San Jose, Calif. – Mike Hager turned in a brilliant start as the Pacific baseball team shutout San Jose State Saturday afternoon, 7-0. The freshman right-hander allowed just three hits in seven innings and the Tigers offense came through with clutch hits, scoring four runs with two outs.
Hager retired the first 12 Spartans in order and the Tigers provided him a 5-0 lead before San Jose State touched him for a base runner.
Opening the fifth, DH/C Jon Nelson hit a soft liner into right field for the first San Jose State hit, but Hager retired the next five in order. With two outs in the sixth, the Spartans posted back-to-back singles, but Hager clamped down and sat down the next four in order to carry the shutout though seven.
By then Pacific had built a 6-0 lead and tacked on another in the eighth.
The Tigers got on the board in the third as freshman 2B Robby Mansfield reached on an error and senior CF Brett Christopher legged out a sacrifice attempt for an infield single. After a sacrificed advanced the runners, senior SS Josh Simms gave the Tigers a 1-0 lead with a single through the right side.
A fielders choice cut down a runner at the plate, and Spartans starter RHP Zack Jones recorded a strikeout to end the Tigers threat.
Freshman LF Taylor Murphy walked to open the fifth, and after a wild pitch and a Simms sacrifice bunt, junior 3B Dustin Torchio hit a sinking line drive to left. Tim Quiery made the catch, but Murphy scored easily for the 2-0 lead. With two outs and the bases now empty, sophomore C Jason Taasaas ripped a single through the right side, and junior DH Tyger Pederson added a single up the middle. Redshirt freshman Erik Lockwood slashed a double to right center to plate a pair of runs, as Jones departed after 4.2 innings.
LHP David Wayne Russo recorded the final out of the fifth for San Jose State, but the Tigers got to him for two runs in the seventh. Pederson worked a two-out walk and Lockwood doubled again, this time to the left field corner. Senior RF Allen Riley hit a liner through the middle to plate both runs as Pacific blew the game open, 6-0.
In the ninth, Taasaas singled to center and Lockwood reached on a one-out error. Following a walk to sophomore PH/2B Curtis Gomez to load the bases, Christopher's smash to second couldn't be handled as the Tigers stretched the lead to 7-0.
Taasaas finished the day three-for-five with a pair of runs scored, while Simms picked up his third-straight two-hit ballgame, driving in a run in four trips. Lockwood and Riley each finished two two hits and two RBI, while Christopher added a pair of hits. Pederson reached base three times with a pair of walks, a single and a pair of runs scored.
Hager threw 61 of his 82 pitches for strikes, and retired 17 of the first 18. He improved to 2-2 on the season.
RHP John Prato Matthews allowed a pair of infield hits in the final two innings, while striking out two to close out the win.
Jones falls to 2-2 on the year for San Jose State (14-14).
Pacific (10-21) will visit No. 6 Stanford for a Tuesday matchup at Sunken Diamond. First pitch is at 5:30.