Saturday, June 3, 1989
Texas Coach Cliff Gustafson and pitcher Kirk Dressendorfer had different views of the Longhorns' 7-1 victory in the College World Series on Saturday night.
Dressendorfer stopped Cal State Long Beach on six hits in the West Bracket first-round game in Rosenblatt Stadium.
"Dressendorfer pitched an outstanding game," Gustafson said. "They are a good contact hitting team, and he overpowered them with his fastball."
The sophomore right-hander survived sixth-inning shoulder stiffness in extending his record to 17-2. His 15th complete game tied the Southwest Conference record set in 1985 by Greg Swindell, then of Texas and now with the Cleveland Indians.
"It wasn't pretty, but it was a win," said the 5-foot-11, 180-pound Dressendorfer.
Long Beach State Coach Dave Snow said Dressendorfer "lived up to everyone's expectations." But, he said, the 49ers weren't overwhelmed.
"Our kids early said, 'He's good, but we can get him, we can get him.'
"But he did a good job of working inside and preventing our hitters from extending their arms."
Texas, 52-17 and the No. 2 seed in the eight-team CWS, advanced to the 7:40 winners' bracket game Monday.
Seventh-seeded Long Beach State, 50-14, will play in the 4:07 elimination game Monday.
The Longhorns beat freshman right-hander Andy Croghan, 12-1, in a game harder fought than the final score indicated.
The 49ers, making their first CWS appearance, were playing the school that holds the record for most trips to Omaha (25).
Long Beach State grabbed a 1-0 lead in the second inning. The Longhorns responded with three runs in the third despite having a baserunner erased on a double play.
Third baseman Craig Newkirk doubled home Scott Bryant and Arthur Butcher, each aboard with a single, to put the Longhorns ahead 2-1.
Croghan said the right-handed batting Newkirk hit a fastball high and inside for the double to the left-center field wall.
"My success all year has been keeping the ball low," he said. "I didn't do it today."
Newkirk, a senior from Galveston, Texas, scored as designated hitter David Lowery singled to left. Newkirk beat left fielder Dan Berthel's throw, which was up the first-base line and bounced past catcher Perry Sanchez.
Croghan's foot slipped out from under him as he moved behind the plate to back up the play. He was slow getting up but returned to the mound and pitched until the seventh inning.
Gustafson said the third was a key inning.
"To come back and score like that after the double play was certainly pivotal," Gustafson said.
Gustafson had seen the 49ers erase the potential tying run in the second when Lowery fell rounding third and was thrown out trying to scramble back to the bag.
Gustafson, coaching third, had motioned Lowery to stop at third.
"The difference was that there was one out," Gustafson said. "You take more chances with two out."
Lowery, Gustafson said, had on shoes designed for artificial turf.
"They don't work on grass," Gustafson said. "He put on spikes for the rest of the game."
The 49ers reached Dressendorfer for their run in the second inning.
Don Barbara opened the inning with a single, went to second on a sacrifice bunt and scored on Todd Lloyd's single.
Snow said the bunt so early was common for his club.
"That's our style," he said. "We want to play for a run at a time."
The Longhorns sacrificed in the second, only to see the strategy foiled by Lowery's slip.
Dressendorfer said he experienced pain and stiffness in his shoulder in the sixth inning but was able to continue after a rubdown in the clubhouse.
In evaluating his overall performance, Dressendorfer said he "let the fielders do the work because I didn't have my good fastball."
That was a reason, he said, for working the hitters inside.
Dressendorfer said teams more familiar with his deliveries have more success than did the 49ers in turning on and hitting the inside pitch.
"Their offensive team made better contact than our offensive ballclub," Snow said.
Three Longhorns - Newkirk, Lowery and Bryant - each had three hits.
Newkirk added an RBI single in the four-run eighth at the expense of relief pitcher Greg Hays.
Bryant, a junior from San Antonio, Texas, drove in two runs with a high fly that right fielder Lloyd misjudged. Lloyd couldn't recover to make the catch despite a lunging, shoestring try.
Lowery grounded out with the bases full in the seventh inning after hitting safely in his first three trips.
Gustafson said the victory was important for the Longhorns, most of whom are in their first CWS despite the school's numerous tournament appearances.
"If you lose the first game, there's a chance you could be going home very soon," he said. "Now we're assured of at least three games.
"If we win Monday night, we're in the finals of the bracket and somebody would have to beat us twice to get to the championship game."