UC Irvine Takes Series 4-1

CBB News Sources

Fri. UCI 10 – LBSU 5
Sat. UCI 1- LBSU 5
Sun. UCI 4 – LBSU 1

LONG BEACH, Calif. — UCI starter Daniel Bibona held Long Beach State to one run to lead the No. 7 Anteaters to a 4-1 win over No. 16 Long Beach State Sunday at Blair Field. UCI improved to 23-6 overall and 5-4 in the Big West while Long Beach State dropped to 19-14 overall (2-4 Big West).

Bibona retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced. The southpaw worked himself out of a jam in the fourth, retiring three straight after giving up a single and a base on balls to start the frame. Outfielder Dillon Bell’s diving catch on Rylan Sandoval’s sinking line drive ended the Dirtbag threat. Bibona matched a career-best 6.2 innings, struck out five and scattered six hits to improve to 5-1.

Long Beach State also had runners on first and third with one out in the sixth but Bibona induced Jason Corder to hit into a 6-4-3 double play to escape the inning.

Catcher Aaron Lowenstein led UC Irvine, driving in a season-high three RBI, going 2 for 4 at the plate. Ben Orloff, Francis Larson and Jeff Cusick each recorded two hits.

UCI took the early lead, scoring twice in the second on a sacrifice fly from Dillon Bell and a run-scoring single from Lowenstein.

Following Corder’s solo home run in the second to cut the UCI lead to one, the Anteaters capitalized on a Dirtbag error and took a three-run edge with two runs in the sixth. Cusick singled to lead off the inning and advanced to second on an error by pitcher Jake Thompson, whose throw to second in an attempt to get the lead runner went wide. Josh Tavelli’s sacrifice bunt advanced the runners and with the infield playing in, Lowenstein hit an 0-1 pitch that went off the glove of diving first baseman Shane Peterson to score Cusick and Bell.

Long Beach State’s final chance to score came in the seventh as the Dirtbags put runners on first and third with two outs but T.J. Mittelstadt hit into the force play to end the frame.

Christian Bergman retired four straight in relief of Bibona and closer Eric Pettis pitched a perfect ninth to pick up his eighth save of the season.

Thompson fell to 1-4 after giving up four runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings.