Baseball: Tigers Fall To Gonzaga In Series Opener, 7-4
The Pacific baseball team dropped a 7-4 decision to Gonzaga in the series opener on Friday, March 4, at Klein Family Field. Kansas State broke a 4-4 tie with a run in the top of the eighth inning and held on for the win.
Gonzaga opened up the contest with four runs in the top of the first inning against sophomore southpaw Paul Moeller (Folsom, Calif.). After hitting the first batter of the game, Moeller retired only two of the following six batters. Following his second hit batter of the frame, junior Chris Larsen (Moline, Ill.) came on in relief. Moeller ended the night with four runs allowed on two hits, two hit batsmen and a walk.
The Tigers got on the board in the bottom of the third, after junior Brett Christopher (Livermore, Calif.) Christopher drew a walk and senior Matt Carvutto (Poway, Calif.) drove him home with a double in the right-center gap to cut Gonzaga's lead to 4-1.
Larsen worked some magic in the top of the fifth, pitching himself out of a bases loaded jam. After an error, a single and a walk to open the inning, Larsen struck out the next two batters and induced a fly out to end the inning unscathed.
Pacific was able to break through in the bottom of the fifth, after Gonzaga starter Ryan Carpenter loaded the bases with two outs. Following walks to junior catcher Jacob Sylvester (Livermore, Calif.) and sophomore second baseman Dustin Torchio (Santa Cruz, Calif.), Carvutto hit a single to third, loading the bases, and a powerful double to left field by junior Allen Riley (Fresno, Calif.) cleared the bases and tied the game at 4-4.
In the top of the eighth, junior right-handed pitcher John Prato Matthews (Davis, Calif.) replaced a very effective Larsen. Larsen gave a solid performance, holding the Bulldogs scoreless over 6.1 innings, as he gave up two hits, hit two batters and struck out four. Prato Matthews gave up a leadoff double to Gonzaga catcher Cameron Edman, but retired the next two batters without a pause. A base hit from Tyler Chism made it just over Torchio's extended arm for an RBI single that gave Gonzaga a 5-4 lead. A stellar throw by Sylvester caught Chism trying to steal second and ended the top of the frame.
The Bulldogs added a pair of insurance runs in the top of the ninth inning on an RBI double by Eric Lane and Edman knocked in Lane to make it 7-4 heading to the Tigers' final at-bat. The Tigers went down in order against Billy Moon, who pitched the final 2.2 innings for the Bulldogs to pick up the win in his first decision. Prato Mathews took the loss for the Tigers, dropping to 0-2 on the season.
The series resumes on Saturday, March 5, for a 2 p.m. first pitch.