Tigers Split Day 2 Doubleheader

Photo Courtesy of Meghan Laurel Photography
Photo Courtesy of Meghan Laurel Photography

STOCKTON, Calif. – The University of Pacific baseball team split its doubleheader on Saturday defeating Utah Valley by a score of 4-3 in game one and losing, 6-2, in game two.

The Tigers fall to 3-4 on the season while the Wolverines improve to 2-4 overall.

Game 1: Pacific 4 Utah Valley 3

After three scoreless innings, the Tigers let it rip in the bottom of the fourth with Michael Ricupito leading off and reaching first on an error by the Wolverines. Nate Verlin doubled to right center to score Ricupito and get the Orange and Black on the board first. James Free blasted a single to left center to score Verlin and give the Orange and Black a 2-0 lead over the Wolverines.

It did not end there, as Tyler Ryan singled to right center to advance Matthew Tarantino and score Free. With no outs, Carter Hayes hit into a double play allowing Tarantino to score the final run of the inning to give Pacific the 4-0 lead.

However, in the top of the sixth inning, Utah Valley tried to battle back. Jake Berry singled to center field to advance Drew Sims to second base, who was hit by a pitch to land on first. A triple by Paul Estrada to left center scored Sims and Berry to trail, 4-2. Trevor Howell grounded out to score Estrada for a 4-3 deficit but it was not enough to pull out the win.

The Tigers held on and defeated the Wolverines, 4-3.

The Orange and Black tallied four hits with three RBI. Kevin Sandri, Verlin and Ryan all went 1-for-3 from the plate while Free went 1-for-2. Michael Ricupito, Verlin, Free and Tarantino all scored runs for UOP.

Justin Giovannoni picked up the win for the Tigers after pitching four innings and striking out five batters. Ryan Shreve earned the save, pitching 1.2 innings and struck out three batters. Jackson Cofer was charged with the loss for the Wolverines, striking out three in three innings pitched.

Game 2: Utah Valley 6 Pacific 2

The Wolverines came out strong in game two, hitting two home runs to take an early 2-0 lead at the top of the second. Both Jackson Overlund and Pacen Hayes, in just one pitch, smashed it over the left field fence to give UVU the 2-0 lead.

In the top of the third, Howell and Estrada stole second and home, respectively to give Utah Valley a 3-0 lead.

In the fifth inning, Bradley Jekich reached first on an error by the Wolverines that advanced Preston Moebius to second and scored Lucas Halstead to end the shut out for the Wolverines and trail, 3-1.

The top of the sixth inning, Joey Riherd earned his first career strike out in his career, as he struck out Estrada for the Wolverines' final out of the inning.

From there, Utah Valley scored two more runs in the seventh and one in the ninth to close out the game, 6-2, and earn their first win in the four-game series. The second run for the Tigers came in the bottom of the seventh with Jekich reaching first on a Wolverine error that allowed him to advance to second, scoring Halstead and pushing Sandri to third.

Verlin, Halstead, Moebius, and Ryan Schalch each had a hit for the Tigers.

On the mound, Lucas Sweany was charged with the loss after pitching four innings and striking out six batters. Walker Ramsey earned the win for Utah Valley in five innings and three strikeouts while Ondrej Sebek picked up the save.

The Tigers return to action on Sunday, February 25 for the final game of the series against Utah Valley with first pitch scheduled for noon.