With rare storms looming in southern California, Nebraska and #20 Long Beach State concluded their series with a doubleheader on Saturday, but both pitching staffs stifled any offensive thunder in the opening game. A two-out bases-loaded walk-off single in the bottom of the 13th by Jarren Duran was the difference in the Dirtbags' 1-0 win over the Huskers.
Long Beach State got its best early opportunity in the bottom of the first. With two outs and runners at first and second, Lucas Tancas appeared to swing at a Derek Burkamper pitch, hitting the ball with his hand. Nebraska then fielded the ball and tagged him out. However, Dirtbags' head coach Troy Buckley challenged the call, and it was reversed, loading the bases for Garrett Nelson. Burkamper got out of the jam by getting Nelson swinging on a 2-2 pitch in the dirt.
Jarren Duran and Alex Muzzi got Long Beach State started with back-to-back singles in the bottom of the third inning. After a fly out and a stolen base, Burkamper faced runners at second and third with one out, but the junior worked out of another jam by striking out Dominic Collachio and Nelson back-to-back.
Nebraska mounted its first true threat in the top of the sixth, putting runners at first and third, but Long Beach State reliever Austin McGeorge got Scott Schreiber to ground out to short. The Huskers started off the eighth with a single by No. 9 batter Steven Reveles, but that was followed by back-to-back strikeouts. On the latter strikeout, Reveles was caught stealing on what appeared to be a missed hit-and-run by Ben Miller, prompting the ire of Darin Erstad in the dugout.
Long Beach State found itself in position to win in both the ninth and 10th innings, putting a runner at third in both frames, but Nebraska relievers (Chad Luensmann and Reece Eddins) drew ground balls out of the Dirtbags to end each inning.
In the top of the 11th, Ryan Boldt ripped a single to commence a Husker threat. Jake Placzek then laid down a two-strike bunt to advance Boldt to second. After the McGeorge walked Ben Miller, Schreiber flew out to right, bringing up Jake Meyers with runners at first and second and two outs. A wild pitch moved runners to second and third. On a full count, Meyers chased a pitch high and outside, ending the Huskers' prospects.
Long Beach State mounted another bases loaded rally in the bottom of the 13th, this time with just one out. With a drawn-in infield, Duran grounded into a fielder's choice, but Muzzi followed with a two-out single, driving a 1-2 pitch to the opposite field.
The Huskers (2-5) and Dirtbags (6-3) will return to the field shortly for the second game of today's doubleheader and the rubber match of the weekend series. Stay tuned to Corn Nation for a recap of tonight's second contest.