Pacific baseball embarked on its first road trip of the season on Tuesday in San Jose and will bring a win back with them to Stockton after beating San Jose State, 8-1.
Pacific built an early lead and its pitchers shut down the Spartan hitters throughout the game. The Tigers used three pitchers which combined to strike out nine and allowed only one run on eight hits. Pacific struck early in the game a posted a crooked number that the Spartans couldn't chip away at. Junior infielder Grant Mona continued his hot start at Pacific with a 2-4 night with two RBIs. He has six RBIs through his first four games. Senior Nate Verlin also had his second-straight game with an RBI.
Pacific's sophomore Hayden Pearce got the start at Municipal Stadium in San Jose and set the tone for a steady night from Pacific's pitchers with two strikeouts in the top of the first.
In the top of the second, Pacific blew the game wide open with a six-run inning. A single from sophomore infielder Alex LeForestier got things going then a double from junior Keaton Glover put both runners in scoring position. A passed ball by San Jose State catcher, Ryan Belluomini, allowed LeForestier to score to put Pacific out front. Two batters later, Mona singled to left for his fourth-straight game with an RBI when he scored Hayes to make it 2-0. Two batters later, senior Bradley Jekich got on with a single after the Spartan left fielder couldn't track down a fly ball. Glover and Mona both scored on the single to make it 4-0. Two batters later, with the bases loaded, Verlin was hit by a pitch to score Glover. The Tigers closed out the inning with a 6-0 lead when another passed ball allowed Jekich to score.
The big Pacific sixth inning would go on to be enough for the win, but also ran SJSU's starter, Chandler Giles from the game after pitching 1.2 innings and surrendering five hits and six runs in his collegiate debut.
San Jose State scored in the fourth inning to make it a 6-1 game and end Pearce's game. He allowed a run on four hits in the victory. Pearce gave way to junior left-handed pitcher Joseph Standley who tossed three shutout innings and allowed only two hits with three strikeouts in his second appearance this season.
In the top of the seventh inning, Pacific pulled a run back and expanded its lead to seven runs on a two-out error that allowed junior catcher James Free to score from second following his second leadoff double of the night. Later in the inning, Mona singled to left again to score freshman infielder James Arakawa, who pinch ran for sophomore designated hitter Bryce Kirk in the inning.
Mona's night moved him into first on the team in batting average at .500 and first in RBIs with six.
Freshman right-handed pitcher Elijah Birdsong entered in the eighth inning to take the Tigers home in a non-save situation. He was lights out as well striking out three and allowing two hits in two innings of scoreless ball.
The win was Pacific's fourth-straight, which is the best start to a season since 1983 and surpasses the Tiger's longest win streak of three games from a year ago. A win for Pacific on Thursday night against Sacramento State at home will clinch the longest win streak to start a season in program history. In the stretch of four games, Pacific is outscoring teams 28-7 and hitting .291 as a team. The team's ERA is a tiny 1.75 to start the season.
The Tigers look to make it five-straight wins on Thursday when they return to Klein Family Field to open a four-game series with Sacramento State. The first two games of the series will be played in Stockton while the final two will be played in Sacramento.