Upset City was in Long Beach yesterday. Western Illinois entered its matchup with host Long Beach State at 0-6, but the Dirtbags haven’t been hitting this season, and Tuesday’s game with the Leathernecks served as the starkest example of how much they haven’t hit. Western Illinois shut out the Dirtbags 3-0, getting its first win of the season. Five Western pitchers combined on a four-hitter, and LBSU left nine on base. Meanwhile, the Leathernecks jumped out front early with two runs in the first off losing pitcher Tyler Topp, and made it 3-0 in the third, enough to hold on.
The Dirtbags are hitting just .232 through 12 games and slugging just .328 as a team, so they’ve scored just 48 runs, right at 4.0 per game.
So the question is, what’s the bigger upset: that one, or Yale winning at South Carolina, 5-3? The Yalies have some talent, led by junior catcher Ryan Lavarnway, who hit his fifth homer in the Bulldogs’ eighth game of the season. Junior righty Steve Gilman, who touches the low 90s with his fastball, struck out two in a scoreless ninth to get the save, improving Yale to 3-5.
In other midweek games of note:
• Arizona State survived its toughest game of the year to date, beating Arkansas 6-5 in the first of a two-game series.
• Third-ranked North Carolina fell to 1-2 at its temporary home park, USA Baseball’s National Training Center in Cary, N.C. Coastal Carolina put a six-spot up on Tar Heel freshman Matt Harvey in the first inning en route to an 11-4 victory; eight of the Chanticleers’ runs were unearned.
• Texas beat Rice 9-1, scoring five runs off Cole St.Clair in 3 2/3 innings. The 8-6 Owls have have lost four of their last six games. Elsewhere in the Big 12, Baylor lost at Oral Roberts 7-6, the Bears’ first loss in a one-run game this year after seven such victories.
• Coppin State, which went through the 2007 season winless, got off the schneid by beating North Carolina Central 11-7 in the first game of a doubleheader. Coppin lost the second game 7-6, so there will be no winning streak, but the Eagles snapped their 55-game losing streak, the longest in Division I history.
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