Wiest Pitches Shutout as Titans Avoid the Sweep
LONG BEACH, Calif. - Grahamm Wiest tossed his third complete-game of the season and the Titans pounded out 11 hits as they scored a 6-0 victory over Long Beach State Sunday afternoon at Blair Field.
The Titans (23-20, 7-8) avoided their first sweep against the Dirtbags (23-22, 9-6) since 2002 and recorded their fifth shutout victory of the season. It was also their first shutout over the Dirtbags since March 22, 2013, which also came by way of a 6-0 score.
Wiest was dominant on the mound for the Titans, scattering four hits in his nine innings of work without issuing a walk. He struck out five and made 95 pitches on the day. In his last two starts, Wiest has gone 19 innings and allowed one earned run on eight hits with 12 strikeouts. It was also his third consecutive quality start and ninth in 11 outings this year.
Austin Diemer led the Titans offensive attack as he went 3-for-5 with a run scored and an RBI. Matt Chapman was 2-for-2 with two RBIs and a run scored and reached safely in four of his five plate appearances. Six other Titans recorded one hit apiece.
It took 20 and 2/3 innings in the series but the Titans finally got a run in the third inning off the Dirtbags pitching staff. Keegan Dale drew a one-out walk and then advanced to third on J.D. Davis' single to center field. Chapman then lofted a fly ball to center where Colby Brenner made a running catch. Dale tagged and broke for home, easily beating Brenner's throw to give the Titans a 1-0 lead.
Dale finished the game 1-for-3 with two runs scored and extended his hitting streak to 10 games, the longest for a Titans player this season.
The Titans added to their lead in the fifth inning when they sent seven hitters to the plate. Taylor Bryant and Diemer led off with consecutive singles to bring Dale up to bat. The Dirtbags infield played in to defend against a bunt, but Dale swung away on the first pitch and punched a single up the middle to bring in Bryant and give the Titans a 2-0 lead.
Then, with Davis up to hit, the Titans attempted a double steal but Eric Hutting nailed Diemer at third base for the first out of the inning. Davis flied out to center and then Chapman reached after he was hit by a pitch. David Olmedo-Barrera was called upon to pinch hit and came through with an RBI single through the right side to give the Titans a 3-0 advantage.
It was Olmedo-Barrera's sixth hit in his last four games and fifth RBI of the season. He finished the day 1-for-3.
The Titans would add another run in the sixth inning on a two-out RBI single by Diemer to plate Clay Williamson, who led off the frame with a base hit and then stole second, his seventh stolen base of the year. Williamson has now reached base safely in 16 consecutive games, one shy of Tanner Pinkston's season-high 17-game streak earlier in the year.
Chapman capped off the team's scoring in the ninth inning with an RBI single to score Diemer and then came around to score on a pair of wild pitches from Dirtbags reliever Kyle Friedrichs to make it 6-0.
It was more than enough for Wiest, who allowed just three runners to advance to second base on the afternoon. He also held the Dirtbags to one hit in the final three innings, retiring seven straight hitters at one point.
The Titans will conclude their four-game road swing on Tuesday when they take on UCLA.
Notes: Greg Velazquez made his return to the starting lineup on Sunday for the first time since April 11 at UC Santa Barbara as the designated hitter. He was 0-for-1 with a walk before being lifted for Olmedo-Barrera in the fifth… All three wins in the series came via shutout… The Titans are now 7-1 this season when they score six or more runs… Pinkston also extended his own hitting streak to nine games on Sunday afternoon after recording a single in the eighth inning, his final at-bat of the day… Chapman recorded his team-high 11th multi-RBI game of the season on Sunday… The Titans had gone scoreless in their last 21 and 2/3 innings dating back to their victory over Fresno State on Wednesday prior to the run scoring in the third inning. It also snapped the Dirtbags pitching staff's streak of 41 and 2/3 scoreless innings.