Pacific Baseball Drops Midweek Game To No. 15 Cal, 13-6
In the final road midweek contest of the season, the Pacific baseball team tried, but could not catch up after a grand slam from No. 15 California and went on to fall 13-6 on Wednesday, April 21.
With the loss the Tigers dropped to 22-13 on the season while the Bears improved to 23-11.
The Tigers started out ahead first, taking an early 1-0 lead after the top of the second inning. Junior J.B. Brown (Alvin, Texas) singled a 1-0 pitch into left center field for the first hit of the inning. One out later, freshman Dustin Torchio (Santa Cruz, Calif.) reached on a throwing error from shortstop Marcus Semien, moving Brown over to third and putting runners at the corners. With only one out, senior Ben Gorang (Turlock, Calif.) grounded out to second but helped push Pacific up 1-0 as Brown came around to score from third base unearned. That was all the scoring production the Tigers could muster in the second inning.
California, however, came back to tie up the game off a solo homerun from Chad Bunting in the bottom of the second and evened the score 1-1. Pacific eased out to a one-run lead once again, answering back with another run in the top of the third. With two outs, senior Mike Walker (Marysville, Calif.) tallied his team-leading seventh homerun of the season in response to Bunting's, smashing a shot over the left field wall to move Pacific up 2-1.
But the game ended up out of reach for the Tigers in the bottom half of the third inning, when a grandslam from Mark Canha gave Cal the final lead, 5-2.
Pacific tried to play catch-up in the top of the fourth again in a familiar two-out situation. With no one on, senior Joe Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.) single up the middle to keep Pacific's hopes of coming back in the inning alive. Junior Nick Longmire (San Diego, Calif.) followed Oliveira's cue and also singled up the middle, moving the speedy Oliveira all the way over to third base. It was then up to sophomore Brett Christopher (Livermore, Calif.), who led the Tigers with six RBI in the previous series against No. 25 UC Irvine, as the majority of his runs driven in came with two ours on the board. Christopher proved to be up to the challenge yet again, driving in Oliveira with a single to right field. The Tigers closed out the top half of the inning trailing 5-3.
But again, the Bears' potent offense tipped the scales in the bottom half of the frame. Cal plated four more runs to take a 9-3 lead.
Down by six, Pacific rallied again in the top of the fifth inning. Walker reached on a fielding error from first baseman Canha for the first runner aboard with no one out. Brown did his part to help Pacific chase the Bears when he singled into right field to put runners at first and second with nobody out. Junior Matthew Carvutto (Poway, Calif.) took immediate advantage of the situation by tallying the Tigers' second extra-base hit of the contest with a double down the left field line that brought Walker home and moved Brown to third base. The Tigers then trailed 9-4. One out later, Gorang chipped in to Pacific's score when he grounded out to second base but still contributed an RBI, bringing Brown home and narrowing the gap, 9-5.
The rally eventually would prove for naught, however, as California responded back with two runs of its own in the bottom half of the inning, leading 11-5. The offense would continue to teeter back and forth as such, with Cal plating two more runs one in the bottom of the sixth and one in the seventh, to come out to a 13-5 lead. Pacific plated its final runner in the top of the eighth and then went scoreless in the ninth to fall by a final margin of 13-6.
Offensively, Longmire led Pacific going 3-for-5 with one run scored. Freshman LHP John Haberman (Stockton, Calif.) suffered his first loss from the hill on the season and dropped to 1-1. Brian Diemer garnered the victory for California and improved to 1-1 as well.
Pacific next returns to action on Friday, April 23, when they host Big West Conference opponents Cal State Northridge for a three-game series beginning with a 6 p.m. first pitch.