Pepperdine overpowers Pacific late to take opener

Pepperdine overpowers Pacific late to take opener

Pacific baseball (13-13, 1-6 WCC) tied the game at 3-3 in the sixth inning to erase an early 3-0 lead, but four unanswered runs in the seventh and eighth innings for Pepperdine (14-8, 5-2 WCC) carried the Waves to a 7-3 win over Pacific at Klein Family Field on Friday night.

On offense, sophomore DH Bryce Kirk and senior outfielder Bradley Jekich both went 3-4 at the dish while Jekich added an RBI. Seniors Nate Verlin and Kevin Sandri both had RBIs. Pacific's starting pitcher, senior lefty Ricky Reynoso, allowed three runs in the first three innings before settling in and tossing three scoreless innings before exiting after the sixth inning. He allowed just four hits and a walk in the quality start that got him a no-decision.

In the first inning, Reynoso struck out the game's first batter before allowing back-to-back singles and a two-rbi double to allow the Waves to take a 2-0 lead. 

In the top of the third inning, two runners reached on a walk and an error before another error by the Tiger shortstop allowed another run to score to make it 3-0.

In the bottom of the third inning, freshman James Arakawa led off the inning with a hit-by-pitch which was followed by a Jekich single. Two batters later, a sac fly off the bat of Verlin scored Arakawa to get the Tigers on the board.

Runners got on the basepaths for Pacific in the fourth and fifth innings and another run crossed in the fifth inning when Jekich and Verlin both got on with singles before Sandri singled into center to make up for his error earlier in the game with an RBI that made the game 3-2.

In the sixth inning, back-to-back singles from Kirk and senior Tyler Ryan put runners on. Jekich singled to right field to tie the game at 3-3. Pacific had an opportunity for more offense, but it was taken away when Ryan was thrown out at home on the same play as Jekich's RBI single.

The tie didn't last long; in the top of the seventh inning, with sophomore Henrik Reinertsen on the mound, a triple to left field scored another run for Pepperdine to make it 4-3. Reinertsen was tacked with his first loss of the season as he fell to 2-1.

In the eighth inning, a single, a wild pitch and a passed ball allowed one run to score. Two RBI singles in the inning also plated runs to make it 7-3 in favor of Pepperdine. 

The Tigers had their opportunities for offense in the late innings; Pacific got runners on in four of the last five innings, but couldn't push runs across in the loss.

The West Coast Conference home-opening series continues on Saturday when the Tigers will look to tie the series at 1-1 with a 5 p.m. game.