April 16, 2008

Around the Bases

CBI Live
Peterson hits for cycle as Long Beach blitzes Pepperdine

By Abbey Mastracco



LONG BEACH, Calif. — As Shane Peterson tagged second after ripping a ball deep into the right field corner in the bottom of the sixth, Peterson had accomplished the near-impossible, as the double completed the cycle. Peterson led severely slumping Long Beach State to a 10-0 rout of No. 26-ranked Pepperdine Tuesday night at Blair Field.


“I never really thought it would happen,” Peterson said. “I came close my freshman year, I was a double short. But even tonight, I knew all I needed was a double but I didn’t really think about it when I was up there.”


The junior first baseman’s feat was the first to be accomplished in recent Dirtbag history, as no cycles have been recorded since 1998. (Note: No record of cycles prior to 1998 could be found.)


“Not since I’ve been here,” said head coach Mike Weathers.


Peterson started off the night with a two-run homer in the first, just his second on the season. He then followed up his nearly 400-foot jack with a triple in the third, reached first with an infield single in the fourth and completed the cycle with the double in the sixth — a ball hit so deep it nearly went for another triple.


“I was lucky that tarp was there in right field to stop the ball,” Peterson said.


Peterson was walked to end the night, finishing 4 for 4 with five RBI and three runs.


The win, in a sense, completed a sort of cycle for Long Beach State (20-14). Three weeks ago, the Dirtbags were ranked as high as No. 3 in the nation after a torrid start that included a stretch of 15 wins in 16 games, and four straight sweeps in five consecutive series wins. But upon embarking on a 10-game road trip, it all came crashing down, starting in Malibu where they fell 7-5 to the Waves (23-12).


This time around, the now-unranked Dirtbags finished what they started.


“I think that now we know something is wrong,” Peterson said. “Before we were just playing like everything was good, we were still playing pretty similar. But now, I think we all need to bear down and make adjustments, and we did that tonight.”


After forgoing batting practice in favor of extra fielding time before the game, the Dirtbags wasted no time in pounding on Waves’ starter Robert Dickman. Peterson’s two-run shot put the Dirtbags up 3-0 in the first. Again, Peterson came up big in the fourth, igniting a four-run rally. His double helped add two in the sixth, and Taylor Krick singled to drive him in for the 10th run of the night.


The Waves were out-hit two-fold, as four Pepperdine arms combined to give up 14 hits and issue six walks. Four Dirtbags recorded multi-hit contests, with Robert Burk trailing Peterson going 2 for 3 with two RBI. Jonathan Jones and Steve Tinoco both went 2 for 5, with Jones scoring once and Tinoco twice.


Chase d’Arnaud, a Long Beach native who prepped across the street from Blair at Wilson High School, was the only Wave to record a multi-hit game, as he went 2 for 4 with a double.


The offensive surge was a stark contrast to the untimely hitting the Dirtbags have experienced as of late. For a team that isn’t used to losing, the onslaught has begun to wear on the Dirtbags.


“It’s almost like he’s looked tired,” Weathers said of Peterson. “There’s a lot on his shoulders. Danny [Espinosa] and Shane and some of those other guys, they take it real personal when we lost like that.”


Brett Lorin, in his fourth start of the season, who had been shaky at best in two of the right-hander’s three previous starts, pitched five shutout innings, giving up just two hits and fanning five, just one shy of his career-high.


Dickman took the loss for Pepperdine, as he was shelled for five earned on seven hits in just a little over two innings.