No. 16 Baseball edged 5-3 by No. 19 Long Beach State
AUSTIN, Texas -- The Horns brought the tying run to the plate in each of the final three frames, but Dirtbags' starter Andrew Carpenter held off UT's attempted rallies by tossing his second complete game of the year as No. 16 Texas lost a narrow 5-3 decision to No. 19 Long Beach State in front of a season-high crowd of 6,048 fans at Disch-Falk Field on Saturday, March 11.
The Longhorns' (12-9) loss to the Dirtbags (12-8) snapped the team's three-game win streak and handed UT its first loss at home this season. It also evened the series at one game apiece and set up a rubber match at Disch-Falk Field on Sunday, March 12 at 1 p.m. Central.
Three consecutive two-out hits, including a two-run single off the bat of Kyle Russell (Magnolia, Texas), in the bottom of the first staked UT to an early 2-0 lead. Long Beach State answered right back in the top of the second by having its first two hitters reach and Shane Peterson connecting on his first home run of the year to push the Dirtbags on top by a score of 3-2. Both teams would then threaten but not score in the next four half innings, as LBSU's Carpenter and Texas' Kyle McCulloch (Houston, Texas) kept the respective offenses off the board. While Carpenter stranded runners in scoring position in both frames, McCulloch did the same in the third and worked out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fourth.
In the fifth, after McCulloch induced a double play to give the Dirtbags a runner at third with two down, Peterson followed a Cruz double with a triple as LBSU broke on top by a score of 5-2. Carpenter, meanwhile, set down seven in a row to move the game to the seventh with Long Beach still holding a three-run advantage. A one-out double from Preston Clark (Rockwall, Texas) and a RBI pinch-hit single off the bat of Preston Pehrson (Arnold, Md.) in the seventh then closed UT's deficit to 5-3. After the Horns brought the tying run to the plate for the second straight inning in the eighth but were held in check by Carpenter and the Dirtbags' defense, they again had the tying run in the batter's box as Clark drew a two-out walk in the bottom of the ninth. Even so, Carpenter managed to strike out his next batter to quell the attempted rally and seal the victory for Long Beach State. While Carpenter, who allowed three runs on three hits and struck out four during his second complete-game effort of the year, picked up the win, McCulloch incurred the loss despite striking out four over five innings of work.
Texas' offense, which out-hit LBSU by an 8-7 margin on the afternoon, was led by Kainer, who went 3-for-4 with one run scored, Clark, who posted two hits in two at bats while scoring one run, and Russell, who drove in two of UT's three runs with a two-run single in the first. On the other side of the ledger, Long Beach State's attack was paced by Peterson, who fell a double shy of hitting for the cycle with a 3-for-4 effort that included one run scored and four RBI, and Cruz, who went 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI. Of additional note for UT, both Drew Stubbs (Atlanta, Texas) and Russell extended their current hit streaks to 15 and 11 games, respectively, while freshman reliever Joey Parigi (Monterey, Calif.) tied a career-best by throwing four innings of no-hit relief and striking out a pair.
These two teams wrap up their three-game set at Disch-Falk Field on Sunday, March 12 at 1 p.m. Central. For tickets, call 1-800-982-BEVO.