Saturday, March 01, 2008


The numbers were kind of what you might expect for leap year baseball. Twelve roller coaster innings, 26 strikeouts (a team record 18 by the 3-2 losers from Wichita State) and 3 hours 28 minutes ending with Shane Peterson doubling in Danny Espinosa. But numbers, interesting as they are, don’t tell the story of another outstanding pitching duel, this time all Americans Andrew Liebel and Rob Musgrave. Like the Liebel-Ryan Berry duel in the Rice series, this pair carved up the opposition for the first half of the evening before turning matters over to a cast of relievers and fielders who created their own excitement of enough twists and turns to tongue-tie the on-looking experts.

After a room service double play ball turned into a double, two errors by one player on one play, and more runners stranded on third than a traffic jam at the LA Marathon, Shane Dennis, in the press box doing the KNSS Wichita radio play by play, resorted to telling his audience, “ Well if you missed it, you missed it.” The first score was fairly normal. Taylor Krick led off the Dirtbag second with a double off the left field wall, Weathers little balled in to third and he scored on a wild pitch by Rob Musgrave. Maybe that would be enough. In the bottom of the sixth the Niners had the making of a big inning with a Bag on every bag but only a bases loaded walk got a Niner run in after the Shocks talented set up guy Tyler Fleming rolled a double play ball to keep it close. The visitors had a big chance of their own fizzle, after Andy Dirks legged out a triple to left Ryan Jones reached on a fielder’s choice but Dirks was frozen and the next guy forced him out at home. On the night WSU would strand nine and the Beach 12. Now we get to the crazy part. The eighth started normally with another Liebel K before a walk on his 109th pitch brought in David Roberts. Ryan Jones banged that Espy-made double play ball but it hit the lip of the infield and bounced into center. Next up the big swinger Gillaspie hit one hard toward Peterson at first who stopped it from heading to the RF corner but when the ball got to freshman Devin Lohman he tried to make a hard play twice instead of just holding the pill with two outs. Assigned two errors when Dirks and Jones scored WSU had now knotted the affair and Lohman would have to wait until the 12th to make amends. He did so by working a free base from loser Andy Womack, moved to second on an Danny Espinosa single and easily scored when Peterson hit one over centerfielder Andy Dirks head. Mob comes out, game over and round two coming up.

DUSTING UP—Shane Peterson, who was red hot from the Fullerton series last year through the Cape Cod League, fanned his first two at bats then had three hits including a double…Espy continued smoking with four hits and his fifth double in five games…Nick Vincent faced two batters, striking out one and got his 2nd W…it is too early for this stat to mean anything but ten LB pitchers have perfect 0.0 who doesn’t gets the start today, Vance Worley (0-0, 2.57)…he will battle Peterson’s fellow Cape Cod all star Aaron Shafer (1-0, 1.50)…young Jake Thompson (0-1, 1.50) goes on Sunday against WSU's Tim Kelley (1-0, 2.25). … around the Big West yesterday Nebraska 3, UC Riverside 2; UCSB 7, LMU 7 (suspended darkness); Cal State Northridge 7, La Salle 5; UC Davis 12, Utah 4; Stanford 12, Cal State Fullerton 5; UC Irvine 4, San Francisco 0 and Washington 10, Pacific 1… in the pre-game party zone today are the Shocker parents, friends, alums and talented guys stolen from the Beach…the latter two are head trainer Dan Cahill and Athletics VP Brian Pracht who wore the LBSU black and gold about ten years ago and in fact, keep the same color scheme while working the WSU side…off course, our Niner on the back nine, John Mallinger, heading to another nice PGA payday -5 and 3 shots in back of the leader after 2 rounds...tonight hoops are at CSUF and MVB in the Gold Mine—DR. DAN


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