Pacific baseball's offense roared to a 16-7 victory over San Diego on Saturday night in Pacific's final West Coast Conference road trip of the season.
The Tigers jumped out front in the top of the first and never looked back in the blowout victory. Pacific's leadoff hitter, James Arakawa made eight trips to the plate and reached safely in seven of them with two walks, two hit by pitches a double and two singles with two runs scored. Senior Nate Verlin belted a three-run home run in the first inning that jump-started a five-RBI night. Junior catcher James Free and sophomore Alex LeForestier both had three-RBIs in the game. Eight of the 12 Tigers that logged plate appearances in the game recorded RBIs.
Pacific got its leadoff hitter on in the first five innings and in seven total innings.
Pacific's 16 runs in the game were the most in the Ryan Garko era and the most since 2017 when Pacific also scored 16 in a game against Cal Poly.
Lucas Sweany entered in relief for the Tigers and worked five complete innings in the victory. He entered in the fifth inning and allowed a single to his first hitter, but retired the following 12 batters. San Diego used six pitchers in the loss including their starter Josh Hendrickson who only completed two-thirds of an inning. Tomorrow's scheduled starter, Grady Miller, also pitched in the game and worked 1.2 innings.
San Diego has used nine pitchers in the last two days and still had another game to play this weekend with Pacific.
Pacific opened up the scoring in the top of the first inning when Arakawa led off with a leadoff walk. He would advance to third on a passed ball and a sac bunt before Free singled to score him and make it 1-0. Senior Tyler Ryan hit an RBI single to score Free and make it 2-0 before Verlin's three-run home run made it 5-0 before San Diego even got a chance to hit.
In the top of the second inning, LeForestier blew the game open with a three-run double to make it 8-0.
San Diego would get two runs back in the bottom of the third inning, but the Tigers scored three more in the top of the fourth. Verlin got his fourth RBI of the night when he grounded out to score LeForestier. In the next at-bat, freshman Jeremy Lea got a pinch-hit RBI single that scored Ryan. Pacific would load the bases and score another run when senior Kevin Sandri was hit by a pitch to make the score 11-2 in favor of the Tigers.
Verlin got his fifth RBI in the next inning when he hit a sac fly to score LeForestier again and make it 12-2. An RBI single from junior Grant Mona in the next at-bat made the score 13-2.
San Diego scored three in the bottom of the fifth inning to make the score 13-5.
In the top of the eighth inning, Free hit a two-RBI double that scored Sandri and Arakawa to make it 15-5 and senior Bradley Jekich hit a pinch-hit RBI single to score Free to get the Tigers their 16th run of the game.
San Diego scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, but it wasn't nearly enough to mount any sort of a comeback against the hot-hitting Tigers.
Pacific can go for the series win tomorrow in the rubber match with the Toreros. Junior right-handed pitcher Ryan Shreve is scheduled to make the start for the Tigers. Miller is slated to start for San Diego, but he may not be available after pitching in tonight's game.
The series finale is set for a 1 p.m. start tomorrow in San Diego.