Tigers Shut Down Gauchos In Game Two
Santa Barbara, Calif. - LHP John Haberman scattered six hits in 7.1 innings and RHP Michael Benson earned his first save as the Pacific baseball team downed UC Santa Barbara 3-2 Saturday to even up a three-game Big West series.
CF Tyler Sullivan, DH Robby Mansfield and RF Taylor Murphy each posted RBI singles as the Tigers out-hit the Gauchos 8-7. Murphy and 3B Dustin Torchio each finished the day two-for four.
With Haberman dealing, the Tigers took the lead in the third, when Murphy singled to right, moved to second on a sacrifice and third on a ground out. Sullivan singled up the middle for a 1-0 lead of UC Santa Barbara starter RHP/DH Robby Nesovic.
Haberman faced one over the minimum through six innings, with a double play and a picked off to work around two singles and a walk.
Pacific stretched the lead to 3-0 in the seventh as 1B Erik Lockwood led off with a single, and 2B Tyger Pederson legged out a sacrifice bunt attempt for an infield single. Catcher Jason Taasaas moved the runners to second and third with a sacrifice bunt, and Nesovic departed.
Murphy greeted LHP Greg Mehle with a single to left for a 2-0 lead. After a pop-out, Mansfield ripped a single to center to plate another and give the Tigers a three-run cushion.
Haberman's streak of shutout innings came to an end at 14 in the seventh. 2B Woody Woodward singled through the right side with one out, stole second and Nesovic singled to right to put UCSB on the board.
The Tigers loaded the bases in the eighth, but UCSB RHP Dylan Hecht escaped with a groundout to end the frame.
In the eighth, Haberman struck out the first batter before a pinch-hit double by Joe Winterburn and a single by C Jackson Morrow pulled UCSB within one at 3-2. But LHP Travis Lumby ended the threat by getting an inning-ending double-play.
Benson earned his first save, allowing a seeing-eye single up the middle with two out before getting a groundout to end the ball game. The save was the first of Benson's career in just his second relief appearance. Benson had made 22 consecutive starts in his Pacific career before missing a month due to injury and coming back out of the bullpen.
Haberman allowed two runs on six hits with five strikeouts and no walks in 7.1 innings of work to improve to 2-5 on the year. He owns a 1.66 ERA in his last three outings, and has given up just 16 baserunners in the last 15.1 innings.
Nesovic took the loss for UCSB, falling to 3-3, after 6.1 innings with three earned and five hits allowed.
The Tigers improve to 14-35 on the year, 6-17 in the Big West. UC Santa Barbara, vying for an NCAA at-large berth, falls to 30-22 overall and 13-10 in BWC play.
Game three of the series is Sunday at 1 p.m.