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Pacific Baseball: Tigers To Host Pair Of Pac-10 Opponents

Mar 18, 2010
Fresh off its first-place finish in the 2010 Irish Baseball Classic last weekend, the Pacific baseball team looks to improve upon its Big West-leading 10 victories when the Tigers host a pair of Pacific-10 Conference opponents.

The Tigers will host the USC Trojans in a three-game series which begins Friday, March 19, at 6 p.m. and on Tuesday, March 23, Pacific will host Stanford for a 6 p.m. start.

All games during the 2010 season will be broadcast for free on pacifictigers.com. You can also follow every game in 2010 on Gametracker. Select games this season will also be broadcast at KWSX 1280 AM.

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Pacific Baseball This Week:
Friday, March 19 - vs. USC, 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 20 - vs. USC, 6 p.m.
Sunday, March 21 - vs. USC, 6 p.m.
Tuesday, March 23 - vs. Stanford, 6 p.m.

Pacific Baseball Last Week (3-2):
Thursday, March 11 - vs. Gonzaga, W 6-1
Friday, March 12 - vs. Notre Dame, W 8-4
Saturday, March 13 - vs. Bradley, L 1-10
Sunday, March 14 - vs. Notre Dame, W 3-2
Tuesday, March 16 - at Sacramento State, L 4-5

PROBABLE FRIDAY STARTERS:
RHP Marcus Pointer (4-0, 1.91) vs. RHP Andrew Triggs (1-1, 3.12)

PROBABLE SATURDAY STARTERS:
LHP David Rowse (3-0, 2.57) vs. RHP Ben Mount (2-1, 2.57)

PROBABLE SUNDAY STARTERS:
TBA vs. RHP Kevin Couture (2-0, 3.80)

USC SERIES HISTORY
These two teams enter the weekend only having squared off once in program history, as USC holds the 1-0 advantage all-time. The Trojans claimed a 10-9 victory in 10 innings to claim the only win over Pacific back on March 10, 1987.

TIGERS BREAK INTO THE RECORD BOOKS
Despite falling 5-4 to Sacramento State on Tuesday, March 16, several players made their way into the career record books in that contest and at the Irish Baseball Classic in San Antonio, Texas, last weekend.

Senior Mike Walker (Marysville, Calif.) earned his spot at the No. 9 home run hitter and No. 9 RBI batter in Pacific's career record books. Walker tallied his 15th home run, and his team-leading fourth homer of the season, at Sacramento State on Tuesday and tied for ninth in the record books. Vic Madden (1982-83) first set the mark for 15 in the 1983 season and the next player to tie it before Walker was Richard Hackett (1999-2001) in 2001. Walker took sole possession of No. 9 with 101 RBI in his three plus years here at Pacific, surpassing Stan Rogers (1967-79) and Vince Brigman (1984-87) who previously had been tied for ninth with 92 RBI a piece.

Although his name had already been cemented in the record books after a stellar sophomore season, junior J.B. Brown (Alvin, Texas) moved up the ranks in the career batting average list to the No. 6 spot with his .341 batting average while at Pacific. Brown moved past Tye Hanseen (1996-98), who hit .330 in Orange and Black.

Finally, senior Joe Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.) broke into the books for career runs tallied in the No. 9 spot with 107 career runs. He pushed past Ron Lewis (1994-96) and Doug Bame (1990-2001) who each recorded 106 runs in their time at Pacific.

Oliveira is well within reaching several more top 10 lists in this weekend's series against USC. In the career games list, 187 stands as the No. 10 spot and Oliveira has played in 163 games during his career at Pacific. The senior catcher only needs 13 hits before he can tie for the No. 10 spot on the career hits list as he currently lays claim to 171. Finally, if Oliveira can launch one more triple he will tie teammate Nick Longmire (San Diego, Calif.) for the No. 7 spot on the all-time triples list.

LED BY HUMMEL, PACIFIC PLACES FOUR ON ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
As he helped lead the team from the mound to a 3-2 victory over Notre Dame in the championship game of the 2010 Irish Baseball Classic, junior RHP Jake Hummel (Peoria, Ariz.) was named tournament MVP and headlined a list of four Tigers named to the all-tournament team on Monday, March 15.

Making the list were pitchers Hummel and junior RHP Marcus Pointer (Pacifica, Calif.). The Tiger field players who also landed on the all-tournament list were junior second baseman J.B. Brown (Alvin, Texas) and senior third baseman Mike Walker (Marysville, Calif.).

Hummel (1-0, 0.00 ERA in the tournament) gave Pacific a chance for the victory in the championship after tossing 8.0 innings in which he relinquished two unearned runs off six hits while fanning six batters. As the Tigers went on to rally for three runs behind Hummel, he secured his spot as tournament MVP.

Recording arguably his best performance of the year, Pointer (1-0, 1.00 ERA in the tournament) pitched a three-hit complete game in the tournament opener on Thursday, March 11. During that performance he tied a season-high six strikeouts and is now a perfect 4-0 in only four starts this season.

In the tournament, Brown finished with Pacific's third-best batting average after going 6-for-16 at the plate for a .375 average. Included in his performance was a rocket homerun in Thursday's contest to give Brown his first of 2010. In the field he turned two of Pacific's double plays and recorded only one error in 23 chances with 15 assists at second.

Walker led the team in RBIs last weekend with four, as he went 5-for-18 at the plate. He also tallied one double and his team-leading third homerun on the season, touching home plate twice. In the field the third baseman notched 10 assists and two putouts from the corner while also taking part in one of the weekend's two double plays.

2010 Irish Baseball Classic All-Tournament Team:
Pitcher - Jake Hummel, Pacific
Pitcher - Marcus Pointer, Pacific
Pitcher - Brian Dupra, Notre Dame
C - Kevin Sullivan, Bradley
1B - Casey Martin, Notre Dame
2B - J.B. Brown, Pacific
SS - Ernesto Ortiz, Gonzaga
3B - Mike Walker, Pacific
OF - David Mills, Notre Dame
OF - Brian Martin, Bradley
OF - Ryan Connolly, Notre Dame
DH/Utility - Billy Moon, Gonzaga
Tournament MVP - Jake Hummel, Pacific

AFTER COMPLETE GAME, POINTER BECOMES FIRST PLAYER IN OVER SIX YEARS TO GO 4-0
For the first time under the direction of head coach Ed Sprague, one of Pacific's starters has gone a perfect 4-0 in only four appearances as a starter. Junior Marcus Pointer (Pacifica, Calif.) earned his fourth victory in just his fourth start (and third appearance) against Gonzaga during the 2010 Irish Baseball Classic last weekend. Pointer's victory came as Pacific's second complete game this year and helped land him on the all-tournament team. Marcus wasted no time on the mound and efficiently tossed his first career complete game that included tying a season-high six strikeouts in a contest that lasted just over two hours and took 111 pitches. Even more impressive was Pointer's ability to keep runners off the bases, as he allowed only one run off three hits in the contest. Only two pitchers prior to Pointer began their seasons 4-0 in the past 10 years.

The last time a Pacific pitcher started off his season 3-0 was Ty'Relle Harris who compiled a 3-0 record back in 2006. Harris earned the 3-0 record in five appearances, after transitioning from serving as a reliever in his first two appearances of the year. In Harris's first start the hurler led Pacific to a 2-1 victory over BYU on Feb. 9, 2006. During his second outing as a starter, Harris gave Pacific a shutout victory with a 3-0 win over Pac-10 opponent UCLA on Feb. 19, 2006. Harris's third-consecutive victory of the season took place on Feb. 26, when he gave Pacific a 2-1 win over Nevada.

Prior to Harris, the last Tiger pitcher to string together consecutive victories came in the form of Luke Massetti, who tallied a 4-0 record to start out the 2005 year. Through six starts Massetti earned the four-straight wins. His first was a 5-4 victory over California on Feb. 1, 2005. Massetti's second victory was an 11-2 blowout of Nevada only five days later. on Feb. 6. Massetti earned his third straight win over UC Davis, then transitioning to the Division I level, with a 2-1 showing on Feb. 13. Finally, Massetti's final consecutive victory to start out the 2005 season occurred on March 5, with a 2-1 decision over San Francisco.

The season before Massetti's 4-0 start, Josh Schmidt and Alex Graham jumped out to 3-0 and 4-0 starts, respectively, during the 2004 season. Graham compiled four wins in eight appearances, with six as a starter, while Schmidt tallied his 3-0 record in 10 appearances as a reliever.

Pointer, then, is the first pitcher to go 3-0 in his first three starts since Sprague has been the skipper at Pacific. He will look to continue his dominance this week at Notre Dames's Irish Baseball Classic in San Antonio, Texas, as the junior boasts a 2.33 ERA through 19.1 innings pitched.