Pacific Baseball: Tigers Defeat Notre Dame, 8-4, in Second Game of the Irish Classic
Senior LHP David Rowse (Pleasanton, Calif.) earned his third win on the season for his efforts against Notre Dame. Irish starter, Cole Johnson, was charged with the loss as he dropped to 1-3 on the year. That means Pacific's top two starters, for the first time in head coach Ed Sprague's career are a combined 7-0 to start out this 2010 season.
"The important thing today is that Rowse battled and got the job done," said Sprague. "We got clutch hitting and again played good defense. We are happy we won the first two games, but we are looking at this as a four-game series and we want to win the series."
Sophomore Brett Christopher (Livermore, Calif.) kick-started the Tigers' offense in the first inning. With a one-out triple to right center, Christopher would post the first hit of the day for Pacific. After the Tigers recorded their second out in the frame, Christopher showed his speed as he stole home off of Notre Dame's starter Johnson, to give Pacific an early 1-0 lead over the Irish.
In the bottom of the first, Rowse faced the minimum of three batters, registering two of his three strikeouts of the game.
Pacific put up another run in the top of the second inning. Senior Matt Fuson (Lodi, Calif.) reached on a bunt single and set the table for freshman John Haberman (Stockton, Calif.). Haberman reached second on an error by the Irish, as Fuson advanced to third. Senior Joe Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.) earned an RBI on a squeeze bunt to score Fuson, putting the Tigers in front 2-0.
Junior Nick Longmire (San Diego, Calif.) started off the third inning with a walk. Christopher posted his second hit of the day, with a bunt single that moved Longmire to second base. Junior Brian Martin (Livermore, Calif.) advanced both runners on yet another sacrifice bunt. A single through the right side by junior J.B. Brown (Alvin, Texas) would score two more runs for the Tigers, increasing their lead to 4-0 over Notre Dame.
The Irish loaded the bases in the bottom of the third inning with one out. A sacrifice fly by Notre Dame would score their only run of the inning, bringing the score to 4-1.
A lead-off double by the Irish in the fourth inning would lead to another run, cutting the Pacific lead to 4-2.
Christopher was hit by a pitch to start off the top of the fifth inning for the Tigers. Martin followed up with a single, to advance Christopher to second. Senior Mike Walker (Marysville, Calif.) was next to the plate and he hit a three-run shot over the right field wall to boost Pacific's lead to 7-2. Walker's blast became the team-leading third homerun for the senior of the 2010 season.
The Tigers would post their final run in the eighth inning. Back-to-back singles by Fuson and Haberman put runners on first and third. Freshman Dustin Torchio (Santa Cruz, Calif.) bunted to the pitcher to record an RBI as Fuson scored, bringing the score to 8-2.
A single followed by a double started off the bottom of the eighth for Notre Dame. A sacrifice fly would score the runner at third, making the score 8-3. A groundout would score the final run for the Irish, as Pacific held Notre Dame scoreless in the ninth.
The Tigers next return to action when they take on the Bradley Braves on Saturday, March 13, for a 1:00 p.m. PT first pitch.
With Pacific's two victories, they have secured a spot in the championship game which will start at 11:00 a.m. PT on Sunday.