Pacific Baseball Closes Out Season Falling To UCSB In Extra Innings, 8-5
Trailing 3-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning, senior Joe Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.) launched a homer over the left center field wall to push the game into extra innings where the Pacific baseball team fell to UC Santa Barbara 8-5 in 10 on Sunday, May 30.
With the loss Pacific closed out its season with a 31-23 overall record and 12-12 in the Big West Conference, while the Gauchos finished their year at 24-30 and 10-14 in conference play.
Trailing 3-2 heading into the bottom half of the ninth inning, Oliveira launched the first pitch he saw over the left center field wall to knot the game up at 3-3. Oliveira did so off David Meals who came in from the bullpen to relieve Nick Capito. But that was all the noise the Tigers could make, recording the next three outs in order after having pushed the game into extra innings.
Senior RHP Hunter Carnevale (Roseville, Calif.) took the mound once again in the top of the 10th inning. Off the duo of Carnevale and RHP Robbie Richardson (Lodi, Calif.), UC Santa Barbara tagged on five runs via four hits, including a homer from Marty Mullins. That marked Mullins' third jack of the three-day series. Pacific then trailed 8-3 heading into the bottom half of the 10th inning.
In a do-or-die situation, junior Nick Longmire (San Diego, Calif.) led off the inning with a single into right center field. Pinch hitting for sophomore Brett Christopher (Livermore, Calif.)., senior Matt Fuson (Lodi, Calif.) followed Longmire on senior day and grounded out to shortstop, but advanced Longmire into scoring position at second base. Fuson's out would prove to be huge in the following at-bat, when senior Jamie Niley (Elk Grove, Calif.) tallied a pinch hit double that hit center field and then bounced over the fence as a ground rule double. Longmire was only awarded two bases - enough to bring him home to narrow the gap, 8-4. Two outs into the inning, the Gauchos opted for LHP Connor Whalen out of the bullpen. Whalen faced the left-handed junior J.B. Brown (Alvin, Texas) and offered a four-pitch walk to Brown to put runners at first and second. Then UC Santa Barbara went back to the bullpen for another righty, this time calling upon Nick Loredo, who had the tying run represented on deck in a save situation.
Off Loredo, Oliveira came up huge again when he doubled into right center field to bring home Niley and advance Brown to third base for a score of 8-5. Pacific dug deep, but could not rally any further and suffered its first and only series sweep of 2010.
Earlier in the contest, the Tigers had a solid start from RHP Jake Hummel (Peoria, Ariz.), who established a season high eight strikeouts from the mound. Hummel kept the Gauchos scoreless through the first five innings as the Tigers were able to strike first in the bottom of the fifth frame.
Scoreless in the bottom of the fifth, it was appropriately Oliveira who opened up the inning with a lead-off single up the middle of the diamond. Freshman Dustin Torchio (Santa Cruz, Calif.) made use of his baserunner and had the speed to connect with a double down the right field line off the first pitch he saw from RHP Jesse Meaux. Torchio's first career triple brought Oliveira home and gave Pacific a quick 1-0 lead. The Tigers only needed one more hit to bring in their runner and got it from senior Ben Gorang (Turlock, Calif.)., who smashed another single up the middle and brought home Torchio for a 2-0 Tiger lead.
However UC Santa Barbara responded with two runs of their own in the top of the sixth to tie the contest at 2-2. Hummel only allowed two runs off six hits through seven complete innings before Carnevale took over. Pacific's reliever allowed just one run in the top of the ninth frame to give UCSB a 3-2 lead before Oliveira's jack in the bottom half of the frame.
On the mound Carnevale suffered the loss and dropped to 5-4 on the year, while Meals garnered the win to improve to 3-5 in 2010 and Loredo tallied his second save of the season. Offensively, Oliveira paced Pacific with his 3-for-5 plate appearance that included two runs, two RBI, a homerun and a double to push the game into extra innings and keep it going in the bottom of the 10th.
With the end of the 2010 season, Pacific finished the year with its most wins over Division I teams in program history (31). The Tigers also set program records for most hits with 625, the program's highest batting average at .325, the most saves in a single season (12) and the highest fielding percentage at .971.