Jeff McNeil was 4-for-5 with the Dirtbags' first two RBI on Friday.
March 15, 2013
Long Beach, Calif. - Junior Shane Carle allowed three hits over seven innings, giving up one unearned run with seven strikeouts, and the bats finally followed, as Long Beach State scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth to take the series opener against Wichita State 4-3.
Tied at one in the bottom of the eighth inning, Long Beach State (7-11) got a rally started with a Zack Rivera pinch hit single, and after a walk to Josh Guerra, Junior Jeff McNeil gave the Dirtbags their first lead of the game on an RBI hit to right field. Michael Hill then padded the lead with a two-run triple, putting Long Beach State in front by three, and Jon Maciel collected his second save of the season in his return to the bullpen.
The eighth inning fireworks were a welcome relief after the Dirtbags squandered a number of early chances against Wichita State (11-6). Long Beach State loaded the bases with two outs in the first inning before Shockers starter Cale Elam got out of the inning with a strikeout. Through the first three innings, the Dirtbags left seven runners stranded.
Carle was up to the challenge however, striking out a career-high seven batters and tying a career long with seven innings pitched, scattering just three hits, despite getting a no-decision.
After a Taylor Doggett single gave the Shockers their first runner of the game in the fourth inning, a single by Casey Gillespie ran under the glove of Colby Brenner, allowing Doggett to score and Gillespie to advance to third, giving Wichita State the first lead of the game. Carle was able to limit the damage with a strikeout and a groundout to get out of the inning.
Long Beach State answered in the bottom of the sixth inning, as Jonathan Serven reached base on a one-out single, and after a sacrifice, came around to score an RBI single from McNeil.
The Dirtbags and Shockers return for game two in the series tomorrow at 2 p.m.
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