Pacific Baseball: Tigers Fall 11-6 at No. 18 Stanford
The Tigers were led offensively by junior Brian Martin (Livermore, Calif.) and senior Ben Gorang (Turlock, Calif.) who finished the game a combined 7-for-7 at the plate. Gorang posted a perfect 4-for-4 night while scoring two of the Tigers' six runs.
Looking to pick up their first win of the season against a ranked opponent, the Tigers got off to a fast start, scoring first and holding a small lead through the first two-thirds of the contest before the Cardinal rallied.
Needing a few innings to get things rolling, the Tigers struck for their first runs of the game in the third inning, tagging the Cardinal for a pair of runs after loading the bases to start the inning. As he did all night, Gorang sparked the Tigers with his first hit of the game, singling to right field to start the inning. After a walk and an error on a sacrifice bunt put Tigers on every base, junior Nick Longmire (San Diego, Calif.) struck the first blow for Pacific, driving a single up the middle to score two. With two runs across and two runners on, the Tigers were unable to do any more damage in the inning as Pacific rolled into a double-play that took the momentum out of the inning and left the Tigers without further runs.
The early lead for Pacific was short lived as the Cardinal immediately responded to the Tigers' two runs with two of their own in the bottom half of the inning. After putting their first two runners on base in the inning including a leadoff double, the Cardinal nearly left the pair stranded on bases without scoring a single run, but were bailed out on a two-out, two-RBI single to center field by Stephen Piscotty.With the game back to even, the Tigers again jumped ahead of Stanford in the fifth inning, this time plating a single run to pull back into the lead. After a leadoff double by freshman Dustin Torchio (Santa Cruz, Calif.), Pacific was able to take advantage of one the three Cardinal errors in the contest to plate their only run of the inning.
Again, however, the Cardinal immediately responded with another two spot in the bottom half of the inning as Pacific committed its first and only defensive mistake of the contest, allowing both runs to score with two outs in the inning.
Despite the damage, the Tigers came back in their next trip to the plate to recapture the lead with their second crooked number on the scoreboard of the night, scoring two in the top of the sixth inning to take a 5-4 lead. Just as they had done in the third, Pacific loaded the bases in the inning without recording an out in the inning after sophomore Brett Christopher (Livermore, Calif.) started the inning off with a single through the left-side followed by a pair of bunt singles by Gorang and senior Joe Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.). The Tigers would pick up their runs on a pair of mistakes by the Cardinal as the first run crossed the plate on a wild pitch while the second scored on another Stanford error. Again, the Tigers left a pair of runners stranded in the inning, a problem that would come back to haunt them in the bottom half of the inning.
Leading 5-4, the Tigers got themselves into trouble in the bottom half of the sixth as they allowed the Cardinal to load the bases with only one out in the inning, putting the go-ahead run at into scoring position. Stanford wasted no time scoring that run and taking what would-be an insurmountable lead in the inning when Colin Walsh hit the first pitch he saw over the right field wall for the grand slam and an 8-5 lead. With the three run advantage, the Cardinal would tack on three more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth inning on a Zach Jones three-run home run to left field.
Pacific picked up a single run in the ninth inning on an individual effort by senior Matt Fuson (Lodi, Calif.) who picked up a two-out pinch hit double in the inning before coming into score the final run of the game on two passed balls.
Overall, the Tigers and the Cardinal were evenly matched at the plate as the two teams combined for 25 hits with the Tigers picking up 12 and the Cardinal adding 13. On the mound, sophomore John Prato Matthews (Davis, Calif.) was tagged with the loss for Pacific as he put the runners on base for the Cardinal in the sixth inning that came in to score on the grand slam. For Stanford, Brian Busick picked up the win as he was one of seven Cardinal pitchers on the night.
Pacific will be back in action on Friday, February 26, at Klein Family Field when the Wolf Pack of Nevada come to Stockton, Calif. to take on the Tigers. The first game of the three-game series is slated to begin at 6:00 pm.