Pacific Baseball Takes Series Opener With 11-5 Rout Of Seattle
With the win Pacific improved to 5-3 on the year, while the Redhawks fell to 1-6.
Junior RHP Marcus Pointer (Pacifica, Calif.) set the tone in the top of the first inning when he used only seven pitches to retire the side in order, wasting no time to allow Pacific to take charge in the bottom half of the frame.
Taking cues from his ace, junior Nick Longmire (San Diego, Calif.) continued Pacific's pace starting in the top of the order when he launched the Tigers' first of seven doubles in the game. During senior Joe Oliveira's (San Diego, Calif.) at-bat, Longmire put himself 90 feet away from scoring, moving to third on a wild pitch from RHP Blaine Jones. After watching the count go full, Oliveira then drew a walk to put runners at the corners. It was then up to Pacific's hottest hitter on the season, junior Brian Martin (Livermore, Calif.), to advance his runners in a powerful fashion by crushing a two-run triple into center field. Pacific took an early 2-0 lead with no outs in the bottom of the first.
With Martin aboard in the same inning, junior J.B. Brown (Alvin, Texas) was hit by a pitch and also advanced to second after another wild pitch from Jones. As both runners stood in scoring position, senior Mike Walker (Marysville, Calif.) tallied his first of two doubles in the contest, plating both runners as the Tigers' lead increased to 4-0. Senior Matt Fuson (Lodi, Calif.) then followed up with Pacific's fifth run batted in, as he grounded out to shortstop to allow Walker to come home from second.
Up 5-0, sophomore Brett Christopher (Livermore, Calif.) took his turn at the plate and patience paid off as he drew a full-count walk to put another runner on base with only one out in the inning. As Pacific's entire line-up came to the plate in order, senior Ben Gorang (Turlock, Calif.) followed suit and struck his first of two doubles in the contest, plating Christopher and finishing out the Tigers' 6-0 inning.
That was all the steam Pacific needed to secure the victory. But as Seattle tried to mount a come-back effort, the Tigers were there to match the Redhawks run-for-run.
Pointer held Seattle scoreless through two complete innings, but in the top of the third a triple from Mike Malland gave the Redhawks their first run of the contest. Yet after two and a half innings, Pacific still held a comfortable 6-1 lead. During the bottom of the third Fuson kick-started the frame with a lead-off single, followed by a triple from Christopher to give Pacific a run to match Seattle's. That widened the gap once more, as Pacific led 7-1.
One inning later, both teams saw the same back-and-forth effort as they headed to the top of the fifth with Pacific leading 8-2. Through the fifth, both hurlers kept the opposition scoreless in the inning.
After another run for each team in the sixth, Seattle's largest offensive effort came in the top of the eighth inning beginning when reliever LHP Jamie Niley (Elk Grove, Calif.) walked Cullen Hendrickson. Then Nate Roberts doubled and advanced Hendrickson to third. Both runners advanced a base, as Hendrickson came around to score off a wild pitch. With Roberts aboard third, Josh Kalalau shot a sacrifice fly into left field that allowed Roberts to record the final run of the game for Seattle, as they trailed 9-5.
But Pacific was there to respond with two more runs in the bottom of the eighth, as reliever Josh Pulitano hit Christopher with a pitch with the bases loaded to bring in another run. Pacific led 10-5 when Gorang grounded into a double play, but brought freshman Allen Riley (Fresno, Calif.) around to score for a final 11-5 victory.
Pointer earned his third victory of the year for his efficiency on the mound and is now 3-0 this season. Jones took the loss for the Redhawks, dropping to 0-1 on the year. Pacific went on to score 11 runs off 17 hits, led by Walker's perfect 4-of-4 showing at the plate, which included a pair of doubles.
Pacific next returns to action for Game 2, with a 6 p.m. first pitch against Seattle on Friday, March 5.