San Diego Pulls Away From Pacific Baseball, 6-1
Sophomore C Riley Drongesen roped two doubles and Michael Benson allowed just two runs in six innings in his first career start for Pacific, but the San Diego Toreros turned a 2-1 contest into a 6-1 win with four runs in their final two at bat Friday afternoon at Cunningham Stadium.
A pitcher's duel through six, USD tallied a run in the seven and three in the eighth to provide the cushion for Toreros RHP Paul Seward, who went seven innings with one earned run allowed for his first win of the season.
The Tigers took the lead in the top of the second, as junior 1B John Haberman doubled and came in to score on a sacrifice fly from Drongesen. But the Toreros answered with two in the bottom of the second with a pair of hits off Benson, the Tigers freshman right-hander.
USD 1B Bryan Haar singled to open the inning and after a walk to Louie Lechich and a sacrifice bunt, C Dillion Haupt singled to center to tie the game. LF Dillion Checkal followed with a sacrifice fly to put the Toreros on top, 2-1.
Benson tossed four shutout innings after that, departing after the sixth with the two earned allowed on eight hits, a pair of walks and one strikeout. Sewald matched Benson zero for zero, getting a pair of double-play balls and finishing the seventh with the 2-1 lead.
Pacific RHP Mike Hager replaced Benson for the seventh, and after a leadoff triple by Haupt and a single by RF A.J. Robinson for the third run, escaped a bases-loaded jam to avoid further damage.
In the bottom of the eighth, the Toreros put runners on first and second with one out, and sent both runners on the first pitch to 3B Julian Duran. With the third baseman breaking to the bag to cover the runner, Duran's hopper found its way through the vacated hole to plate a run. 3B/RF Kris Bryant added a two-run single to provide the 6-1 margin.
Junior 3B Dustin Torchio crushed the first pitch of the ninth to right center, but Lechich made a diving grab on the warning track to rob the 2011 Big West batting champ of extra bases. Lechich's teammate in left, Checkal, robbed sophomore 2B of a double in the fifth, with a diving grab near the left field line.
Pacific RF Brett Christopher added a play to the outfield defensive gems in the ballgame, as he gunned down Bryant at second base following a lineout for a double-play in the third.
USD's Michael Wagner tossed the final two innings, allowing two hits while striking out one. Haberman and LF Taylor Murphy each posted singles in the ninth, but SS Andrew Daniel made a diving stop a ball ripped up the middle off the bat of Drongesen, and flipped to second base for the game-ending force out.
Haberman finished the day two-for-four with a run scored, while Drongesen posted a two-for-three day with the RBI. Drongesen also cut down a pair of runners attempting to steal.
The Toreros totaled 15 hits to the Tigers seven in a well-played, crisp ballgame featuring no defensive miscues.
Pacific falls to 0-6 on the season, while USD, which turned a 3-1 pitcher's duel against Kansas State earlier in the day into a 15-1 rout with 12 runs in their final two at-bats, improves to 3-2.
The Tigers will head to Tony Gwynn Stadium on Saturday, for a 6 p.m. contest against San Diego State before returning to USD's Cunningham Field to face the Toreros again on Sunday at 11 am.