May 18, 2013
Long Beach, Calif. - Long Beach State extended its winning streak to four games with a 5-4 victory over UC Riverside Saturday, winning the series with the Highlanders in the process. Senior Juan Avila went 3-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored in the victory.
Long Beach State (27-25, 13-10 Big West) struck early, scoring in the bottom of the first inning and never trailing in the contest with UC Riverside (12-30, 8-15 Big West). Jeff McNeil led off the inning with a base knock, and after a fielder's choice, Avila singled to left, and an Ino Patron single drove in the first run of the game. Avila was then able to score from third on the fifth sacrifice fly of the year from Zack Rivera as the Dirtbags took a 2-0 lead.
Two Highlander errors helped the Dirtbags add two more runs in the bottom of the third inning, and in the fourth, McNeil was hit by a pitch, and then a single by Colton Vaughn put runners on the corners with two outs. Avila then came through with an RBI single for his third hit of the game to give the Dirtbags a 5-0 lead.
Starter Jake Stassi ran into some trouble in the fifth inning, hitting the leadoff batter and then giving up two singles to surrender a run and leaving runners on the corners. Ty Provencher came on for the Dirtbags and got Long Beach State out of the inning with a 5-4-3 double play.
Provencher set a career high with three innings pitched, and earned the win while helping the Dirtbags enter the ninth holding a 5-1 lead. The Highlanders rallied to put a scare into the Dirtbags, loading the bases with two outs and then scoring three runs on a walk and a two-run single. Jon Maciel was able to get Devyn Bolasky to ground into a fielder's choice as Long Beach State held on for the win in the ninth inning.
Long Beach State will look to sweep the series and clinch a .500 season with a win on Sunday against UC Riverside. First pitch is scheduled for 1 p.m., with the Dirtbags honoring their four seniors in a ceremony prior to the final home game of the year.
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