The No. 25 Long Beach State Dirtbags picked up a fifth consecutive win by shutting out No. 6 Mississippi State 4-0 on Friday night at Bohl Diamond at Blair Field.
LBSU (7-2) is off to its best start since 2008, and has shutout it’s last two ranked opponents thanks to another quality start from Adam Seminaris. The junior lefty pitched eight scoreless innings and struck out 10 Bulldogs while giving up a hit and two walks.
“He threw all four pitches for strikes and went after these guys,” Dirtbags first-year coach Eric Valenzuela said. “I don’t know how he did it, he just threw a lot of strikes and we played good defense behind him.”
Seminaris threw 77 of his 102 pitches for strikes, and got out of the only jam of the night in the sixth inning with a fly out and a ground out. At one stretch, Seminaris retired 14 MSU batters in a row.
“Coach calls a great game,” Seminars said of Valenzuela. “I just throw what he puts down. It’s all different, he just keeps them on his toes.”
This is the fourth time in nine games the Dirtbags have had their starting pitcher reach double-digit strikeouts.
LBSU took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on a two-run single from left fielder Aidan Malm, and doubled it in the seventh inning on a double from shortstop Tyler Porter and an error.
“That was a great game against a great team and I knew (we) weren’t scared,” Valenzuela said. “They have so much confidence now. It’s kind of like you’ve been punched in the face so much that you’re not scared of anything and they played like it. That’s kind of the mentality that they have.”
The final run came on a stolen base by Porter to cap an aggressive performance for the Dirtbags.
“We talked about bullying them,” Valenzuela said. “That was our moto today. That’s how you beat a team like this. Teams that are ranked this high take advantage of teams playing scared. You have to be aggressive in the zone and at the plate and we sure did that.”
LBSU will try to take the series on Saturday at 3 p.m. with sophomore lefty Alfredo Ruiz (2-0, 0.00 ERA) on the mound. Mississippi State (6-3) will counter with lefty Christian MacLeod (2-0, 1.80 ERA).