Pacific Baseball: Oliveira's Triple Gives Pacific Go-Ahead Run In 8-2 Win Over USC
With the win Pacific improved to 11-6 on the year while the Trojans dropped to 9-9.
"USC is a big name opponent and it's nice to get the first win against them, but we shouldn't be satisfied with only one," said junior RHP Marcus Pointer (Pacificia, Calif.). "Our goal is to come out ready for another game tomorrow."
Although USC jumped on the board first with one run in the top of the first inning, Pointer settled down and kept the Trojans scoreless over the next six innings. Trailing 1-0 in the bottom of the fifth, freshman John Haberman (Stockton, Calif.) kicked off a one-out rally when he drove the first pitch he saw down the left field line. With a runner already in scoring position, senior Ben Gorang singled through the right side to put runners at the corners, signifying the go-ahead run in the game. As Gorang set the table, Oliveira took his turn at the plate and efficiently went to work. Down in the count 1-2, the senior crushed a pitch into right center and used his speed to tally his ninth-career triple, breaking into Pacific's career record book in the No. 7 spot. Not only did he put his name in the record books, but Oliveira also put Pacific in line for the victory, driving in both Haberman and Gorang to take the 2-1 lead. The Tigers never looked back from there.
Before the inning's end, the Tigers took advantage of the runner at third for another insurance run. With two outs on the board, sophomore Brett Christopher (Livermore, Calif.) took a cue from Haberman and doubled the first pitch offered his way. Christopher's shot easily brought Oliveira home for the 3-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth frame.
The Tigers steadily plated five more runs over the next three innings, beginning with one in the sixth. One out in the inning brought junior J.B. Brown (Alvin, Texas) to the plate. Brown took a pitch to the knee and trotted down to first base on a free pass. Another out into the inning gave the Tigers a chance to produce in their most comfortable role this season, with two outs recorded in the inning. As Brown stood aboard first, Haberman singled to left center to put runners on first and second. Then Gorang connected with the first pitch he saw, tallying a single into right to score Brown as Pacific's lead increased to 4-1.
In the top of the seventh, Pacific's offense manufactured two more runs as junior Nick Longmire (San Diego, Calif.) led off the inning with a single through the left side. Christopher advanced his runner with a sacrifice bunt down the first base line, putting one out in the inning and a runner in scoring position. Martin then followed up with another out to first base, but advanced Longmire one more base to put him only 90 feet from scoring. With two outs once more, senior Mike Walker (Marysville, Calif.) became the latest hero as he doubled down the right field line to score Longmire, 5-1. The Trojans then had enough from their starter RHP Andrew Triggs and brought LHP Adam Dedeaux in for relief. In the lefty-lefty match-up, Brown emerged the victor with yet another two-out double to bring home Walker. Pacific closed out the seventh with a 6-1 lead over the Trojans.
Trailing in the bottom of the eighth, USC dug deep to try and attempt a come-back rally but could only settle with one run as junior RHP Jake Hummel (Peoria, Ariz.) came in to relieve Pointer. Hummel did the job and stranded a runner as Pacific led 6-2 heading into the bottom half of the inning.
The Tigers then answered back with two runs of their own in the bottom of the eighth and kept the Trojans scoreless for the seventh time in the top of the ninth to seal the 8-2 victory.
Pointer earned the win for the Tigers and now has improved to a perfect 5-0 in only five starts - the first Tiger to accomplish such a feat in over 10 years. Pointer did so off 7.0 innings in which he allowed two earned runs off three hits. Triggs suffered the loss for USC and fell to 1-2 on the year. For the second-straight appearance, Pointer has limited an opponent to only three hits.
Offensively, Haberman and Oliveira led the way for Pacific as they each had a 3-for-4 showing at the plate with two runs scored. Additionally, Oliveira tallied two RBI.
Pacific next returns to action on Saturday, March 20, for the second of this three-game series. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m.