Coming off of a complete game victory last Friday, Shane Carle was brilliant again, striking out a career-high 13 batters on the way to a 5-0 win over UC Riverside, the first complete game shutout of the season for the Dirtbags.
Carle rarely ran into trouble in his best start of the season, and in the rare occasions when he did have runners in scoring position, the junior bore down and finished off the innings with strikeouts.
Most incredible, Carle was able to finish off a masterpiece by striking out the side in the ninth. After getting the first out, David Andriese singled, and Carle walked Phil Holingsworth to put two on, and put the complete game and the shutout in jeopardy. The junior earned his final two strikeouts of the day, however, ending the inning and the game in a brisk 2:23 5-0 win for Long Beach State (26-25, 12-10 Big West).
The 13 strikeouts for Carle were a career-high for the junior, and the most by any Long Beach State pitcher since current Pittsburgh Pirate Jared Hughes struck out as many in 2006, also against the Highlanders.
The Dirtbags took a lead early against UC Riverside (12-29, 8-14 Big West), scoring in the second inning. Senior Zach Miller started off the inning with a single, and after a sacrifice, came around to score on base hit by Jeff McNeil to give the Dirtbags a 1-0 lead.
Dylan Stuart matched Carle for much of the game, allowing just six hits, but surrendered two additional runs in the sixth inning, walking Ino Patron and then giving up back-to-back singles to Zack Rivera and Jeff Yamaguchi as Long Beach State opened up a 3-0 lead.
Miller came through once more in the bottom of the eighth inning, driving in a pair of runs to go with his run scored as the Dirtbags took a 5-0 lead, supporting Carle in his effort to finish off a second straight complete game.
Long Beach State will try to win its fourth straight game on Saturday, as the Highlanders return for game two of the series. First pitch from Blair Field is scheduled for 2 p.m.