SPOKANE, Wash. – The Pacific Tigers took the lead but couldn't hold on against the Gonzaga Bulldogs Sunday, losing 9-4 on the road. Gonzaga scored seven runs in the sixth inning on for the win. Pacific drops to 8-10 overall while Gonzaga is now 9-9 this season and 3-0 in conference play.
Ryan Schalch had his first career four-hit game, scoring a run and driving in another with four singles in the game. James Free II also hit his first career homerun in the game, blasting a 1-1 pitch over the leftfield wall in the third inning.
Ricky Reynoso went five innings for the Tigers, striking out six and leaving the game on a streak of seven straight retired. Reynoso did not allow an earned run in the game, giving up just three hits.
The loss would go to Jordon Gonzalez despite Gonzalez not giving up an earned run as Gonzaga's first four runs were all aided by Tiger errors.
The Tigers started the second inning with three consecutive singles, loading the bases thanks to Schalch, Nick Iwasa, and Preston Moebius all reaching base. Keaton Glover's sacrifice fly gave Pacific their first run of the game one batter later.
The game would be tied back up when Gonzaga dribbled a single through the middle that died in short center, allowing the runners to score from first and second.
Matt Tarantino's second of three singles in the game, this time leading off the fifth, helped the Tigers retake the lead. Smallball paid off for Pacific as Tarantino came home two batters later after a wild pitch, groundout, and flyball to left-center. Lucas Halstead picked up the RBI, making it 3-2.
Another error hurt Pacific as Gonzaga capitalized for two runs in the sixth, taking their first lead of the game. After the error extended the inning, the Bulldogs doubled down the first-base line for a run, then scored on a hit-and-run single. Gonzaga then had a sacrifice fly in the seventh to push their lead to 5-3.
The Bulldogs would string together a series of opportune hits just out of the reach of the Tiger defense in the eighth, stretching the lead to 9-3 with four runs in the inning. Schalch would drive in Ryan Robards with a single in the ninth but that was all the Tigers could manage, falling 9-4.
- Reynoso has struck out at least five batters in two of his last three starts. He had three games of five or more strikeouts in 15 appearances last year.
- Moebius has hit .400 as a starter this year, picking up his second multi-hit game today.
- Free has caught three of the last four baserunners trying to steal on him. The Tigers started the year catching three of 26 base stealers.
- Free has six RBI his last seven games after going 2-for-4 with a homer today.
- Schalch's previous career high for hits was three, coming February 25 against Cal Poly.
- Tiger newcomers have combined for 45 of Pacific's 73 RBI this year, good for 62% of Pacific's production.
This week will feature four Tiger home games, starting with a game against San Jose State on Tuesday at 6:00 pm. After that will be a three-game WCC series against Pepperdine, beginning Friday. Tickets for all those games are available online.
Make sure to follow Pacific baseball on Twitter with the username @PacificBaseball and on Instagram at pacificbaseball.