March 21, 2014

Sullivan Hits For The Cycle As Pacific Runs Past Gonzaga, 6-2

Stockton, Calif. - Behind the first Tiger cycle in the last quarter century, the Pacific baseball team continued its roll in the WCC with a 6-2 win over Gonzaga on Friday, Mar. 21 at Klein Family Field. The win moved the Tigers to 11-13 overall and 3-1 in WCC action while the Zags fell to 7-13 overall and 3-1 in conference play. 

Entering the weekend as one of the hottest hitters in the country, sophomore Brett Sullivan took his stellar season up another notch as the second-year shortstop came up with the first-ever cycle in Klein Family Field history. Sullivan was scorching hot throughout the night as he finished with hits in each of his last four at bats while producing the cycle in reverse order for the fans in attendance. 

In the fourth, Sullivan began his run at the historic feat with a leadoff home run to deep right center. The home run was the second of the season for Sullivan and marked the fourth time the Tigers have picked up a leadoff home run on the year. Additionally, the home run recaptured the lead for the Tigers after the two teams had traded runs in the second and third innings of play.

With the round-tripper out of the way, Sullivan set his sights on the hardest of the four hits to pick up as he laced a triple down the right field line and into the corner at Klein Family Field in the bottom of the fifth. The hit was his team-best fifth triple of the season and set up the Tigers to eventually load the bases in the inning only to come up just short of scoring.

Again finding the game tied in the bottom of the seventh, Sullivan made a run as the double as he laced a shot down the right field line. More importantly for the Tigers than the standup double was the run it produced as B. Sullivan knocked in his older brother, Tyler Sullivan, from first. The elder Sullivan had reached on his second hit of the game to lead off the inning in front of the heart of Pacific's order.

Leading by one and looking for some insurance, the Tigers came up with clutch two-out hitting to get Sullivan a final crack at the cycle. After a single by freshman Danny Mayer loaded the bases, T. Sullivan walked and sophomore Gio Brusa beat out an infield single to load the bases for the man of the evening. Not to be denied, drilled a 1-1 pitch into right field to complete his feat, but more importantly to give the Tigers a pair of runs and some much needed breathing room. For good measure, Pacific tacked on a sixth run on a slow dribbler to third by sophomore J.P. Yakel one batter later.

The six runs would prove to be more than enough for the Tigers' pitching staff to grab the win as senior Kyle Crawford (2-1) grabbed the victory out of the pen in relief of junior Michael Hager. Hager, despite throwing another quality start, did not factor into the decision after leaving with the game tied at 2-2 in top of the seventh inning. Overall, Hager went 6.2 innings while giving up six hits and two runs while striking out four and walking three. Junior Michael Benson mopped up the ninth for the Tigers in the non-save situation.

The loss went to Karl Myers (0-1) out of the pen as he was tagged for six hits and four runs in 3.1 innings of relief. Starter Taylor Jones was taken off the hook when the Zags scored a run in the seventh to knot the game at 2-2.

Pacific looks for the series clinching victory on Saturday, Mar. 22 when the Tigers and Zags meet again at Klein Family Field. The game is set for 2:00 pm.