Dons Post Series Opening Win Over Pacific Baseball
The San Francisco Dons opened a three-game series at Pacific with an 11-3 victory over the Tigers. Pacific junior SS Josh Simms posted a three-for-three day with an RBI and a run scored.
The Dons tallied in the first and second innings off Pacific starter Jared Wagner (Danville, Calif.), and added solo runs in the fourth and fifth before blowing the game open in the sixth and seventh.
Adam Clear singled, stole second and came in to score on a single by Matt Chavez in the first. In the second, the Dons struck for three runs as Connor Bernatz drove home Tom Barry with a double to left center, then scored on a fielders' choice from Pete Lavin. Lavin came in to score on a single by Clear and an error in the outfield as Wagner departed after one and two-thirds.
Jason Mahood led off the top of the fourth with a home run to left field off the Tigers' Paul Moeller (Folsom, Calif.) for a 5-1 Dons lead and his first long ball of the season.
Pacific answered with a run in the bottom of the fourth as senior 1B Brian Martin (Livermore, Calif.) singled through the right side to lead off the inning, and junior 3B Daniel Johnston (Portola Valley, Calif.) followed with a double to right. After freshman catcher Jason Taasaas (Elk Grove, Calif.) walked to load the bases, Simms (La Mesa, Calif.) dropped a single in front of the left fielder for the Tigers' first run.
However, USF starter Matt Lujan, a Stockton native and St. Mary's graduate, worked his way out of trouble with a ground out to third to force Johnston out at the plate, and then a ground out up the first base line Lujan fielded himself to retire the side.
Barry picked up the run back for the Dons in the top of the fifth, with a one-out home run to left for his first home run of the season.
A single by Clear sandwiched between a pair of walks loaded the bases and brought sophomore RHP Jonas Noack (San Diego, Calif.) out of the bullpen. Chavez pulled a seeing-eye single through the left side of the infield to plate Lavin, but Noack coaxed a double-play ball to the next batter, and soft liner to centerfield to escape further damage.
The Dons tallied three more in the seventh, as Bernatz and Mahood singled to open the inning and after a groundout, Bernatz trotted home on a wild pitch. Following a hit-by-pitch, Stephen Yarrow delivered a two-run double to right center to plate two and give the Dons an 11-1 lead before sophomore Brent McMinn (Houston, Texas), who started the game as the Tigers' designated hitter, took the mound in relief and struck out Chavez and induced a ground-out to end the inning.
McMinn allowed a hit in the eighth, but didn't allow a run in 1.1 innings in his mound debut for Pacific. Junior RHP Jacob Waardenburg (Klamath Falls, Ore.) walked a batter but retired in the side in the ninth.
Simms walked to reach base for the fourth straight time to open the ninth, and junior CF Brett Christopher (Livermore, Calif.) doubled to left as Pacific mounted a rally in their final at bat. Freshman 2B Curtis Gomez (Watsonville, Calif.) delivered a sacrifice fly to plate Simms, and senior LF Matt Carvutto (Poway, Calif.) added an RBI groundout before USF's LHP Ben Graff recorded a strikeout to end the ballgame.
Lujan scattered nine hits in seven innings with one walk and seven strikeouts to improve to 3-2 on the season. Wagner (0-2) was saddled with the loss after allowing four runs, three earned. He struck out one and walked one.
Christopher finished the evening two-for-five with a run scored while Taasaas turned in a one-for-two evening.
The Tigers will host USF on Saturday in a 6 p.m. first pitch as the series, originally scheduled for USF's Benedetti Diamond on Saturday and Sunday, will conclude in Stockton. Game three is 1 p.m. on Sunday at Klein Family Field.