Baseball Topped By Santa Clara, 7-5

Baseball Topped By Santa Clara, 7-5

Stockton, Calif. - Freshman Gio Brusa drove in three and sophomore 1B Erik Lockwood collected three hits, but the Pacific baseball team fell 7-5 to Santa Clara Tuesday.

A four-run sixth inning was the difference as Santa Clara scored seven runs in the middle innings and the Tigers' two-run rally in the eighth wasn't enough.

The Tigers opened the scoring in the bottom of the first as senior SS Dustin Torchio was hit by a pitch and Erik Lockwood doubled to deep center.

Pacific starter RHP Jake Jenkins cruised through three innings, facing one over the minimum before Santa Clara touched him for a run in the fourth.

C Zach Looney singled to left field and after a groundout, 3B Greg Harisis singled to center to tie the game. In the fifth, 2B Kyle DeMerritt doubled to left and PH/DH Ben Wright walked. SS Justin Viele followed with an RBI single through the left side, and Looney added a single to left to load the bases. Jenkins then walked Harisis to give Santa Clara a 3-1 lead before departing after 4.2. RHP Bryce Lombardi entered and escaped further damage with a groundout.

But in the top of the sixth, CF Matt Ozanne doubled to left center and DeMerritt tripled down the line in right for a 4-1 lead. Wright's soft line drive darted through the middle past two outstretched Tiger gloves and through the drawn-in infield for a 5-1 lead. Viele then tripled to center and came in to score on a wild pitch to cap the inning.

The Tigers answered with two in the sixth, as Torchio was hit by pitch, Lockwood singled up the middle a after a sacrifice bunt, Brusa drove them both in with a single through the right side. But LHP Max Deering coaxed a double-play ball to end the Tigers' threat.

Pacific RHP Patrick Weigel entered in the seventh and retired all nine Broncos he faced to give the Tigers' a chance late. Weigel needed a mere 28 pitches to set down nine in a row.

In the Tigers' eighth, Lockwood opened the inning with a double to center, and LF Brett Sullivan drove a double to the wall in left center to cut the gap to 7-4. Brusa then greeted RHP Chris Mendoza with a single up the middle to pull Pacific within two runs. But Mendoza struck out two to end the inning.

Santa Clara RHP D.J. Zapata retired the Tigers in order in the ninth as the Broncos snapped a 13-game skid. Santa Clara improves to 9-21 on the season, while Pacific falls to 9-18.

Brusa is now 10-for-15 at the plate in the last four games, with four straight multi-hit performances. Lockwood's pair of doubles give him a team-leading nine on the year, which ranks third in the Big West.

The Tigers return to Big West play Friday, when they open a three-game series at UC Riverside at 6 p.m.