Pacific Baseball Opens Road BWC Series Friday at UC Riverside
The Pacific baseball team steps back into conference play with a three-game series at UC Riverside opening Friday at 6 p.m.
The Tigers go for a second-straight series win after taking two of three from Long Beach State at home last weekend. Senior LHP John Haberman (six innings, no earned runs) and sophomore RHP Mike Hager (three innings, no hits) teamed for a 3-1 win in last Friday's contest with freshman LF Brett Sullivan providing a pair of RBI hits.
On Sunday, the Tigers led 5-3 in the ninth before Long Beach posted a three-run frame to put the series in jeopardy. But Pacific rallied back with two outs as senior 2B Tyger Pederson started a rally with a double, came in to score on a double to the gap by C/RHP Jason Taasaas, and sophomore LF Taylor Murphy ended the game with a walk-off home run for a 8-6 victory.
Pacific sits at 2-4 in Big West play, 9-18 overall. The Highlanders enter the weekend series at 14-14 on the season and 3-3 in the Big West.
The Tigers offensive features a slew of hot hitters, as freshman OF Gio Brusa is hitting .667 in his last four games (10-for-15), sophomore CF Tyler Sullivan has a .462 average in his last 12 games (15-for-32) and sophomore 1B Erik Lockwood has collected seven hits in his last 13 at bats (.538) with three doubles.
Haberman will get the start in Friday's game on at UCR Sports Complex. He picked up his first win of the year on Sunday and sits at 1-3 on the year with a 6.59 ERA. In 27.1 innings, he's struck out 18 batters against just eight walks. Haberman's last outing against Long Beach, he scattered six hits while striking out three, retiring 10 in a row at one point.
He'll be opposed by UC Riverside's Dylan Stuart in Friday's 6 p.m. game one. Stuart, a junior left-hander, is 3-3 with a 4.15 ERA on the year. In 43.1 innings, he has struck out 14 against 10 walks. He took the loss in his last outing allowing two runs on 10 hits in four innings against Cal State Northridge last Friday.
In Saturday's game two, also at 6 p.m., Pacific sends Michael Benson to the hill. The sophomore right-hander is 2-3 with a 3.42 ERA in 50 innings of work. He's struck out 16 against 13 walks on the year. He took a hard-luck loss his last time out, going eight innings with five strikeouts, as he allowed three earned runs on eight hits, as Pacific fell 6-2.
The Highlanders will give the ball to LHP Ben Doucette on Saturday. Doucette is 1-2 with a 4.91 ERA in 36.2 innings on the season. He's struck out 24 against 15 walks this season. He too was on the short end of a quality start last Saturday, as he allowed two earned runs in 7.1 innings against Northridge, strikeout five in the loss.
Both squads have yet to announce their starting pitchers for Sunday's 1 p.m. game three.