Baseball succumbs to late Long Beach State rally
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- The University of Texas yielded three runs in the bottom of the ninth inning to lose a 7-6 decision to Long Beach State University in collegiate baseball action at Blair Field on Friday evening.
Danny Espinosa hit a single to rightfield to drive in T.J. Mittelstaedt with the game-winning run. One batter earlier Bobby McMurray hit a two-run single to rightfield to tie the game for the 49ers.
The late Long Beach State rally overshadowed a two-home run performance by Kyle Russell. Russell 3-for-4 with two home runs, three runs scored and four RBI.
Texas drew first blood in the top of the second inning with a two-run home run to dead centerfield by Russell. His dinger plated Bradley Suttle who led the frame off with a single up the middle, staking the Longhorns to a 2-0 lead.
The Dirtbags responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the second. Shane Peterson led off the inning with a triple to the right centerfield gap and with one out scored on a groundout by Jason Tweedy to trim the lead to 2-1.
Long Beach State took its first lead of the game in the bottom of the third inning. Robert Perry led off the inning with a walk and Allen Woods followed with a single. A groundout put runners at the second and third. Perry scored on a wild pitch and a groundout to shortstop by Chris Lopez plated Woods for the go-ahead run, giving LBSU a 3-2 edge.
Suttle evened the contest at 3-3 with a solo blast over the rightfield fence.
Long Beach State went ahead in the bottom of the fifth as Jason Corder doubled to lead off the inning, moved to third on a groundout and scored on a double by Espinosa to give the 49ers a 4-3 edge.
Texas recaptured the lead in the top of the sixth. Wheeless singled up the middle and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Pat McCrory and scored on a single by Russell who ended up on third base on a fielding error by LBSU's rightfielder. Tucker plated Russell with a sacrifice fly to put the Horns ahead 5-4.
Texas added an insurance run on a home run over the left centerfield gap by Russell in the top of the ninth.
Alaniz (1-1) was saddled with the loss giving up one run on one hit in 0.1 innings.
Dustin Rasco (1-0) earned the win in relief for the Dirtbags. He pitched three innings, allowing one hit on one run while striking out three.
The two squads return to action on Saturday with a 4 p.m. CT contest at Blair Field.