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Pacific Baseball: Riley And Martin Lead Pacific's Rally In The 13th To Beat San Jose State, 11-10

Mar 9, 2011

In a marathon contest, the Pacific baseball team came out on top as they rallied past San Jose State, 11-10, in the bottom of the 13th inning on Tuesday, March 7. The win for the Tigers moved their record to 3-8 overall while the Spartans fell to 8-4.

Trailing by a run and heading to the bottom of the 13th inning, the Tigers knew they had just one more chance to get something done. With the top of their order stepping to the plate, Pacific was primed for another rally, one that would be kick started by juniorAllen Rileyand finished by seniorBrian Martin.

With his team looking him to be the spark plug and to get on base to start the inning, Riley did one better as he put the comeback squarely on his shoulders and with one mighty swing, tied the game at 10-10. Facing Zack Jones, San Jose State's closer, for the second time, Riley jumped on the first pitch he saw from the Spartan sophomore crushing a belt high fastball over the right field wall. Riley's second home run of the season would be all Pacific needed to ignite the game-winning rally as the Tigers fed off the new life as sophomoreDustin Torchioimmediately followed by lacing a single to left.

With one out in the inning and Torchio standing at second after a wild pitch, Martin put the finishing touches on the classic comeback when he flared a single to center field that was just shallow enough to fall in front of the Spartans' center fielder while deep enough to allow Torchio to score all the way from second, beating the relayed throw to give the Tigers the late inning victory. The RBI was the fourth of the game for Martin, who also played a huge role in the field with spectacular defense at first throughout the night.

The rally for the Tigers in the 13th was not their first of the night as Pacific rallied twice before while trailing, even getting to Jones earlier in the contest as the sophomore attempted to nail down the save for San Jose State in the bottom of the ninth. In their final at bat of regular inning play, the Tigers had to comeback from one run down a feat they would accomplish on when juniorBrett Christopherlifted a bases loaded sacrifice fly to center to knot the game at 9-9. Christopher got his opportunity to tie the game after the Tigers led the ninth off with back-to-back walks issued to seniorMatt Carvuttoand Martin. With two runners aboard, Jones was called into the game for the Spartans. However, after picking up the first out of the inning on a strike out, the Tigers would set up the scoring chance with a single to left by sophomore Brett McMinn that would load the bases in front of Christopher.

Earlier in the contest, the Tigers were forced to rally from five runs down as they trailed 6-1 heading into the bottom of the seventh inning. Struggling to find their offense up until that point, Pacific went on a tear in the inning, sending 12 batters to the plate to post a seven spot on the board and take their first lead of contest at 8-6. In the inning, the Tigers put their first four batters on base with a pair of leadoff singles and a pair of hit batters to the bottom of the order. With the top of the order coming to the plate Pacific took advantage, culminating in a two-RBI double by juniorDaniel Johnston.

The Spartans built their lead against the Tigers steadily throughout the contest as they posted runs in innings three through eight. They would score first against Pacific in the third with a single run as they put together a pair of two-out hits including a double by Craig Hertler on a 2-1 count. In the fourth, San Jose State would tack on two more the easy way as Caleb Natov slammed the first of two Spartan home runs in the contest.

After giving one back to Pacific in the bottom half of the fourth, the Spartans would add single runs in each of the next three innings. After falling behind the Tigers 8-6 in the seventh, San Jose State would strike for three runs in the top of the eighth to recapture the lead, grabbing the game-tying runs again on one swing of the bat when Jones sent a two-run shot over the wall in left field. They would add another later in the inning, forcing the Tigers to go to their seventh pitcher of the night.

That pitcher would come from left field as Carvutto hit the bump for the first time in 2011 and held the Spartans in check for 4.2 innings of work before being relieved in the top of the 13th. In all, the Tiger left fielder and relief pitcher saw the longest stint on the mound for Pacific in the contest as she gave up five hits and was tagged for one run, the final run of the game for the Spartans, to come away without a decision. After giving up a leadoff single and a walk in the 13th, Carvutto was relieved by freshmanPeter Miller, who despite relinquishing the go-ahead run on a ground out, would pick up the win to record his first collegiate victory.

The loss would go to Jones who threw 4.1 innings of relief for the Spartans after starting the game at short. The sophomore gave up just two hits until the final inning of action as he finished with four hits against and two earned runs while striking out five and walking none. Starting the game for San Jose State, Sean Martin picked up the no decision after going six inning while giving up four hits and two runs while striking out four and walking three.

Pacific will be back in action on Friday, March 11 when the Tigers travel to Reno, Nevada to take on the Wolf Pack in non-conference action. The first game of the three-game series is slated to begin at 2:00 pm on Friday afternoon.