Pacific Baseball Opens Three-Game Series at UC Riverside Friday
After knocking off No. 13 Cal on Tuesday, the Pacific Tigers go for their third-straight win as they open a Big West series at UC Riverside on Friday at 6 p.m. at UCR Sports Complex. Pacific 3B Dustin Torchio (Santa Cruz, Calif.) looks to keep his hot bat going after a four-for-five day at the plate against Cal on Tuesday.
The Tigers (9-16 overall, 1-2 Big West) never trailed in Tuesday's 7-4 victory against No. 13 Cal, as Pacific RHP Brent McMinn (Houston, Texas) tossed three shutout innings for his first win. McMinn worked ahead, throwing first-pitch strikes to nine of 12 batters before turning it over to the Tigers' bullpen. Senior OF/RHP Matt Carvutto (Poway, Calif.) posted an RBI double and then came in to close, retiring the side in the ninth on eight pitches.
But the offensive stars of the game were Torchio and sophomore 2B Tyger Pederson (Palo Alto, Calif.). Pederson collected five hits in five at bats, scoring one run and driving in a pair of runs while picking up a stolen base. Pederson entered the ballgame at 4-for-18 on the season, and after over doubling his hit total, improved his batting average 169 points to .391.
Pacific won back-to-back games for the fourth time this season and will look for a third win in a row at UC Riverside (12-11, 1-2 Big West). The Tigers send freshman LHP Kyle Crawford (Modesto, Calif.) to the hill for his third start. Crawford earned a win in his first start, at Sacramento State on March 29, retiring his first six batters faced on a mere 18 pitches. For the season, Crawford has a 6.94 ERA in 11.2 innings of work, including six appearances out of the bullpen.
He'll be opposed by Highlanders starter Matt Andriese. The 6-3 junior is 0-3 on the season with a 3.68 ERA in 36.2 innings. On April 1, Andriese tossed 6.1 innings allowing three earned runs in a loss to Cal Poly.
The series continues Saturday at 6 p.m. with Tigers senior RHP Marcus Pointer (Pacifica, Calif.) opposing UCR senior RHO Matt Larkins. Pointer enters at 1-4 with a 6.00 ERA in 45 innings. In his last six outings, Pointer has allowed one earned run or less in three starts, with a 4.24 ERA in that span. He's gone at least six innings in each of his last four outings, including working into the seventh three times. Against Long Beach State on April 2, Pointer struck out a season-high seven.
Larkins is 4-1 on the season with a 2.48 ERA in 32.2 innings of work. He struck out nine batters in six shutout innings allowing just two hits in a win over Cal Poly on April 2.
The series concludes on Sunday as senior RHP Jake Hummel (Peoria, Ariz.) gets the ball for the 1 p.m. start. Hummel is 3-2 on the year with a 2.60 ERA including two complete game victories. In his last outing, he pitched into the ninth, allowing four earned and striking out five in a no decision against Long Beach State as the Tigers won in walk-off fashion with a three-run ninth for a 5-4 win.
The Highlanders will counter with sophomore RHP Trevor Frank. Frank is 1-0 in 38 innings this season with a 2.61 ERA. He also earned a no decision his last time out, allowing two earned runs in eight innings against Cal Poly on April 3 while striking out six.