Stockton, Calif. - Behind strong pitching and timely hitting, the Pacific baseball team came away with a series sweep of Saint Mary's as the Tigers took a 4-3 win over the Gaels on Saturday, April 19 to close out their weekend. The win marked their first conference series sweep since the 2012 season as members of the Big West Conference when Pacific took all three games against Cal State Northridge to close out the year. With the win, Pacific moved to 21-20 on the year and 10-8 in WCC play while the Gaels fell to 13-25 overall and 5-10 in conference action.
After two days of watching his fellow starters come up with high-quality starts on their way to wins, freshman Will Lydon (2-3) took his turn on the bump and did no disappoint as he followed sophomore Jake Jenkins lead by providing the fans at Klein Fmilay Field some more shutout baseball. For seven innings, Lydon held the Gaels in check as he extended Pacific's shutout streak to 16 innings over Saint Mary's before giving way to the pen. As with Jenkins the night prior, Lydon scattered just a handful of hits, six, over his seven innings of action as he relied on his defense to shutdown any and all Saint Mary's threats he happened to face.
With as well as lydon looked on the mound for the Tigers en route to the win, it could be argued that he was not even the most dominant pitcher of the day as the Gaels' starter, Anthony Gonsolin (1-3), kept Pacific off balance for six solid innings before cracking. Up until the seventh inning when Pacific scored three runs to secure the game, the Tigers had managed just one hit against the Gael sophomore. However, the hit came at the most opportune time for the Tigers when sophomore J.J. Wagner lined a single back up the middle to bring home sophomore J.P. Yakel from second in the bottom of the second. Yakel had reached on a dropped third strike as the gifted extra out was enough for Pacific to take advantage of.
The 1-0 lead would hold through out the next four innings before Pacific finally found its bats in the bottom of the seventh when the Tigers got to Gonsolin for five hits and three runs. The luck for the Tigers turned on a bloop double by senior John Haberman to start the inning as the ball found a spot between three Gael defenders to set up the inning. Pacific followed the luck with a string of hits as junior Jimmy Gosano delivered the first RBI single to turn the lineup over. Juniors Tyler Sullivan and Taylor Murphy followed suit with singles of their own, bring home the third run of the game and knock Gonsolin out of the game. Facing a new pitcher, sophomore Brett Sullivan doubled to left center plating what would be the game-winning run for the Tigers in the inning.
After seven innings of scoreless ball, the Tigers gave back three runs in the final two at bats as Saint Mary's attempted to rally against Pacific's pen, only to be denied by freshman John Jaeger (4) who picked up his fourth save in the last five days. Jaeger's work was not without some fireworks as Saint Mary's scored twice with two outs in the ninth after a dying line drive got just under the glove of Murphy in right as the junior attempted to make a diving catch to end the game. The resulting triple scored a run and set Saint Mary's up for a second strike when a seeing-eye single found the right side to make it just a 4-3 ballgame. Unfazed, Jaeger promptly induced a ground ball to short to end the contest as he got Gonsolin to roll over an 0-1 slider for the final out.
The Tigers will look to keep their late season success rolling against San Diego on Friday, April 25 as the Toreros come to Klein Family Field to begin at three-game series. The Friday night start is scheduled for 6:00 pm.