Tigers Take No. 2 Stanford To Extras, Before Falling 9-7
Stockton, Calif. – The Pacific Tigers rallied from down 7-4 to force extra innings before falling to No. 2 Stanford, 9-7, in 11 innings. Junior DH John Haberman collected four hits, including the game-tying single in the bottom of the ninth.
After jumping out on the Cardinal (4-0) early, the Tigers saw Stanford score seven straight runs in innings three through seven, before Pacific manufactured single runs in the seventh, eighth and ninth.
Senior RF Allen Riley posted two hits in five trips, launching his first home run of the year to right field in the seventh. He scored three runs on the evening, including the game-tying run after leading off the ninth with a single.
John Prato Matthews (0-2) went the final four innings for Pacific and allowed a mere two hits while striking out three, but Stephen Piscotty's third home run of the season, following a hit batsman, provided the winning margin for the team ranked No. 2 in the Baseball America Top 25.
Senior LF Brett Christopher turned in two hits, with a double and a walk in four at bats, and stole a pair of bases. Senior SS Josh Simms added two hits in six trips, with an RBI.
The Tigers got on the board first, plating four in the bottom of the second inning. Riley led off with a walk, and came in to score on a single to left by Haberman. Redshirt freshman 1B Erik Lockwood was hit by pitch, and after a sac bunt from sophomore C Jason Taasaas, sophomore 2B Curtis Gomez doubled home a run for a 2-0 lead. Senior LF Brett Christopher followed with a double to right center for two more before the Cardinal went to the pen and ended the threat.
Stanford starter RHP Elliott Byers lasted 1.1 innings, allowing four runs, all earned, with one walk. Stanford RHP Dean McArdle tossed 3.2 innings of shutout ball as Stanford rallied back.
Pacific sophomore LHP Kyle Crawford turned in his longest start of his career, going five innings in his fourth career start, striking out a career-high four. He allowed an unearned run in the third, as Eric Smith reached on error and scored on a Tyler Gaffney single.
In the fifth, Stanford posted four runs to take the lead, as Smith opened with a walk, Austin Wilson singled, and Gaffney added an RBI single to left. Piscotty singled home the second run of the inning and Gaffney scored on a balk call to tie the game. Piscotty trotted home on a passed ball to give the Cardinal a 5-4 lead.
Stanford added a run in the sixth on a single and a walk followed by a sacrifice fly from Wilson. Then the Cardinal tacked on another in the seventh with Gaffney leading off with a double and Brian Ragira driving him home with a single. Both runs came off senior RHP Chris Larsen, who struck out a batter in his 1.2 innings of work. Senior RHP Thomas Berolzheimer provided the final out of the seventh.
Riley tattooed a 1-0 pitch over the wall in right with two outs in the seventh, and in the eighth, senior PH Daniel Johnston reached on error and advanced to second on a walk to Gomez. Stanford RHP David Schmidt replaced RHP Sahil Bloom, but redshirt junior PH Tyger Pederson worked a walk, and senior SS Josh Simms singled into the hole at shortstop to pull Pacific within one. Junior 3B Dustin Torchio lined a 1-2 pitch to third, but it was gloved by Piscotty to strand the bases loaded.
In the ninth, Riley singled up the middle to lead off the Tigers final comeback, then took second on a wild pitch. Haberman lined a 2-1 offering from Schmidt to center field to plate Riley and knot the ballgame at 7-7.
Pacific failed to get a bunt down for the first out of the ninth, and junior pinch runner Jacob Goulder was gunned down trying to steal as the Cardinal escaped and lived on to extra innings.
After neither team tallied in the 10th, Gaffney was hit by pitch to open the 11th, and Piscotty followed with the home run over the left field wall. Ragira singled, but Prato Matthews picked him off first and retired the next two. But in the bottom of the 11th, Sam Lindquist worked around a two-out walk for his first save.
Schmidt (1-0) was credited with the victory, tossing 2.2 innings and allowing one run on four hits, striking out two.
Pacific, playing its fourth ranked opponent of the season, fell to 0-4 despite being tied or within a run in the final three innings in each contest.
The Tigers will face a fifth-straight ranked opponent on Thursday, matching up against No. 21 Oregon State on Thursday at 2 p.m. at USD's Cunningham Stadium.
On Friday, the Tigers will face co-host San Diego, also at Cunningham Stadium, with first pitch at 2 p.m. Saturday, Pacific heads to San Diego State, for a meeting with the Aztecs at Tony Gwynn Stadium at 6 p.m. The Tigers wrap the tournament at USD for another contest with the Toreros at 11 am.