On Long Beach Little League Day at Blair Field, there was some Little League defense early on as the two teams combined for six errors on the day. The game’s first two runs were unearned and a Long Beach State mental error helped set up the eventual game-winning run.
Indiana scored first in the fourth inning. Kyle Schwarber had been thrown out at the plate after he got a bad read at second base, initially breaking back on a Sam Travis line drive to right field. But Travis was able to score from second base on a ball hit in the deep 6-hole. Garrett Hampson ranged over to glove the ball and fired to first, but Ino Patron inexplicably muffed the catch at first base.
Another miscue by Schwarber allowed the Dirtbags to even it up in the sixth inning. Richard Prigatano led off with a single to right field, but Schwarber allowed the ball to scoot by him and Prigatano sauntered into third. He scored one batter later when Patron lined a single to even it up.
Long Beach State had a golden opportunity in the first inning when it had Hoosiers starter Will Coursen-Carr on the ropes. The Dirtbags got a single and three walks to load the bases (Hampson was picked off on a ball in the dirt) and Indiana head coach Tracy Smith had seen enough.
He made an early move to the bullpen, citing Coursen-Carr’s lack of aggressiveness as the reason. Here’s Smith after the game, talking about the win, his decision to have an early hook and what he liked about Harrison’s strong outing:
Luke Harrison came on and, despite falling behind in the count 3-0, got a fly out to end the threat. Harrison pitched 6.1 quality innings of relief, allowing only four hits and the one unearned run. He did not walk a batter and struck out four.
Long Beach State starting pitcher Andrew Rohrbach had the polar opposite outing as Coursen-Carr. Rohrbach went nine innings, allowing just five hits, no walks, and just the fourth inning unearned run.
Here is Rohrbach talking about his performance and trying to go one more inning, after the game:
But in the 11th inning, the Dirtbags bullpen couldn’t help cap Rohrbach’s strong outing. Kyle Friedrichs came on after a pair of relievers combined to open the inning with a hit batter and a walk. Indiana loaded the bases when no one covered first on a sacrifice bunt. Dustin DeMuth then drove in the game-winning run with a sacrifice fly.
The Dirtbags didn’t go down without a fight. Patron led off with a double over the centerfielder’s head and moved up to third on a groundout, but Long Beach couldn’t get the tying run home as Indiana closer Scott Effross froze Zack Domingues to end the game.
Here’s the top photos from CBD photographer Shotgun Spratling: