Pacific Edged By Cal Poly, 6-4
San Luis Obispo, Calif. - Sophomore 3B Curtis Gomez racked up another three hits, including a home run, but Cal Poly edged Pacific, 6-4, Sunday in the final game of a Big West series.
Gomez drove in two, while junior DH Tyger Pederson and senior LF Brett Christopher each posted RBI hits as Pacific out-hit Cal Poly, 11-9. But the Mustangs tallied three runs in their final three at-bats to take a 6-4 decision.
Pacific got on the board in the third, as sophomore C Jason Taasaas doubled to center to lead off the inning. Christopher delivered a one-out RBI single to center to give the Tigers a 1-0 lead.
Cal Poly answered in their half of the third, as DH Tim Wise singled with two out and CF Mitch Haniger doubled to left to tie the game.
Gomez opened the top of the fourth by drilling a 1-0 pitch over the wall in left, his first home run of the year.
Pacific starter, RHP Michael Hager posted a zero in the fourth, and Cal Poly starter, RHP Kyle Brueggeman departed after four innings and 74 pitches thrown. The Tigers made him work, putting the leadoff man on in each of the first four innings.
LHP Matt Imhof kept the Tigers off the board in the fifth, and after 2B Evan Busby singled with one out, SS Mike Miller hit a two-run home run for a 3-2 Cal Poly advantage.
Pacific wasted no time getting things square again, as senior SS Josh Simms walked to lead off the sixth and stole second. With one out Poly went to the bullpen again, with RHP Chase Johnson taking over. Johnson retired Gomez, but Pederson lined a single over short into left field to plate Simms and tie the game at 3-3.
But in the bottom of the sixth, the Mustangs answered as 3B Jimmy Allen singled, moved to second on a sacrifice and scored on a C Chris Hoo single to left.
Cal Poly tacked on another in the seventh, on a hit-by-pitch, a bunt single and following a walk to Haniger, an RBI fielder's choice when the Tigers couldn't turn two.
Pacific cut the margin in half in the eighth, with redshirt freshman 1B Erik Lockwood ripping a double to left off RHP Reid Reilly to lead off the inning. Gomez delivered a two-out single to cut the margin to 5-4. Pederson worked a walk, but Reilly posted a strikeout to end the frame.
The final run came in the eighth, when Hager hit Hoo with a pitch and 1B Tommy Pluschkell singled through the left side. Junior LHP Travis Lumby came in and retired the only batter he faced, Busby, with an infield groundout. RHP Bryce Lombardi took over and after intentionally walking Miller to load the bases, a run came in unearned on an error at short. Lombardi got a harmless popup from Haniger to leave the bases loaded.
Reilly retired the side in order, as LF David Armendariz robbed Christopher with a diving catch on a sinking line drive to shallow center to end the ballgame.
Hager went 7.1 innings, allowing five earned on nine hits. He walked three batters in a game for the first time in his career, although one was intentional. Hager entered the game in the top 20 in the nation in fewest walks per nine innings. He also struck out three while falling to 4-3 on the season.
Johnson (2-4) picked up the win for Cal Poly, while Reilly posted his first save.
Gomez finished the series six-for-eight (.750) with two doubles, a home run, two RBI, four runs scored and 11 total bases.
Lockwood turned in a one-for-three day with a double and a walk, improving to five-for-11 (.355) in the series. He doubled three times in the three-game series, driving in a pair. Christopher drove in a run for the third straight day.
The Tigers (11-31 overall) fall to 1-10 in the Big West, while Cal Poly improves to 9-6 in conference play and 25-17 overall.
Pacific will return home for a three-game conference series against Cal State Fullerton, beginning Friday at 6 p.m. at Klein Family Field.