May 5, 2013

Baseball Walks Off With 6-5 Win Over Hawai'i

Stockton, Calif. - Erik Lockwood capped a four-run bottom of the ninth with a two-run single as Pacific walked off with a 6-5 win over Hawai'i Sunday at Klein Family Field.

Trailing 5-2 with one on and two outs in the ninth, the Tigers refused to go down and picked up four straight hits for their third walk-off win of the season. After DH/RHP Jason Taasaas led off the inning with a single, the following two Tigers were retired before CF Connor Bitzer singled home Taasaas. PH Robby Mansfield singled to shallow right field, and 3B Dustin Torchio clubbed a ground-rule double into the right field to pull Pacific within one.

On a 1-2 pitch, Lockwood ripped a single up the middle to give Pacific the victory. It was Lockwood's second walk-off hit of the season, as his second of the year with two outs and two strikes. Lockwood's single in the ninth against Arkansas on March 3 gave Pacific a 4-3 win over the then-No. 2 ranked Razorbacks.

Lockwood finished the day four-for-five with a double. Bitzer collected two hits, including a double, in three at-bats after coming off the bench in the fifth. Torchio went three-for-five, while Taasaas finished two-for-four.

Taasaas pitched the final two innings for Pacific, and allowed one hit and no runs to improve to 2-0.

Pacific collected 11 of their 16 hits on the day in the final four innings.

The Tigers took a 1-0 lead in the first as Torchio and Lockwood posted two-out singles and LF Gio Brusa singled home Torchio.

Hawai'i answered in the second with an RBI single from Austin Wobrock. The Rainbows took a 2-1 lead in the fourth when Marc Flores was hit by pitch and following a single by Trevor Podratz, the Tigers could only get one out on Wobrock's one-out grounder for an RBI fielder's choice.

The Rainbows plated three in the sixth, as Connor George walked, Flores reached on an error and the Tigers couldn't get the lead runner on a sacrifice bunt attempt. Podratz followed with a two-run single with the bases loaded to chase Pacific starter RHP Patrick Weigel. RHP Bryce Lombardi entered and retired all three batters he faced in the inning, but the Rainbows' fifth run came in on a sacrifice fly by Adam Hurley.

Pacific picked up a run back in their half of the sixth, as Lockwood doubled and came in on an RBI single by 2B Tyger Pederson. Taasaas added a single to chase Hawai'i starter RHP Matt Cooper, but RHP Scott Kuzminsky recorded a strikeout to end the frame.

RHP Jon Flinn tossed a scoreless eighth for Hawai'i, but in the ninth, he surrendered three hits, including two with two outs and LHP Lawrence Chew entered to face Torchio. Chew allowed the final two hits of the game and was charged with the winning run to 2-2 on the season.

The walk-off win was Pacific's third win in the final at bat of the season. In addition to Lockwood's game-winning hit against No. 2 Arkansas, RF Taylor Murphy hit a two-run walk-off home run against Long Beach State on April 7.

The Tigers will visit Santa Clara on Tuesday for a 6 pm contest.