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Athletics

Tigers Caught By Santa Clara's Big Inning

May 16, 2012

The Pacific baseball team surrounded a six-run fifth inning that provided the winning margin Tuesday against Santa Clara, as the Tigers fell 8-5 at Klein Family Field.

Senior LF Brett Christopher (four) and redshirt freshman Erik Lockwood (three) kept their streaks of multi-hit games alive. Christopher went two-for-three and was on base four times with a pair of walks, while Lockwood went three-for-five and drove in two runs. Lockwood improved his averge to .379 on the season, tops in the Big West and second among NCAA freshmen.Sophomore C Riley Drongesen returned after a 22-game absence and picked up where he left off, extending his hitting streak to 11 and his reached-base streak to 22 straight games with an RBI single in the eighth. Senior SS Josh Simms added a two-for-three night with a pair of doubles and  a pair of walks.

Santa Clara jumped on top with a two-run first inning off RHP Chris Larsen, as LF Greg Harisis and DH Lucas Herbst singled and scored on a two-run knock to left by 1B T.J. Braff.

In the home half of the first, Christopher walked, stole second base and came in to score on Lockwood's RBI single to right.

The Tigers knotted the game at two in the third, as freshman 2B Robby Mansfield walked, stole second and trotted home on another RBI single by Lockwood.

Senior LHP Joe Spizzirri tossed two scoreless innings, but the Broncos posted a six-spot in the fifth. Harisis legged out an infield single and Herbst singled through the left side with one out. After a sacrifice bunt and an intentional walk, Braff drove home two with a single to center. 2B Kyle DeMerritt doubled to center to plate two more and 3B Evan Peters hit a two-run homer to left before junior LHP Travis Lumby entered and ended the frame with an infield popup.

Lumby kept the Broncos at bay for another two innings, not allowing a hit. Senior RHP Thomas Berolzheimerand freshman RHP Bryce Lombardi each tossed hitless innings for Pacific as the Tigers clawed back into it.

Simms doubled to open the eighth, and after a walk to freshman DH Taylor Murphy, junior PH Tyger Pedersonworked a walk to load the bases. Drongesen roped a single the other way to left field to cut the deficit to 8-3, but RHP Max Deering coaxed a double-play ball to get the first two outs with a run scoring on the play. He then got a fly out to end the inning.

In the Tigers' ninth, Christopher singled and Simms followed with his second double, but RHP Paul Twining posted a strikeout to end the frame.

Starter James Smith picked up the win to improve to 3-0 on the year for Santa Clara (24-23). Smith allowed two earned runs in five innings with four hits allowed and five walks. Braff drove in four for the Broncos, who wore their flannel-looking throwback uniforms for the contest.Spizzirri (0-3) took the loss with the six-run fifth on his ledger. He had recorded seven outs to seven batters before the one-out rally in the fifth began, starting with a pickoff in the third inning.

The game wrapped an eight-game home stand for Pacific (12-38). The Tigers will jump back into conference play this weekend at Long Beach State for a Big West series opening Friday at 6:30 p.m.

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