Pacific Baseball Wins Second-Straight Series With 6-4 Victory Over Nevada
With the victory, Pacific improved to 4-2 on the year while the Wolf Pack dropped to .500, 3-3. The contest saw various extra-base hits, including two doubles, two triples and two homeruns.
As in the first contest the Wold Pack struck first in the top of the first frame. Despite three different base runners Nevada was only able to plate one runner after a sacrifice bunt put runners in scoring position, followed up by an RBI single. During the next at-bat Pacific's starter, LHP David Rowse (Pleasanton, Calif.) , attempted to catch Brian Barnett stealing at first but junior Brian Martin (Livermore, Calif.) opted to throw Westley Moss out at home upon seeing him break on the play. Senior catcher Joe Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.) completed the play and caught Moss stealing at the plate. With a bit of breathing room, Rowse quickly retired the next batter and was out of the inning with only one earned run.
The Tigers remained scoreless through the next two innings and Rowse kept the Wolf Pack from scoring again in the top of the second and third frames. Pacific was finally able to rally around its starting pitcher in the bottom of the third, when sophomore Brett Christopher (Livermore, Calif.) launched the first homerun of his career over the right field wall.
Tied at 1-1 heading into the top of the fifth, Nevada was able to break through once more for its final lead of the contest after plating two runs to lead 3-1. With a runner at first, Kevin Rodland tripled to center, but a throwing error to the cutoff on the way home allowed Rodland to come all the way around and score the second run of the inning with only one RBI on the play. Later in the top of the fifth, Pacific's defensive patience with runners on paid off once more as Rowse picked Moss off at first to end the inning.
It didn't take more than one pitch for Pacific mount a successful come-back effort, when senior Matt Fuson (Lodi, Calif.) drove the first pitch he saw over the center field wall for a solo shot in the bottom of the fifth. Pacific trailed 2-3 with the bottom of the order due up. Christopher and senior Ben Gorang (Turlock, Calif.) followed Fuson's jack with back-to-back singles up the middle. Continuing the rally with runners on first and second, junior Nick Longmire (San Diego, Calif.) tallied the fourth hit of the inning, singling to left field to load the bases.
With one run already home in the inning and Tigers on every bag Nevada had no choice but to go to its bullpen, replacing starter Rickey Denham with Jeremy Cole. Up 1-0 in the count, Oliveira launched a triple into left field, but a throwing error from second baseman Joe Kohan to try and tag Oliveira at third went horribly awry as the ball sailed out of play. Oliveira easily came around to score, his hit serving the same purpose as a grand slam to bring Pacific's run total in the inning to five, leading 6-3.
Comfortably out in front, Rowse only let one more run cross home plate in the top of the sixth. Pacific then went to its own bullpen after Rowse tossed six complete innings while using 110 pitches along the way. Junior Jake Hummel (Peoria, Ariz.) then came in to put a halt to the Wolf Pack's scoring opportunities, earning his second save of the season.
Rowse earned his first victory of the season (1-0), while Denham was tagged for his first loss on the mound, dropping to 0-1 on the year. Christopher and junior J.B. Brown (Alvin, Texas) recorded the only multi-hit performances for Pacific with two hits a piece, while Oliveira's three RBI were a game high.
Pacific next returns to action for the final contest of the series, with a 1 p.m. first pitch on Sunday, Feb. 28. Sunday's contest marks the first Salute to the Troops game of 2010, in which past and present military members will receive free admission and can take part in ceremonies in their honor.