Pacific Baseball: Pacific Gets Back On Winning Track With 8-4 Victory Over Cal Poly
The Pacific baseball team was able to avenge Friday's loss to Cal Poly and evened the three-game series with an 8-4 victory over the Mustangs on Saturday, May 22.
Pacific improved to 31-19 overall, which ties the record for most wins over Division I universities in program history, and 12-8 in Big West action. The Mustangs dropped to 19-31 and 9-14 in conference action after the loss.
Cal Poly took the lead early in the game after blanking the Tigers in the top of the first inning. The Mustangs sped out to a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first after Luke Yoder came home with a single from David Van Ostrand.
The Tigers rolled out to a slow start, trailing 1-0 for the next two innings. It wasn't until the top of the third that Pacific regained the lead and continued to hold onto it for the remainder of the contest. Senior Ben Gorang (Turlock, Calif.) led off the inning with an infield single to shortstop. With no one out in the third, sophomore Josh Simms (La Mesa, Calif.) attempted to advance his runner into scoring position with a bunt down the third base line and landed safely on first base. That set the table for Pacific's best hitter in Friday's contest, as junior Nick Longmire (San Diego, Calif.) launched a double down the right field line to score Gorang from second and tie the game, 1-1.
One out later and with the first out tallied in the game, junior Brian Martin (Livermore, Calif.) drew a full-count walk to load the bases. Cal Poly's starting pitcher, DJ Mauldin, struggled with his command and issued his second-straight walk this time to senior Mike Walker (Marysville, Calif.) to give Pacific a 2-1 lead after bringing home Simms. The Tigers added one more run in the inning when junior J.B. Brown (Alvin, Texas) grounded out to second base, but still tallied an RBI as Longmire came home to pad Pacific's lead, 3-1.
From there both teams went scoreless over the next two innings, but Pacific plated what would prove to be the go-ahead run in the top of the fifth inning. With one out Walker drew his second walk of the contest to put the first runner on the basepath. During Brown's at-bat, Walker was able to advance into scoring position when he stole second base. Moments later Brown roped a single up the middle that had the distance to bring Walker home and give the Tigers the 4-1 lead. Behind Brown senior Joe Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.) drew the second walk of the inning and moved Brown to second base. Mauldin struggled to control the ball on the hill again and followed that up by walking freshman John Haberman (Stockton, Calif.) to load the bases. A sacrifice fly from Gorang brought home Brown and gave Pacific what would prove to be its go-ahead fifth run to lead, 5-1.
The Mustangs struggled to come back in the contest but could only muster one run in the bottom of the fifth to make it a 5-2 game. Pacific responded by squashing Cal Poly's hopes of coming back in the top of the sixth inning. The Tigers were able to tally another three-run inning and led 8-2 after the first half of the sixth. The frame featured a three-run shot off the bat of Walker, marking his team-leading 12th homerun of the season. Walker also moved up in the all-time career ranks at Pacific with his 23rd career blast which puts him at the No. 4 spot in school history.
Cal Poly's last efforts came off reliever RHP Hunter Carnevale (Roseville, Calif.) in the bottom of the ninth, backed against a wall. The Mustangs could only come up with two final runs to fall by the same exact score which gave the Mustangs the win one day prior.
On the mound Rowse earned the win and improved to 8-1 on the year, while Carnevale compiled his team-leading fifth save of 2010. Mauldin suffered the loss for the Mustangs and fell to 5-3 on the season. Offensively, Longmire led Pacific with his 3-for-5 showing, but Walker's four RBI marked a game-high in that category.
The series rubber match is set for 1 p.m. on Sunday, May 23, marking Pacific's final road contest of the regulation season.