried to go 105. We
went a little longer than we wanted to, but he didn’t want to
For three straight innings Liebel retired the
side. The Shockers threatened in the fourth inning, but Long
Beach escaped the inning with steady defense.
“He makes that happen,” Weathers said. “I think
the guys like playing behind him.”
Liebel tossed 7.1 innings, surrendering four hits
and walking one. He was on track for the win until the Shockers
scored an unearned run in a disastrous eighth inning in which
Devin Lohman committed two throwing errors in one at-bat to
allow the Shockers to score two and knot the game at 2.
“Freshman mistake,” Weathers said. “He got out of
control, trying to do something not knowing the situation…Young
mistakes, hopefully he learns from them. He’s a good player.”
The series continues Saturday at Blair Field at 2
p.m. The right-handed matchup will feature WSU’s Aaron Shafer
(1-0, 1.50) facing off against Vance Worley (0-0, 2.57).