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Dirtbags Win Big West Opener at UCR

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RIVERSIDE– Andrew Liebel (3-1) pitched his second complete game of the season and Jason Corder homered yet again to lead No. 9-ranked Long Beach State (18-9, 1-0 Big West) to a 6-3 victory over host UC Riverside (7-16, 1-3 Big West) in the Big West opener for the Dirtbags.

Liebel pitched a complete game 10-hitter, striking out seven and walking none as The Beach snapped a season-long six-game losing streak.

Corder’s fourth home run in five games capped a five-run fifth inning for LBSU to re-take the lead at 6-3. A Danny Espinosa single tied it at 3-3, before Corder’s three-run homer to left center doubled the lead. It was his sixth longball of the year.

Liebel used just 33 pitches over the first three innings, which included eight in a row retired, before getting into trouble in the fourth. UCR took a 3-1 lead thanks to two home runs and four of the 10 hits. He scattered four hits the rest of the way.

Brandon Godfrey’s RBI triple in the second inning gave LBSU a 1-0 lead prior to the three-run inning by the Highlanders. It was one of two hits for the senior third baseman.

Stephen Penney (0-3) went the first 5.1 innings for the Highlanders, giving up all six runs on 11 hits. Paul Applebee came on and retired eight in a row to keep the game close.

The series continues on Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. Vance Worley (3-1, 3.83) is slated to go for the Dirtbags.

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