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Harvard’s West Coast slaughter continues with Dirtbag win

Mike Weathers and Joe Walsh have something in common, and no, it is not a winning team.

The two head coaches of Long Beach State and Harvard like throw their teams up against some of the toughest teams in Division I baseball. The only difference is LBSU is the third-ranked team in the nation, and Harvard is – well, not exactly up there, or anywhere near there, really.

California hasn’t exactly been kind to the Crimson.

Starting out facing reigning Big West Conference champs UC Riverside, falling to the Highlanders 9-4, then went down south for a three-game series against the No. 14-ranked San Diego Toreros. The Toreros swept the Crimson, capping off the series with a no-hitter thrown by Josh Romanksi.

A few hours of some good ‘ole So Cal traffic later, the Crimson (1-11) faced the Dirtbags (17-3), and saw no remorse.

Brett Lorin took the hill, making his first start as a Dirtbag, and getting his first win in black and gold as well in the 15-0 shutout victory. Lorin went five innings, giving up one hit and striking out six. Lorin faced just two batters over the minimum, as an error committed by Brandon Godfrey at third base allowed a baserunner.

“They’re usually a pretty good team,” Weathers said. “I really had faith in them.”

The Dirtbags launched a 15-hit attack on Crimson starter Shawn Haviland, taking him for 10 earned runs. Haviland did manage to get the bats swinging, striking out five with a great hook in his breaking ball throughout his five innings, but the Dirtbags lit him up, as well as relievers Anthony Nutter and Ben Rabinowitz.

Each of the Dirtbags’ starting nine scored at least one run and got on base. Weathers used the blowout as an opportunity to shift positions, most notably in the infield where the Dirtbags have a hole to fill at second base while Jason Tweedy is out with an injured finger for a month and at shortstop where Danny Espinosa continued to struggle.

“I wasn’t really worried about them, I was liking some of our guys,” Weathers said. “It’s good that our guys got a chance because we still have guys struggling. I’m glad the game turned out the way it was so they could get some positives.”

Weathers was also pleased to see several slumping Dirtbags finally get clutch hits. Brandon Godfrey went 2-for-4 with a double, a run and two RBIs, raising his average to .211. Kip Masuda managed to raise his average to .288 and TJ Mittelstaedt raised his to .185.

However, it was Lorin that Weathers thought was the most impressive, with an outing that earned him another start next week on the Dirtbags’ road trip to Stanford.

“He threw almost 68 pitches, which will be important next Monday,” Weathers said. “So that was good for him to get that fifth inning.”

With just one hit over five innings, Lorin couldn’t have been more pleased with his performance as well.

“I haven’t seen that many innings,” Lorin said. “I wanted to keep going. It felt good to get through that fifth. I wanted to make sure I got through there at least, if not more.”

David Born, Anthony Carillo, Nick Vincent and Bryan Shaw combined to continue the shutout.

Next up for the Dirtbags, they begin a 10-game road trip today, in Malibu, facing Pepperdine.

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