Pacific Baseball Claims Ninth Series Victory, 7-5 Over UC Davis
With the 7-5 victory over UC Davis on Saturday, May 8, the Pacific baseball team claimed the weekend series and notches its ninth series victory in 2010. Pacific now boasts its highest Big West Conference win total since 1999.
Pacific improved to 28-16 on the year and 10-7 in conference while the Aggies dropped to 19-23 and 4-10 in Big West play. Pacific's 10 wins in conference are the most since the 1999 Pacific squad finished 17-13 in the Big West.
"This is the most Big West wins we've had since I've been here and I don't want to stop now," head coach Ed Sprague said. "We've got a chance to do something special here, but you don't want to stop playing hard down the stretch. We've got our hands full the rest of the year so we'll just have to continue to grind it out."
Pacific got the ball rolling first, striking with two quick runs in the top of the first inning. With one out in the top of the frame, junior Nick Longmire (San Diego, Calif.) kicked off the scoring with one of his four hits on the day via a single up the middle. With a runner aboard, junior Brian Martin (Livermore, Calif.) followed up in a position to go ahead first. He smashed a double down the left field line with plenty of time to put both runners in scoring position as Longmire sprinted to third base. That's all the damage needed for senior Mike Walker (Marysville, Calif.) who singled into right center field and drove in both runs with Martin hustling around third and across the plate to give Pacific the early 2-0 lead.
Starting pitcher senior LHP David Rowse (Pleasanton, Calif.) was able to keep UC Davis at bay in their half of the inning despite a pair of two-out hits in the frame. He preserved the 2-0 lead and allowed the Tigers to continue their attack in the second inning in hopes of tacking on extra runs.
Narrowly leading in the top of the second, Pacific went to work yet again. Freshman John Haberman (Stockton, Calif.) kicked off the inning with a lead-off single into right field and advanced into scoring position after a perfectly executed sacrifice bunt from senior Ben Gorang (Turlock, Calif.) moved Haberman over to second base. A single from junior Matthew Carvutto (Poway, Calif.) set the table even further, moving Gorang into third and putting runners at the corners. In the following at bat, although he did not record a hit, sophomore Brett Christopher (Livermore, Calif.) was still productive at the plate with an RBI fielder's choice back to shortstop which allowed Haberman to score an increase Pacific's lead to 3-0.
Although Rowse gave up two hits in the bottom of the first, he finally dished out the first run to the Aggies in the bottom of the second. Pacific, however, still maintained a 3-1 lead at the end of the frame.
Offensively the Tigers went scoreless in the top of the third, while the Aggies chipped in another run in the bottom half of the inning to trail 3-2. That was as close as Pacific would allow, when the Tigers went back to their run-scoring ways in the top of the fourth inning.
In that inning, Carvutto tallied his second single of the day after looping the first pitch of the frame into right field. Christopher gave Pacific its second-consecutive hit when he tallied an infield single that put runners at first and third with no outs. Longmire's third hit of the day was in extra-base fashion as he chopped a double into right center field to bring Carvutto home from second and boost Pacific's lead 4-2. On the play Christopher moved up to third base and it only took one batter for Christopher to cross home plate. With a runner 90 feet from scoring, Martin knocked a long fly ball to left field, which Seth Batty was able to track down before Christopher tagged up and scored to turn Martin's putout into a sacrifice fly. At that point, the Tigers sped out to a 5-2 lead.
Things got interesting in the bottom half of the fifth inning when Rowse relinquished two runs and then left the bases loaded for senior RHP Hunter Carnevale (Roseville, Calif.) who took over from the bullpen. Carnevale was up to the challenge and induced a groundout to short to shut down the frame and strand the bases loaded with Pacific's 5-4 lead.
Pacific received two more runs in the top of the sixth before the dueling bullpens dominated the latter half of the game and kept the other side scoreless. Pacific's 7-4 lead after the sixth was enough for the Tigers to hold on for the win.
On the mound Carnevale earned the win for Pacific and improved to 4-3 on the season, while LHP Sean Lewis suffered the loss and fell to 1-4 in 2010. Offensively, Longmire led the Tigers at the plate with his 4-for-5 showing that included two runs scored and an RBI. In the past two games of this UC Davis series, Longmire has now accounted for eight of Pacific's hits after back-to-back four-hit showings.
The series closes out on Sunday, May 9 with a 1 p.m. first pitch from Dobbins Stadium on the campus of UC Davis.