Pacific Baseball: Sixth Inning Rally Puts Pacific Within Two Before Falling 10-9 To Seattle
With the loss, Pacific dropped to 6-4 on the year while Seattle improved to 2-7 overall.
Pacific struck first in the game, tallying one run after the bottom of the first inning but against senior RHP Casey Neimeyer (Woodland, Calif.) and the Tiger bullpen, the Redhawks recorded 10 runs over the next four innings. Trailing 10-1 headed into the bottom of the sixth, Pacific had the daunting task of digging deep to come back in the contest.
Junior Brian Martin (Livermore, Calif.) led off the sixth inning for Pacific and quickly drove a single up the middle to kick-start the looming rally. With a runner aboard senior Mike Walker (Marysville, Calif.) repeated Martin's contribution, singling up the middle again and putting runners at first and second base only two batters into the inning. Next up, junior J.B. Brown (Alvin, Texas) launched a single into right field that allowed the runners to each advance one and load the bases.
With no outs recorded in the inning the fourth batter of the sixth inning, sophomore Allen Riley (Fresno, Calif.), caught a break and was able to bring in a run as he hit the ball right to third baseman Josh Kalalau. Kalalau aimed to throw out the lead runner, Martin, at home plate but instead threw the ball too high and just out of play for catcher Steve Kirbach. Instead of fielder's choice to throw the runner out at home, all baserunners safely advanced one bag off Kirbach's throwing error as Pacific climbed back in the contest and trailed 10-2.
As the bases remained loaded, senior Matt Fuson (Lodi, Calif.) then took his turn at the plate and drove a single into center field to extend the no-out rally and score Walker. The Tigers then trailed 10-3 with the bases loaded. At that point, Seattle was forced to remove Arlo Evasick from the game and make the call to the bullpen with Max Whieldon.
Pacific then prompted a move of its own, inserting freshman John Haberman (Stockton, Calif.) to pinch hit for sophomore Jacob Sylvester (Livermore, Calif.). The substitution proved immediately fruitful as Haberman doubled down the left field line and brought home Riley and Brown to cut the lead in half, 10-5. Senior Joe Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.) then replaced Haberman at second as a pinch runner before senior Ben Gorang (Turlock, Calif.) took his swings at the plate.
Gorang finally counted for Pacific's first out of the inning, but not before his sacrifice fly brought Fuson home to whittle away the Redhawks' lead, 10-6. Pacific's hopes for coming back within striking distance of the Redhawks next rested on junior Nick Longmire's (San Diego, Calif.) shoulders with one runner aboard. Longmire took it upon himself and rocketed off a homerun over the right field wall, as Pacific then trailed by two runs, 10-8. Sophomore Brett Christopher (Livermore, Calif.) continued the rally in the inning when he singled to shortstop Nate Roberts by beating out the throw at first. As the entire line-up came to the plate, Martin grounded into an inning-ending double play to silence Pacific's miraculous come-back attempt.
With plenty of time to take a breather during that half of the inning, Carnevale returned to the mound rejuvenated as he retired the side in order after only a 10-pitch seventh inning. After Pacific went scoreless in the bottom of the frame, Carnevale did his part at the top of the eighth, again retiring the side this time with only seven pitches.
Trailing 10-8 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, Oliveira drew a one-out walk and then advanced to second on a wild pitch before Gorang doubled down the left field line off a deep fly that left fielder Mike Malland couldn't come up with. Having to wait to see if he needed to tag up, Oliveira could only advance to third on the play. Again Seattle opted to go to its bullpen, bringing in Bryan Dalton to relieve Whieldon. With Longmire up to bat, it only took two pitches before Longmire drove a sacrifice fly into right field to plate Oliveira and trail by one, 10-9.
But that was all the offense Pacific could muster as the Tigers headed into the ninth and final inning trailing by one.
Carnevale was on his game in the top of the ninth, giving the Tigers a chance to come from behind as he struck out back-to-back hitters with curve balls that died into the dirt to start out the inning.
In do or die time, Pacific sent Martin to the plate to start off the bottom of the ninth as he drew a four-pitch walk to represent the tying run in the game. One out later, Brown singled up the middle and advanced pinch runner Ronnie Burton Jr. (Colorado Springs, Colo.) to second base. Down to the final out in the game, Fuson shot off a fly ball into right field that just fell short of allowing any runners to score, as Pacific finally fell 10-9 despite the huge sixth inning rally.
Neimeyer picked up the loss in the contest, dropping to 1-2 on the year as Evasick earned his first win of 2010 and improved to 1-1. Brown led all players in the contest with three hits as he went 3-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to eight games this season. Longmire, who went 1-for-3 with a homerun, led all players with three RBI in the contest.
Pacific returns to action for the final contest of this four-game series against Seattle with a 12 p.m. first pitch set for Sunday, March 7.