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College World Series : CS Long Beach Stopped by Dressendorfer

Times Staff Writer

The University of Texas boasts a long list of pitchers who have made college baseball history with outstanding performances.

Roger Clemens, Calvin Schiraldi and Greg Swindell are three recent members of the Longhorn pitching fraternity that also includes former football star Bobby Layne, who pitched two no-hitters in 1946, and Burt Hooton.

Saturday night at Rosenblatt Stadium, a record crowd of 17,407 looked on as sophomore right-hander Kirk Dressendorfer showed why he is fast becoming another Longhorn legend.

Dressendorfer, a two-time All-American, overpowered Cal State Long Beach as Texas defeated the 49ers, 7-1, in a first-round game at the College World Series.

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Four-time national champion Texas (52-17), making a record 25th World Series appearance, plays Miami (Fla.) (49-16) Monday night in a West Bracket winner’s game. Long Beach (50-14) meets Louisiana State (53-16) Monday afternoon in an elimination game.

Dressendorfer’s complete-game win against the 49ers was his 15th of the season and improved his record to 17-2. He allowed six hits, struck out six and walked three.

“He (Dressendorfer) certainly lived up to his billing,” Long Beach Coach Dave Snow said. “Early in the game, our kids came back to the dugout and said, ‘He’s good, but I think we can get him.’ But it seemed like he got a little more steam as the game went along.”

Indeed, after surrendering two hits and Long Beach’s only run in the second inning, Dressendorfer did not allow a runner past first base.

“I didn’t feel like I had my outstanding fastball today, but I got it in on their hands,” Dressendorfer said. “Their guys looked like they didn’t know where I was going to throw them and that’s why I was able to get inside.”

Long Beach, making its first World Series appearance, was held to a single run for only the fourth time this season. Dressendorfer neutralized the 49ers’ running game by keeping lead-off hitter Darrell Sherman (39 steals) off base.

“He (Dressendorfer) took our game away from us today,” Snow said. “We didn’t have a lot of opportunities and when we did have combinations come up, they weren’t real conducive to doing things.”

Long Beach starter Andy Croghan (12-1) surrendered three runs and 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings before he was relieved by Greg Hays.

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“I had a lot of two-strike pitches that stayed up and that’s really what killed me today,” said Croghan, a freshman right-hander. “My success all year has been keeping the ball down. I just didn’t have it today.”

Long Beach took a short-lived lead in the second inning on a single by Todd Lloyd that scored Don Barbara, who had singled to lead off the inning.

Texas, however, staged a two-out, three-run rally in the third to get all the runs the Longhorns would need.

Craig Newkirk’s two-run double followed consecutive singles by Scott Bryant and Arthur Butcher. David Lowery produced the final run of the inning with a single that scored Newkirk.

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David Tollison drove in the first of four Texas runs in the eighth with a single off Hays that scored Jeff Shults from second. Bryant followed with a bloop single to right that scored Steve Bethea and Tollison, and after Hays walked Butcher, Newkirk drove in Bryant with another single to right that completed the scoring.

With the loss, Long Beach now faces the long road to the national title that goes with losing a first-round game.

Since 1950, when the World Series moved to Omaha and adopted a double-elimination format, only eight teams have won the tournament after losing their first game.

“If we play our game, we can beat anybody out here,” Long Beach second baseman Chris Gill said. “If we don’t, anybody can beat us.”

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Notes

North Carolina (41-17-1) plays Arkansas (50-15) today at 2 p.m. PDT in an East Bracket elimination game and top-seeded Florida State (53-16) meets Wichita State (64-15) at 5 p.m. in the winner’s round. . . . Kirk Dressendorfer’s start against Long Beach Saturday gave him 20 this season, which ties the school record held by Roger Clemens. Dressendorfer’s complete game gives him 15 for the year, which ties the school record held by Greg Swindell. . . . Offensive output at the World Series has steadily declined since 1984 when teams combined for a record 15.2 runs a game and .296 tournament batting average. Last year, the eight teams averaged 10.3 runs a game and batted .272.


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