Pacific's Haberman Fans Nine, But SDSU Rallies Late
Junior LHP/DH John Haberman pitched into the eighth, striking out a career-best nine, and drove in a run at the plate, but San Diego State rallied for four in the bottom of the eighth for a 5-4 win over Pacific Saturday at Tony Gwynn Stadium.
Haberman allowed one run on seven hits through the first four innings, and then retired 10 of the next 12 without allowing a hit, including five consecutive strikeouts, taking a 4-1 lead into the eighth. After hitting a batter with one out, Haberman departed, and the Aztecs posted four runs in the inning.
Senior RF Allen Riley led off the sixth with a game-tying home run to right, his second of the year and Pacific added three more in the top of the seventh.
Senior CF Brett Christopher led off the seventh with a pinch-hit double to right center and Dustin Torchiodelivered an RBI single through the right side to give the Tigers a 2-1 lead. After senior CF/SS Josh Simmswas hit by pitch, Riley walked, and Haberman added a sacrifice fly. After 2B Curtis Gomez reached on a fielder's choice, PH/LF Jacob Goulder ripped a double down the right field line, scoring Riley. Gomez was out at the plate on a close play to end the inning, despite an elusive slide on the initial tag attempt.
Haberman opened the eighth by getting a fly out, but hit DH Ryan Muno and the Tigers went to the bullpen. Senior RHP Thomas Berolzheimer walked PH Jomel Torres, and after a fly out to right, PH Spencer Thornton blooped a triple to right field that fell just inside the foul line, plating two runs and cutting the gap to 4-3.
San Diego State LF Avondre Bollar pulled a grounder to second base and reached on an error to tie the ballgame. PH Matt Munoz followed by reaching base on catcher's interference. RHP Chris Larsen replaced Berolzheimer, and PH Jake Romanski slapped a double down the left field line to give the Aztecs a 5-4 lead.
With the inherited runner scoring in the eighth, Haberman's final line was two earned in 7.1 innings pitched, with four walks, seven hits and nine punchouts. Two strikeouts came via called third strikes, while seven batters whiffed at strike three.
The Tigers (0-7) tallied 13 hits, tying a season-high (also set against No. 2 Stanford), as Riley went two-for-three with a double, a homer and two walks. Haberman turned in a two-for-four night at the plate with an RBI. Gomez and Torchio each finished two-for-five with a run driven in.
Berolzheimer was charged with the loss to fall to 0-1.
The Aztecs improve to 3-5 on the year. SDSU starter RHP Justin Hepner lasted 5.1 innings, allowing eight hits and one earned, on Riley's home run. RHP Bryan Crabb allowed three runs in the seenth, in 1.1 innings of work. RHP Mike Hachadorian (1-0) tossed the eighth, allowing one hit, to pick up the win, while RHP Ethan Miller earned the save, allowing a double to Riley in the ninth.
Pacific will wrap up the weekend against the University of San Diego Toreros in a road game at Cunningham Stadium, with first pitch at 11 am on Sunday.