Pacific Baseball Drops Series To Cal Poly, 11-3
The Pacific baseball team's hopes of claiming its 10th series victory in 2010 were put on hold as the Tigers dropped the rubber match to Cal Poly 11-3 on Sunday, May 23.
With the loss Pacific fell to 31-20 overall and 12-9 in the Big West Conference, while the Mustangs improved to 20-31 and 10-14 in conference play.
As they had done in their earlier win this series, the Mustangs controlled the pace of the game from the start, plating the first run in the bottom of the first inning to take a quick 1-0 lead. Pacific could not come up with an answer to Cal Poly's lone run and the Mustangs shut out Pacific for the next two innings before racking up a four-run third to lead 5-0.
Behind an extra-base hit Cal Poly cruised out to a dangerous 6-0 lead, bringing home Luke Yoder with a double into right center in the bottom of the fourth inning. Yoder's turn across the plate gave Cal Poly the 6-0 lead.
Pacific finally had enough and went to work after starting pitcher junior Jake Hummel (Peoria, Ariz.) only faced one hitter over the minimum in the bottom of the fifth inning. Opening the top of the sixth for the Orange and Black, senior Mike Walker (Marysville, Calif.) led off the inning with a walk to put the first runner aboard. With Walker in place, junior J.B. Brown (Alvin, Texas) tallied his first hit of the game, lacing a single through the right side of the diamond to put runners at first and second. Next up, senior Joe Oliveira (San Diego, Calif.) racked up his team-leading second hit on the first pitch her saw, with a single to third base that loaded the bags for the Tigers.
With the bases loaded, freshman John Haberman (Stockton, Calif.) only needed one pitch to break up the shutout for the Mustangs. Although he grounded out to first base, Haberman was able to move all runners up 90 feet, including bringing home Walker to make it a 6-1 game. That put one out on the board and kept two runners in scoring position, leading the way for senior Ben Gorang (Turlock, Calif.) to launch a sacrifice fly to center field that carried long enough to bring home Brown and put the Tigers within four runs of Cal Poly, 6-2.
Down by four, the Tigers sent junior RHP Thomas Berolzheimer (Stockton, Calif.) to the mound in the bottom of the sixth inning. For the second-consecutive inning - after Hummel recorded a scoreless fifth - a Tiger pitcher was able to keep the Mustangs scoreless to give the Tigers a chance to come back.
However, in the top of the seventh inning, Pacific stranded a runner at third base and Cal Poly came back in the bottom half of the frame to make the Tigers pay, claiming three more runs. The offensive onslaught continued when the Mustangs reached their largest lead of the game after two more runners came home in the bottom half of the eighth inning to give Cal Poly an 11-2 lead.
The Tigers' last chance of salvaging the series came in the top of the ninth when they trailed by nine runs. After one out had been recorded in the inning, sophomore Josh Simms (La Mesa, Calif.) connected for Pacific's first hit of the inning with a single into right field. Behind Simms junior Nick Longmire (San Diego, Calif.) worked a full-count in his favor to draw a walk and put runners at first and second. Sophomore Brett Christopher (Livermore, Calif.) took advantage of his runners and with solid contact singled through the right side of the field and sent Simms sprinting home. Simms scored Pacific's third and final run before Pacific stranded two more runners to fall 11-3 on the afternoon.
Hummel suffered the loss in the contest and fell to 7-4 on the year, while RHP Eugene Wright earned the win for the Mustangs and improved to 2-5 on the season. Offensively Oliveira and Christopher both led Pacific at the plate, going 2-for-4, with an RBI tallied by Christopher.
Pacific will its final homestand with the final non-conference game of 2010, hosting No. 25 California at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25. The Tigers will wrap up their season three days later for the final series against UC Santa Barbara.