Pacific Baseball: Pacific Takes Slugfest At San Jose State, 18-10
With the win, Pacific improved to 14-7 while San Jose State dropped to 9-11.
Junior Nick Longmire (San Diego, Calif.) started out the game with a massive shot into left center field, giving the junior his 10th triple in Pacific history, moving into the No. 6 all-time position in Pacific history and putting an early runner into scoring position. Longmire's hit set the tone for the inning and the contest as he eventually came around to score on a ground out from sophomore Brett Christopher (Livermore, Calif.) as only the second batter of the game. Pacific went on to record a total of four runs in the top of the first inning as junior RHP Marcus Pointer (Pacifica, Calif.) shutout the Spartans in the bottom half of the frame with Pacific up, 4-0.
As Pointer kept San Jose State without a run in the second, so did RHP Zach Jones to Pacific's line-up in the top of the second. But Pacific continued to stick through it, tallying two runs in the top of the third. One out into the frame, junior Matthew Carvutto (Poway, Calif.) singled the first pitch he saw down the right field line. Freshman John Haberman (Stockton, Calif.) - Pacific's most clutch hitter in the past two weeks - followed through with a second single in the inning to put runners at first and second base. A wild pitch during senior Ben Gorang's (Turlock, Calif.) plate-appearance moved the two runners into scoring position, but Jones loaded the bases when he walked Gorang four pitches later. Another wild pitch during senior Joe Oliveira's (San Diego, Calif.) at-bat brought Carvutto home and advanced the other runners up 90 feet while the Tigers took a 5-0 lead. Again Jones struggled to maintain command when he walked his second-straight batter before being lifted out of the game with the bases loaded once again. Even though the Spartans went to their bullpen, Longmire was able to account for another one of Pacific's runs when he tallied a sacrifice fly into right field to boost the lead to 6-0.
In the bottom half of the frame, Pointer finally relinquished two runs to make it a 6-2 game as the Tigers once again jumped out to the lead with four more plated runs in the top of the fourth, 10-2. However Pointer, who leads the nation with five wins in 2010, finally landed back down to Earth as he allowed eight runs to score in the bottom of the fourth before the Tigers opted for RHP Jake Hummel (Peoria, Ariz.) with the game tied 10-10.
Hummel was able to recover from Pointer's rare hiccup as the Tigers broke free from the tie in the top of the fifth. The Tigers came through with four runs off three hits to take a 14-10 lead from which they would never look back. Hummel recovered beautifully by only giving up three hits through 5.1 innings of scoreless relief as the Tigers went on to victory behind their reliever.
Leading comfortably, 14-10, Pacific chipped in four more insurance runs in the eighth and ninth innings. With one out after the first batter in the top of the eighth, Gorang singled through the left side to start things off and then advanced to second on a passed ball during Oliveira's plate appearance. The Tiger catcher was able to out-perform the Spartan's defense when he reached on a throwing error by third baseman Corey Valine to score Gorang unearned. Pacific closed out the eighth leading 15-10.
It was all over in the top of the ninth when the Tigers plated three more runs to ensure the win. Carvutto, Gorang and senior Matt Fuson (Lodi, Calif.) each picked up one RBI in the top of the final inning to topple the Spartans, 18-10.
Pointer, in his shortest appearance of the season did not finish with a decision through 3.2 innings pitched. Hummel earned the win for the Tigers and improved to 3-21 this season, while RHP Ryan Vander Tuig suffered the loss and fell to 0-1 on the year. Offensively, Gorang and Haberman led Pacific with a 4-for-5 showing each, including three RBI off of each of their bats.
The Tigers next return to action for the second of the three-game series against San Jose State with a 1 p.m. first pitch from Municipal Stadium on Saturday, March 27.