Rowse Ties Pacific Baseball's Best Start With 4-1 Victory Over Cal State Northridge
Limiting Cal State Northridge to just one run, senior LHP David Rowse (Pleasanton, Calif.) improved to a perfect 7-0 on the season which matches Ron Lewis's 7-0 start recorded in 1995, for the best start as a pitcher in Tiger history. Pacific, who won 4-1 on Saturday, April 24, improved to 23-14 overall and 6-5 in the Big West Conference while the Matadors dropped to 21-16 and 3-5 in conference play.
The Tigers' breakthrough inning came in the bottom of the sixth, when Pacific was able to put its starting pitcher, Rowse, in line for a decision. Entering the sixth tied 1-1, junior Nick Longmire (San Diego, Calif.) knocked a 1-1 pitch to third base, but Justin DeMarco sailed the ball over Dominic D'Anna's glove at first base. On the error Longmire reached safely as the first baserunner of the inning. Sophomore Brett Christopher (Livermore, Calif.) then became the next runner to reach base when he was hit by a pitch from RHP Paul Tremlin and put runners on first and second. Cal State Northridge then went to its bullpen, calling on Jimmy Jolicoeur to take over.
One out later, senior Mike Walker (Marysville, Calif.) flew out to center field, but the ball carried enough for Longmire to tag at second and advanced to third base. Junior J.B. Brown (Alvin, Texas) came up next and his patience was rewarded after a full-count walk to load the bases. The hero of the inning would turn out to be senior Joe Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.) who launched a shot off DeMarco at third that bounced behind shortstop TS Reed. This allowed for both Longmire and Christopher to come home unearned and give Pacific a 3-1 lead.
Entering the eighth inning, head coach Ed Sprague handed the ball over to senior RHP Hunter Carnevale (Roseville, Calif.) after Rowse finished in line for the win with 88 pitches tossed through seven innings. Carnevale did the job and shut down the Matadors in order in the top of the eighth.
That gave way for the Tigers to come back in the bottom half of the frame and tack on an extra insurance run. Bryan Longpre was the next reliever out of the bullpen for Cal State Northridge in hopes of halting Pacific. Junior Brian Martin (Livermore, Calif.) stood in the way of Longpre, however, and single into right center field to kick off the inning. Next up came Walker, who grounded out to second baseman Ryan Pineda but moved Martin into scoring position at second base. Longpre then decided to intentionally walk Brown in hopes of a double play, but he was eventually picked off at first by Longpre. Reeling off his successful pickoff, Longpre next attempted to get Martin at second, but overthrew the ball into center field as Martin advanced to third on the error. Once again Oliveira came up big for the Tigers driving home Martin with his third single of the game, this time into right field. Oliveira's RBI put Pacific up for the final 4-1 score.
In a save situation in the top of the ninth inning, Carnevale continued to dazzle and recorded the final three outs via strikeout, despite allowing a double and a single to allow two baserunners in the inning. For his efforts, Carnevale was awarded his team-leading fourth save of the season and has now tossed in 22-consecutive innings without allowing an earned run over seven appearances.
Pacific scored first run of the contest back in the bottom of the second inning when Oliveira tallied his first of four RBI on the day by singling home Walker for an early 1-0 lead.
The Matadors tied the contest in the top of the fourth inning, after D'Anna homered to right field with two outs already on the board, knotting the score up at 1-1.
After the 4-1 victory Rowse was awarded with the win to go 7-0 on the year, while Tremlin suffered the loss on the hill and fell to 5-5 this season. Oliveira paced Pacific offensively with a 3-for-4 showing at the plate that included four RBI.
The rubber match between Pacific and Cal State Northridge is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 25.