Worley, who struggled early last season as a starter and then rebounded in the second half from the bullpen, has been stout and a bit unfortunate all season. He allowed just four hits and a run in six innings against USC but exited tied 1-1. He retired ten straight against Rice and left the game with a lead but the Owls tied the game off the bullpen. “My plan was to just get the ball in the outfield and score a run,” Espinosa said. “I was looking for a pitch up and just drove it. In the eighth, I got a fastball away and stayed on top of it. I feel I’m driving the ball better this year, and to all fields.” Dirtbags coach Mike Weathers especially liked the opposite field double for the insurance run. “He’s more mature and stronger and has become a leader,” he said, noting that he expects Espinosa to get even better when he becomes more selective. Cal (5-6) took a 1-0 lead in the second. David Cooper, who transferred to Cal from Fullerton in the offseason, singled to left and took third on a perfectly executed hit-and-run single through the second-base hole. Cooper then scored on Blake Smith’s force out. It took just four batters in the sixth to give the Dirtbags the lead. Allen Woods reached on a bad-hop single over short. Shane Peterson bunted, and Cal pitcher Tyson Ross threw late to second trying to get the lead runner. Kyle Morgan then singled to right to load the bases. LONG BEACH – Last season they were promising freshman. This season, shortstop Danny Espinosa and right-handed pitcher Vance Worley are veterans expected to be team leaders. They showed they are Friday night. Espinosa drove in all four runs and Worley allowed five hits and a run in seven innings as the Dirtbags beat Cal, 4-1, before a frigid 1,164 at Blair Field. Espinosa then drilled a Ross pitch high and deep to right for a bases-clearing double. Espinosa’s double to left-center in the eighth scored Chris Nelson, who had singled and stolen second. Andrew Liebel and Bryan Shaw picked up the last two innings for Worley, each working a 1-2-3 inning. “I’m just trying to build on each outing and each pitch,” Worley said of his start. “I’m feeling more comfortable with each start.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Espinosa gave Long Beach State (7-4) the lead with a bases-loaded double in the sixth and then added an insurance run with an RBI double in the eighth. Three of Cal’s five hits off Worley were infield singles, and he struck out six and stranded a runner at third in the sixth and two runners on in the seventh. Espinosa has shared the hitting spotlight for the Dirtbags this season. He came in hitting .300 with a dozen hits and team-high seven RBI while also leading all of the regulars in slugging, this coming off a freshman season where he hit .281 with 31 runs scored and 23 RBI.