Pacific Baseball: Tigers Take Third-Straight Series With 19-9 Victory Over Seattle
With the win, Pacific improved to 7-4 on the year while Seattle dropped to 2-8 overall. The Tigers claimed the series against the Redhawks, three games to one.
"I was happy with the way we played defensively and we had three good [pitching] starts this weekend," head coach Ed Sprague said. "We've swung the bats well all weekend. We're fortunate that Jake Hummel (Peoria, Ariz.) provided six solid innings for us, but it's tough to go four days in a row at this level."
After dropping the only game of the series a day prior, Pacific rebounded hungry for victory early in the first inning. Hummel commanded the game through the first three batters faced, retiring the side on only seven pitches to allow Pacific to begin its offensive blow-out in the bottom half of the frame.
During the bottom of the first inning, junior Nick Longmire (San Diego, Calif.) drew a lead-off walk to put the first runner of the the game on base. Sophomore Brett Christopher (Livermore, Calif.) was then hit by a pitch from Seattle's starter, RHP Brian Shannon, moving Longmire into scoring position at second base. With no one out, junior Brian Martin (Livermore, Calif.) came up to the plate and during his at-bat, both Christopher and Longmire executed a double steal. However, a throwing error from Skip Spencer behind the plate launched the ball into left field and allowed Longmire to come home for the first run of the contest as Pacific took a 1-0 lead. Martin then waited on his pitch and drove a double into center field to bring Christopher home and take a 2-0 lead.
Senior Mike Walker (Marysville, Calif.) next would get his shot, but during his at-bat, a balk by Shannon moved Martin over to third base. On the play, Walker hit into a ground out, but was called back to the plate for the balk, erasing the play and giving him a second shot. With the second chance, Walker rocketed a triple down the right field line and brought Martin home as the Tigers increased their lead to 3-0 with no one out. Junior J.B. Brown (Alvin, Texas) became the next batter of the inning for Pacific and he extended the inning's rally with an RBI single through the left side of the diamond that plated Walker and gave Pacific a 4-0 lead.
Two outs and a passed ball later saw Brown advance all the way over to third base as senior Joe Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.) stepped up to the plate. Oliveira then made quick work of his baserunner, singling into center field to drive in the fifth and final run of the inning, as Brown's run gave the Tigers a 5-0 lead.
In the top of the second inning the Redhawks tried to rally back, but could only come up with four runs of their own and had to settle with a one-run deficit to end the top half of the inning.
Up only by one entering the bottom of the second (5-4), the Tigers gave themselves a bit of breathing room as Martin singled up the middle with only one out in the inning. With the next batter at the plate, Martin advanced to second on a passed ball by Spencer and turned around to score as Brown singled into right field. Pacific ended the second inning up by two with a 6-4 lead.
Hummel did his job again in the top of the third, and despite sending Nate Roberts to first base on a full-count walk, turned right back and picked him off on a 1-3-6 play. 14 pitches was all it took for Hummel to settle back down and retire the side in order to preserve the narrow 6-4 lead.
Into the bottom of the third, freshman John Haberman (Stockton, Calif.) kicked off the inning with a first-pitch single through the right side of the field. Next, a perfect sacrifice bunt from Oliveira advanced Haberman into scoring position at second base, with only one out recorded in the frame. That's when Seattle went to its bullpen for the second time of the game, relieving Joey Pulitano with Cody Goodfellow. For Goodfellow's first move, he dished out a free pass to senior Ben Gorang (Turlock, Calif.) walking the shortstop to put runners on first and second base. Longmire then filled his role and doubled for the second time on the afternoon, driving in both Haberman and Gorang on the play. Pacific then upped its lead to 8-4. One out later, Martin reached first on a throwing error by second baseman Cullen Hendrickson, as Longmire came around to score Pacific's third run of the inning to boost the lead to 9-4.
Through the next three innings, Hummel only gave up one more run as Pacific rallied to score in every inning, plating 10 more runs for a lead of 19-5, before handing the game over to the bullpen and going to the Tiger reserves to fill spaces in the field.
The Redhawks could only answer back with one run in the top of the seventh and three in the top of the eighth before falling 19-9, as Pacific clinched its third series victory of the season.
Hummel earned the win for Pacific as he improved to 1-0 on the year after allowing five runs off five hits through 6.0 innings pitched. Shannon took the loss for Seattle, dropping to 0-1 this season. Offensively the Tigers were led by four batters who tallied three hits in the contest, including Longmire (3-for-4, 4 RBI), Martin (3-for-6, 2 RBI), Haberman (3-for-6, 2 RBI) and Walker (3-for-5, 1 RBI).
The Tigers next return to action on the road when they travel to the Irish Baseball Classic in San Antonio, Texas. Pacific's first contest in the tournament is slated for a 1 p.m. first pitch against Gonzaga on Thursday, March 11.