A smorgasbord of pitchers fueled the Long Beach State baseball team to a 3-0 shutout victory Wednesday night over NC Dinos of the Korean Professional Baseball League at Blair Field.
Freshman right-hander Chris Mathewson made his debut for the Dirtbags (3-1). He was perfect through his first two innings, and he gave up his first hit in the third. Mathewson pitched three innings and gave up no runs.
“For the most part, I think I did pretty well,” Mathewson said.
NC Dinos right-hander Myung-Hwan Park started strong as well, sitting down the first nine hitters he faced. He struck out four.
At the top of the fourth, junior right-hander Trey Ferketic replaced Mathewson at the mound. Ferketic continued the trend of the game and went 1-2-3 in his only inning played.
At the bottom of the fourth, the Dinos made a substitution on the mound. Right-hander Chang-Sung Ko replaced Park, and the Dirtbags’ offense took off.
A fourth inning error by Dinos’ right fielder Sung-Bum Na helped freshman outfielder Chris McCready land on third after McCready doubled. Junior third basemen Alex DeGoti bunted and brought in McCready for the first run of the game. Junior first basemen Jonathon Serven’s double split the gap left-center field, which brought in DeGoti for the second run of the inning.
Sophomore second basemen Nico Maida continued the fourth inning offense by getting a base hit and bringing in Serven for the run. The Dirtbags scored three runs on four hits in the fourth inning to take the lead 3-0.
Head Coach Troy Buckley said there were a lot of positive things across the board to take from this game, but the Dirtbags still have a lot to improve on.
“The least positive thing is the amount of strikeouts,” said Buckley. “[We were] facing a lot of different arms so that’s not easy.”
Left-handed pitcher Sung-Ki Min came into the game for the Dinos in the fifth inning and proceeded to hit two batters: freshman catcher David Banuelos and freshman first baseman Luke Rasmussen.
The Dirtbags used a different pitcher in every inning for the remainder of the game. Sophomore right-hander Austin McGeorge, sophomore righty Vaughn Berberet, freshman lefty Keola Paragas, freshman righty Sean Trimble and junior Logan Lombana all got action on the mound.
Buckley said it was a good opportunity to give them each some experience.
“Ultimately, everyone is going to have to help us at some point down the road,” Buckley said.
The Dirtbags host Utah Valley in a three-game weekend series starting Friday at 6 p.m. at Blair Field.