Toreros blitz Tigers in series opener

Toreros blitz Tigers in series opener

Pacific baseball was welcomed back to the diamond after a 12-day break by San Diego, which greeted the Tigers with a 12-3 drubbing in Friday night's series opener.

Pacific held a 3-1 lead in the top of the fourth inning, but back-to-back big innings in the fourth and fifth plated a total of nine runs in the two innings to put the game out of reach. The Toreros had at least three RBIs from three players and Adam Kerner went 4-4 with three runs scored and an RBI. Tora Otsuka went 2-4 with two hits and five RBIs thanks in part to a three-run home run.

USD's pitching was strong too. Anthony Donatella earned the win after offering 4.0 innings of scoreless relief. He allowed just three hits and a walk.

For the Tigers, Michael Ricupito led the charge for the Tigers. He got the start as the designated hitter and went 3-3 with a walk to reach safely in all four trips to the plate. He had an RBI and a triple as well. Junior catcher James Free and senior shortstop Kevin Sandri also had RBIs. Junior centerfielder Keaton Glover had a double and two walks on the night.

Senior lefty Ricky Reynoso took the loss in his first start since April 12. Freshman left-handed pitcher Michael Defelippi and junior right-handed pitcher Josh Winkler worked scoreless innings.

San Diego opened the scoring in the bottom of the first inning when a leadoff hit batsman would come around to score on a Kerner double to make it 1-0.

The Tigers knotted the game up in the next frame when Ricupito led off with a single and was moved to second on a sac bunt from Carter Hayes. Sandri singled in the next at-bat to score Ricupito on the night before the two academic seniors officially graduate from Pacific.

In the top of the third inning, Tyler Ryan was hit by a pitch with two outs. In the next at-bat, Ricupito tripled to right to score Ryan and give the Tigers their first lead of the night, 2-1. Ryan will also officially graduate from Pacific tomorrow as well.

In the top of the fourth, the Tigers loaded the bases with two outs, but were only able to get a run out of the chance when Free grounded out to the shortstop to score freshman outfielder James Arakawa to make it 3-1 in favor of Pacific.

The Tiger lead was short-lived. San Diego loaded the bases with one out in the bottom of the fourth inning and a Torero single scored one. An error by the Tiger second baseman allowed another run to score to tie the game at 3-3. With two outs, Ripken Reyes tripled to score three. The triple made it 6-3 and stood up as the winning hit for San Diego.

In the fifth inning, the Tigers allowed a single with the bases loaded to score one run, but Arakawa threw a strike to the plate to cut down a potential second run and get the Tigers their second out. Pacific looked to get out of the inning with minimal damage, but Otsuka's three-run home run in the next at-bat blew the game open and made the lead 10-3 for San Diego.

The Toreros would go on to score two more runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to make the final score 12-3.

Pacific will have a chance to even the series at 1-1 tomorrow in a 4:30 start in San Diego.