Tigers fall in WCC opener, 5-3

Tigers fall in WCC opener, 5-3

Pacific baseball (11-6, 0-1 WCC) opened the West Coast Conference season today in Moraga against Saint Mary's (11-6, 1-0 WCC) with a 5-3 loss.

Saint Mary's used a four-run third inning to build up a five-run cushion that the Tigers couldn't fully chip away at. Junior catcher James Free went 3-4 at the plate to extend his streak of games with a hit to 10  and get his batting average up to .412. Senior Tyler Ryan hit a two-run homer in the eighth inning, his second in as many games, to make it a two-run lead for the Gaels, but the Tigers would go on to fall 5-3.

Senior left-handed pitcher Ricky Reynoso was saddled with the loss, his first of the year. He worked six full innings and allowed all five runs in the game. He struck out six in the game. Kevin Milam got the win for Saint Mary's and improved to 3-1 on the season. He struck out six Tigers in seven innings and was responsible for all three of Pacific's runs. Michael Hobbs earned a two-inning save for the Gaels.

A two-out RBI single in the bottom of the first inning opened the scoring for Saint Mary's. Another two-out rally in the third scored four runs for the Gaels. Back-to-back doubles in the third scored a total of three runs to make it 4-0, then an RBI single made it 5-0. 

In the top of the fourth inning, senior Bradley Jekich entered as a pinch hitter with two outs. He drove a double to left-center to score Free who led off the inning with a single. Jekich's double made the score 5-1. 

Every run in the game until the top of the eighth inning was scored with two outs.

In the top of the eighth, junior Keaton Glover drew a walk to put a man on for Tyler Ryan. Ryan got all of a pitch from Milam and put it over the left-field wall to make the score 5-3. Pacific would go on to get two more runners on in the inning, but wouldn't bring any home. 

Relievers Samson Abernathy, Joseph Standley and Daniel Vitoria worked the final two innings for the Tigers and allowed no runs, no hits and two walks.

Pacific will look to move to .500 in WCC play tomorrow with a win in the second game of the series against Saint Mary's at 1 p.m. Junior right-handed pitcher Ryan Shreve is slated to start for the Tigers and Preseason All-American Ken Waldichuk is slated to go for Saint Mary's.