Tempe, Ariz. - Getting a second crack at No. 2 Oregon State, the Pacific baseball team was unable to pull off the upset in the desert as the Tigers fell, 7-0, to the Beavers on Monday, Feb. 17 to close out play at the Husker Classic. The loss dropped the Tigers to 1-3 overall while the Beavers improved to 4-0 on the year, taking the tournament title.
A pitchers' duel early, the Tigers could not come up with the hits when needed against the Beavers' starter, Jake Thompson (1-0), as Pacific missed chances to score over the first four innings that might have changed the final outcome of the game. In three of the first four innings of play, the Tigers put a runner at third only to be denied by Thompson as the freshman starter came up with the pitches needed to keep Pacific off the scoreboard.
On the other side of the bump, Pacific used its own freshman starter as Will Lydon (0-1) got the ball to attempt to quell the Beaver bats. Playing with fire throughout his brief outing, Lydon managed to give up just one run in 3.2 innings despite pitching with runners on each inning. Trying to find his groove in his first collegiate start, Lydon relinquished three hits, but walked four as he got into a jam in the fourth inning that resulted in him exiting the contest. Despite the jam, the Tigers would get out of the fourth inning jam unscathed thanks to senior Jason Taasaas, who got Michael Conforto to fly out to center with the bases loaded to end the inning. Conforto had previously tripled in the the inning prior to plate the opening run of the game. Taasaas would pitch a perfect fifth for the Tigers before giving way to the rest of the bullpen.
Skirting danger through the first five innings, the Tigers suffered a setback in the fifth when the Beavers again loaded the bases in front of Conforto who proceeded to work an RBI walk. Pacific would get out of the jam without further damage, however they would not be as lucky in the seventh when Oregon State broke the game open with five runs on four hits and a pair of free passes.
Offensively, the Tigers were held in check for the first time in 2014 as Pacific posted just four hits, its first outing of the young year with less than a 10 hit effort. Sophomore Brett Sullivan continued to swing a hot back as he extended his hitting streak to four to start the year and nine games dating back to the 2013 season. Senior Riley Drongesen picked up his first single of the season while juniors Taylor Murphy and Robby Mansfield each added one as well.
The Tigers are back in action on Wednesday, Feb. 19 when they play at home for the first time in 2014 with a single night game against San Jose State. The game is scheduled for 6:00 pm.