Six-Run Seventh Powers Pacific Baseball Past Gonzaga, 9-3
A six-run seventh inning propelled Pacific to a 9-3 win over Gonzaga Sunday as the Tigers scored eight unanswered runs. LF Gio Brusa drove in five, including a bases-clearing double and 2B Tyger Pederson drilled a two-run home run.
RHP Michael Benson tossed 7.2 innings allowing two earned runs to pick up the win to move to 2-0 on the year. The Tigers are now 3-4 on the young season, while Gonzaga falls to 4-4.
Brusa finished the day 1-for-3 with five RBI and a run scored, while Pederson drove in three in two trips to the plate. 3B J.J. Wagner was 2-for-5 with a double and three runs scored. CF Tyler Sullivan added a 2-for-4 day with a run scored.
Brusa put the Tigers' on the board in the third with an RBI groundout to bring home Wagner, who led off the inning with a double off Gonzaga starter LHP Derek Callahan.
Gonzaga tallied a pair of runs in the fifth, after LF Cory LeBrun singled and 1B Marco Gonzales double. A sacrifice fly tied the game at 1-1 and CF Alex Boncyzk singled home Gonzales to give the Bulldogs the lead.
In the sixth, DH Clayton Eslick singled for Gonzaga and came in to score on a Gonzales single. But from there it was all Pacific
The Tigers knotted the score in the bottom of the sixth, as Wagner, SS Dustin Torchio and 1B Erik Lockwood each singled, loading the bases. Brusa posted a sacrifice fly to plate Wagner, and the Bulldogs summoned RHP David Bigeloe from the bullpen.
Pederson entered as a pinch-hitter and brought home the tying run with a groundout before Bigeloe escaped the jam.
Tied 3-3 in the bottom of the seventh, CF Tyler Sullivan singled to open the inning and after a sacrifice bunt and a walk to DH Brett Sullivan, Wagner reached on a chopper to short and the errant throw plated the go-ahead run. Lockwood worked a one-out walk to load the bases. RHP Michael Rucker took over for the Bulldogs, forcing Brusa to turn around and bat from the left side. Brusa clubbed a pitch to the wall to bring home three runs, and Pederson turned on a 1-0 pitch and hammered it over the wall in right for a 9-3 Pacific lead.
Benson pitched into the eighth, allowing two earned runs with one walk and nine hits.
LHP Travis Lumby entered with two on and two out and forced Gonzales to pop it up on the infield to end the threat. RHP Patrick Weigel didn't allow a hit in the ninth.
Bigeloe took the loss for Gonzaga, falling to 1-1 on the year.
The Tigers and Bulldogs will both head to Surprise, Arizona, for the Coca Cola Sunrise Classic, joining Arizona State and Arkansas in the tournament field. Pacific opens with Arizona State on March 1 at Surprise Stadium. Game time is slated for approximately 5 p.m. Pacific Time, with the game taking place after the Cincinnati Reds and Kansas City Royals spring training game at 2 p.m. PT.