San Jose, Calif. – The Tigers made a one-game trip to San Jose Tuesday and came away with the loss after giving up six runs in the ninth inning to lose 8-7. Pacific entered the ninth with a five-run lead but couldn't hold on and fall to 2-7 this season. Eight of the nine batters in Pacific's starting lineup had hits as the Tigers peppered the ball all around the field for much of the game.
Ricky Reynoso was tabbed for the start against San Jose State. Reynoso pitched one scoreless inning before being relieved by Will Lydon, as Pacific looked to lessen the load on the starter's arm ahead of this weekend's four-game series. Pacific's progression of Reynoso, Lydon, Fineas Del Bonta-Smith, and Justin Giovannoni allowed just two runs to the Spartans before a six-run outburst in the ninth inning gave the game to San Jose State.
In all, the Pacific pitchers allowed only two baserunners in the first four innings of the game, one on a walk and one on a single. No Spartan reached scoring position until the fifth inning, when an error put men on first and second.
Ross Slaney started for the Spartans and was chased after giving up six runs, four earned, in 4.1 innings. San Jose State didn't hold Pacific without a baserunner until the sixth inning. After scoring six in the first five innings, the Tigers scored just once in the last four while San Jose State scored seven in that time.
The Tigers threatened early with multiple hits in the first inning. Nate Verlin, moved to second in the lineup, singled, with Danny Mayer's fourth double of the year coming next to put two in scoring position. Unfortunately, Verlin left early from third on a flyball off Gio Brusa's bat and was doubled up to end the inning. Even so, it was a successful day for Verlin, who went 3-for-5 and recorded his first career stolen base.
Lucas Halstead's hot bat continued to sizzle with a single to start the second. The sophomore has reached base safely six times in his last nine trips to the plate, including four hits. In each of the last two games Halstead has reached base three times.
Halstead took third on a throwing error that allowed Louis Mejia to reach, followed by the senior stealing second. San Jose State would end the game with four errors total. This time, Pacific took full advantage of the two men in scoring position, as J.P. Yakel pushed Halstead home with a sacrifice fly. It was the first time this year Pacific took the first lead of a game.
A second run scored when Jimmy Boras' hustle forced a throwing error, scoring Mejia and putting Boras on. The speedy centerfielder stole second just a few pitches later for his first stolen base of the year.
Mejia also drove in a run in the third with a single to leftfield with two on. Verlin scored on the play and Halstead took third.
Pacific loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth inning and came out of it with three more runs to make it 6-0. J.J. Wagner smacked an RBI groundout to start the scoring, followed by J.P. Yakel singling to center. The two-run single gave Yakel his first multi-RBI game since March 1, 2015 and his fifth career game of more than one RBI. The three RBI matched a career high, set on March 30, 2014.
After a brief scoring respite, the Tigers tacked on an insurance run in the eighth. After Verlin and Mayer reached, Brusa singled through the third base hole to score Verlin from second. The RBI was Brusa's sixth and put him in a tie for second on the team with Mayer after Mejia's one-RBI night pushed him ahead of the rest of the Tigers.
San Jose State scored two early in the ninth on RBI walks. The Spartan rally continued with two straight singles, scoring three more runs and tying the game. An RBI single up the middle ended it in a walkoff, with San Jose State scoring six in the ninth to win it.
Pacific's next action will be on Friday in game one of a four-game series against Northern Colorado. The Friday game will begin at 7:00 pm. Saturday will feature a doubleheader, with game one at 2:00 pm and game two at 6:00. The series will end with a noon game on Sunday. Tickets for all games are available online.
Make sure to follow Pacific baseball on Twitter with the username @PacificBaseball and on Instagram at pacificbaseball.