Stockton, Calif. - The Pacific baseball team returns to Klein Family Field to open a three-game Big West series against UC Santa Barbara Friday at 6 p.m. The Tigers and Gauchos will also play at 6 p.m. on Saturday and 1 p.m. on Sunday.
The Tigers enter the series with the mid-week off after a 1-0 win at UC Davis on Sunday. Pacific RHP Michael Hager tossed eight shutout innings, scattering eight hits. The Tigers tallied the lone run of the ballgame on an RBI groundout from freshman CF Tyler Sullivan. Sullivan brought home freshman LF Taylor Murphy, who doubled and then took third on a deep flyout from sophomore 2B Curtis Gomez.
The Aggies took game one by a score of 1-0, as freshman RHP Michael Benson and Davis LHP Dayne Quist matched shutout innings until the ninth. The series marked the first time in program history Pacific had a pair of 1-0 games in the same series. Since 1967, the Tigers have played 41 games decided by a 1-0 score, and just five in the last 17 years.
Benson will get the start in game one, entering with a 2.82 ERA on the year and a hard-luck 2-5 record. He's struck out 28 against 13 walks in 51 innings on the season. In his last four starts, Benson has allowed five earned runs in 30.2 innings for a 1.47 ERA, but is 1-2 with a no decision.
UC Santa Barbara (18-17 overall, 4-5 Big West) will send freshman LHP Andrew Vasquez to the mound in game one. Vasquez is 5-3 on the year with a 1.66 ERA in 54.1 innings. He's struck out 66 batters against 31 walks. In his last outing, he took the loss Friday against Long Beach State, allowing four earned in 5.1 innings.
On Saturday, Pacific sophomore LHP Kyle Crawford is slated to oppose the Gauchos' freshman RHP Austin Pettibone. Crawford is 2-3 on the season with a 6.02 ERA in 52.1 innings pitched. Crawford allowed six earned to UC Davis on Saturday. Pettibone enters with a 5-2 record and a 4.78 ERA in 52.2 innings of work. He's struck out 24 against 20 walks on the year. Against Long Beach State on Saturday, Pettibone took a no decision, allowing two earned runs in 6.2 innings.
Hager gets the call in game three for Pacific and will look to extend his streak of shutout innings. He hasn't allowed a run in the last 15 innings of work and hasn't walked a batter in the past 24 innings (99 batters faced). Overall, Hager is 3-2 in 2012 with a 4.22 ERA in 49 innings pitched.
UC Santa Barbara sends senior LHP Zak Edgington to the mound for Sunday's 1 p.m. start. He is 1-3 on the season with a 3.16 ERA in 42.2 innings. Edgington has struck out 33 against 20 walks. Against Long Beach State last Sunday, he took the loss, allowing three earned in 5.1 innings pitched.
Offensively, the Tigers and Gauchos are ranked 1-2 in batting average in the Big West as Pacific leads the conference at .287 with UCSB right behind at .280. The Gauchos lead the BWC in on-base percentage (.370) and runs scored (195) while Pacific leads in hits (339) and doubles (65).
Pacific (11-24 overall, 1-5 Big West) have won eight of their last 17 after opening the season 3-15.