Baseball, Sports

Dirtbag bats silenced by ‘Way’ of Washington State

Box score

Maybe superstition was on the minds of the baseball team on Friday the 13th.

One game after posting 17 runs and 17 hits, the Dirtbag bats were silenced.

Long Beach State (4-8) dropped the first match-up of its weekend series against Washington State, 9-0, in front of 960 at Blair Field.

Cougars pitcher Matt Way set the tone for the game, throwing 109 pitches and eight shutout innings on way to victory.

“Friday the 13th wasn’t good today with us getting shutout,” Dirtbags head coach Mike Weathers said.

Way had eight strikeouts and one walk while allowing four hits. It was the third straight game that Way went more than seven innings.

There were plenty of scoring chances early on for the Dirtbags, leaving a runner in scoring position in each of the first three innings.

“It’s disappointing,” Weathers said. “We talk a lot about being aggressive with runners in scoring position and we weren’t.”

Weathers added that if they had scored runs early, it could’ve affected Way’s mentality while also allowing LBSU starter Jake Thompson to pitch more relaxed.

Scoring for the Cougars (4-8) was bust open in the top of the fourth when Alex Burg crushed a three-run home run — his second of the game — to straightaway center field. Burg went 2-for-3 with four RBIs.

One batter earlier, Michael Weber singled home a runner pushing the lead to 2-0.

By the end of the fifth, the game was out of hand and WSU didn’t let up.

Up six runs, Greg Lagreid (2-for-4 with two RBIs) pounded a bases-clearing double down the left field line, bringing two runners to the plate.

Thompson (0-3) was chased from the game after issuing a walk to Shea Vucinich and allowing a single to Patrick Claussen in the fifth.

Thompson gave up seven earned runs — two home runs — and struck out two in 4 1/3 innings of work.

“This was the first week he’s been on schedule, so this was the first full week and we were expecting better things than that,” Weathers said. “We talk about ‘if you’re going to pitch on Friday and face the [other team’s best pitcher], you better have a better performance’.”

Trying to get something going in the sixth, Dirtbag Tre Dennis reached second with one out. But LBSU was unable to capitalize.

Despite the loss, Dennis continued his solid play, going 1-for-3 while stealing two bases.

“[Way] was good,” Dennis said. “We had chances to get to him early with runners in scoring position, but then he got into a groove.”

Defensively, the Dirtbags turned three double plays including one by Taylor Krick, who jumped to catch a line drive down the first base line before tagging first.

The Cougars got on the scoreboard first in the second inning when Burg unloaded on a pitch, launching it past the centerfield wall for a solo homerun.

LBSU threatened in the top of the first with one out and Dennis on third. But Way stayed composed, striking out the next two batters.

The teams will be back in action Saturday at 2 p.m.

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