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Long Beach State drops Shockers

Next game:

in the state of Long Beach

02/19/2023 | 3pm

February 19 (Sunday) / 3pm

in the state of Long Beach


LONG BEACH, Calif. – Rocco Peppi hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning as Long Beach State rallied for a 6-5 win over Wichita State Saturday night at Blair Field.

Wichita State (0-2) had just taken a 5-4 lead in the top of the ninth on an RBI single by Brock Rodden, his second go-ahead in the last three innings. Reliever Robert Cranz (0-1) then retired the first man he faced in the ninth before allowing a single to Nick Marinconz. Peppi followed that up by hooking a 1-0 pitch down the left field line just over the glove of WSU left fielder Jack Little for the first home run of the series by both teams.

The rally marred a bright start by Wichita State lefty Payton Tolle, who allowed only one more hit in six innings of work. Tolle struck out three and walked two, allowing three runs, two of which were earned. The Dirtbags (2-0) scratched a pair of runs off him in the second with one hit, getting a sacrifice fly and an RBI groundout for a 2-0 lead.

David Herring produced Wichita State’s first run of the season with a career-high single in the top of the fifth, the only blemish on the line of Long Beach State starter Nico Zeglin, who scored eight runs over five innings.

Down 2-1 in the seventh, the Shockers finally broke through against the Dirtbags’ bullpen. A single and hit run sandwiched between two groundouts put runners in the corners for Rodden, who rammed a two-run triple into the gap in right center field for a 3–2 lead. Two pitches later, Dirtbags catcher Connor Burns parried a pickoff attempt, allowing Rodden to score for a 4-2 lead.

The Dirtbags fired back early with two runs in the bottom of the seventh. Marinconz hit an RBI single to left to make it 4-3, and Jonathan Long hit a bases-loaded walk to tie it at 4-4. Cranz walked out of the bullpen to stop the bleeding, retiring the next two batters to preserve the tie. He then worked a scoreless eighth, setting the stage for a dramatic ninth inning.

The Shockers beat the Dirtbags 10–6, led by multi-hit plays by Rodden, Tolle, Mauricio Millan and Kyte McDonald.

Will Levine (1-0) earned the win for Long Beach State despite allowing hits to two of the three batters he faced in the top of the ninth.

Game three of the series is scheduled for Sunday afternoon at 3:00 PM CT. Right-hander Grant Adler is leaving for the Shockers, while Long Beach State will answer with lefty Myles Patton.

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