Around the Bases
Around the Bases
rally and roll to sweep of Bruins
By Abbey Mastracco
LONG BEACH, Calif. — UCLA is a school rich with pride and
tradition. It’s evident in everything from the prestigious
reputation of the school, to the immensely successful athletic
program, and right down to the school’s fight song “Sons of
However, Long Beach State has a tradition too, and that
tradition is baseball. The Dirtbags have a reputation of
scraping and grinding and pulling out all the stops to get a
win, no matter who they face. And this tradition was all but
obvious at Blair Field Saturday afternoon, as the No. 6 Dirtbags
(16-3) completed the sweep of the No. 16 Bruins (10-8) by taking
both games of a doubleheader 3-2 and 10-3.
front of a crowd of 1,962, the Dirtbags pulled off a stunning
come-from-behind victory to take the first game of the
afternoon. Dirtbag starter Jake Thompson was roughed up early
on, and Bruin starter Charles Brewer was dominant. Thompson gave
up an earned run in the second, and Adam Wilk gave up an
unearned run in the eight, while Brewer was holding the Dirtbags
scoreless through eight. But the innings began to wear on Brewer
in the ninth.
Devin Lohman took a single off Brewer to lead off the bottom of
the ninth. With one out, Brewer gave up another single to
Jonathan Jones. With runners on the corners, the struggling T.J.
Mittelstaedt came up to bat. Mittelstaedt sat back and waited
until he got the fastball he knew was coming, turned on it, and
crushed it for a two-RBI triple to tie the game. Danny Espinosa
was then intentionally walked and Jason Corder struck out.
Justin Uribe then came over from center field to take the mound,
facing Shane Peterson. Peterson chopped a ball to third baseman
Jermaine Curtis who bobbled it, and threw down to first just
seconds too late as Shane Peterson beat the tag, allowing
Mittelstaedt to easily score from third for the win.
was looking for a fastball,” Mittelstaedt said. “I stayed off
the plate and he gave it to me. I stopped at second and looked
over to see if it was gone and I kept going.”
“We had five opportunities until the last one,” said Dirtbag
head coach Mike Weathers. “We didn’t do the job with runners in
scoring position. We didn’t do it today until we needed it.”
The Bruins, visibly demoralized, headed back to their dugout to
prepare for the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
But the Dirtbags were still fired up from their win, and the
momentum carried over. Vance Worley took the mound for Long
Beach, and quickly retired the first eight batters he faced.
Worley’s control was spot-on, while Gavin Brooks’ struggles were
early and often.
The Dirtbags jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead, while barely
hitting. Brooks issued nine free passes over five innings, five
walks and four hit batters. The Dirtbags took six earned and one
unearned off Brooks on only five hits.
Three Bruin pitchers combined for 11 walks on the night.
“[Brewer] did a really good job of keeping us off balance,”
Weathers said. “Tonight, they walked 11 guys and hit four, we
could kind of sit back and take a lot of pitches and I thought
we did a good job with that.”
Worley hit a few bumps in the road, but never lost composure, as
he gave up two earned runs and one walk and was two strikeouts
away from his career-high of 11 in his first career complete
“The team is great about giving me runs back,” Worley said,
admitting that he can’t take all of the credit for the win. “If
I give up a run, they just get on base the next inning and give
another one back.”
Worley picked up his third win on the season, while Brooks fell