Long Beach State’s Dirtbags went ahead in the third inning and cruised their way to a 9-0 shutout of No. 24 ranked UC Irvine on Sunday in Irvine. They split the series at two apiece, marking the first home series this season that UCI didn’t win.
Long Beach State (13-13, 11-12 in Big West) scored runs in five straight innings as UC Irvine’s (26-14, 18-6 in Big West) offense struggled to put solid consecutive at-bats together.
Freshman second baseman Sebastian Murillo led off the third inning with a single immediately followed by a homer from senior right fielder Calvin Estrada to put the Dirtbags ahead 2-0.
The very next inning, the duo wreaked more havoc after two quick outs for UCI’s pitcher Peter Van Loon, Murillo doubled and Estrada was intentionally walked. A fielding error by the first baseman allowed both runners to score, doubling the Beach’s lead to 4-0.
Van Loon could not make it out of the fifth inning going 4.1 innings, allowing five runs on four hits but struck out seven hitters. He was able to get outs early in the inning but struggled to finish them as he was hit with the loss.
Sophomore starter Jack Noble pitched five shutout innings, struck out five hitters, allowed two hits and earned his third win of the season for the Beach.
With two outs in the fifth inning and a runner on first base, the Dirtbags rallied for back-to-back hits, resulting in two more runs.
Dirtbags’ freshman closer Harrison Devereaux came into relief in the sixth inning and finished the game to pick up his ninth save of the season. He pitched four innings, allowed four hits and struck out four hitters to complete the shutout.
This is the first time UCI has been shutout since Feb. 28 in a 4-0 road loss to UCLA.
Murillo put the game on ice with a two-out double to score two runners in the seventh inning to make it a 9-0 game. Murillo collected three hits and two RBIs as he scored two runs.
The Dirtbags went 4-4 against nationally ranked teams in back-to-back weekends against No. 24 UC Irvine and No. 25 UC Santa Barbara respectively.
Long Beach will be traveling to UC Riverside for a four-game weekend series beginning Friday, May 7 at 6 p.m.