Tiger pitching shines in doubleheader sweep

Tiger pitching shines in doubleheader sweep

Pacific baseball (2-0) opened the season with two wins over Chicago State (0-2) on Saturday at Klein Family Field 4-1 in game one and 7-2 in game two.

Pacific's starters, senior lefty Ricky Reynoso and junior righty Ryan Shreve dealt with the Cougar hitters to combine to toss 14.0 innings with 18 strikeouts, 8 hits and 3 runs. Pacific's offense got the job done as well as it scored 11 runs in the day's two games.

In game one, senior Ricky Reynoso got the start in game one and got going early when he struck out four Cougars in the first two innings. Pacific scored its first run of the season in the bottom of the second when junior infielder Carter Hayes got things going with a leadoff single. Two batters later, redshirt junior outfielder, Michael Ricupito, singled to center to score Hayes to make it 1-0. 

Reynoso stumbled slightly in the fourth inning when Chicago State strung together back-to-back singles to get their inning going. An error in the next at-bat loaded the bases and a sac fly to right from Reggie Brock, Jr. scored one for Chicago State to tie the game at 1-1. Reynoso gathered himself following the run and retired the next two batters to work out of the jam. 

Pacific regained the lead an inning later when junior catcher James Free led off the inning with a walk. A single from Hayes and a hit by pitch loaded the bases. With two outs, a wild pitch from Chicago State's starter, Rodny Valdez, allowed Free to score to make it a 2-1 Tiger lead.

Reynoso's day ended in the sixth when he was pulled in favor of sophomore lefty Lucas Sweany. Reynoso struck out 10 batters in just six innings of work while allowing just four hits, two walks and one earned. The Tigers added two insurance runs in the seventh when junior infielder Grant Mona recorded his first RBI as a tiger when he hit a sacrifice grounder to score freshman infielder James Arakawa. Senior Bradley Jekich grounded out to the pitcher to score Ricupito later in the inning to make it a 4-1 game.

Sweany shut down shop with three innings of work allowing only two hits and striking out three batters for a three-inning save in game one's victory.

In game two, Shreve got the ball and did his best to match Reynoso, which he did. He struck out three in the first three innings and allowed only one hit. 

In the bottom of the third, senior infielder Kevin Sandri drew a two-out walk to get the Tiger offense going, he would advance to second on a wild pitch and in the next at-bat, sophomore Alex LeForestier singled to score Sandri from second to open the scoring in game two. The Tigers struck again in the fourth when Ricupito drew a one-out walk. Two batters later, Mona singled to score Ricupito to make it a 2-0 game. 

While Pacific's offense got going, so did Shreve. He struck out two batters in the second and one in the third, fourth and fifth inning while allowing just three batters to reach base in the first five innings. 

In the sixth, the Tigers scored two more when Ricupito led off the inning with a double. Later in the inning, Free singled to score Ricupito who went 2-5 with three runs scored and an RBI for the day. In the next at-bat, a Sandri single scored freshman catcher Jeremy Lea, who had his first career hit earlier in the inning. 

In the seventh, the Tigers scored two more on an error by the Chicago State pitcher following two walks, a wild pitch and a hit batsman to start the inning.

In the eighth, Shreve struck out the final two batters of the inning to end his day. The big righty struck out eight batters in eight innings in a scoreless appearance. 

Pacific scored one more in the bottom of the eighth when Lea had his first RBI single to score LeForestier. 

Chicago State mounted a small two-run rally in the ninth, but it was not enough to cut down Pacific's seven-run cushion that it built.

The Tigers will look to close out the season-opening series with a sweep tomorrow against Chicago State in a 10 a.m. game at Klein Family Field.