Baseball Falls to UC Riverside In Ninth, 6-5

Baseball Falls to UC Riverside In Ninth, 6-5

Riverside, Calif. - J.J. Wagner clubbed his first career home run and drive in four, but UC Riverside walked off with a 6-5 win over Pacific Friday in game one of a three-game series.

Wagner's three-run homer in the bottom of the second gave the Tigers a lead they'd hold until the bottom of the eighth, and the freshman third baseman's RBI groundout put Pacific up 5-4 in the ninth, but the Highlanders answered with two in the bottom of the ninth for the win.

Senior 2B Tyger Pederson and junior C Jason Taasaas each picked up two hits, as seven of the nine players in the Pacific starting lineup picked up base hits. Pederson finished two-for-three with a run scored, while Taasaas finished two-for-four with a run scored.

Pederson singled with two out in the second, and senior RF Jacob Goulder ripped a shot off the third baseman to put two on for Wagner. Wagner turned on the first pitch he saw and crushed it over the wall in left for a 3-0 lead.

UC Riverside picked up a run in the fourth, as C Clayton Prestridge walked, stole second and scored on a single by 1B Phil Holinsworth.

The Tigers answered right back in the fifth as sophomore CF Tyler Sullivan walked and senior SS Dustin Torchio singled up the middle. The duo then executed a double-steal, with the throw to third sailing into left field to allow Sullivan to score for a 4-1 Pacific lead.

Pacific starting LHP John Haberman departed after six innings in which he allowed one earned run on six hits with a pair of strikeouts.

The Highlanders tallied a run in the seventh on a pinch-hit triple by Francisco Tellez and a squeeze bunt from CF/3B Joe Chavez.

In the eighth, LF Devyn Bolasky singled to open the inning, and after RHP Mike Hager stuck out Prestridge, RF David Andriese singled to left center and Holinsworth drove home a run with a single to pull UC Riverside within 4-3.

With one out, PH Kyle Boudreau hit into a fielder's choice, with the tying run scoring as the Tigers tried to turn two.

Tied 4-4 in the ninth, Taasaas stroked a lead-off single to left and Pederson laid down a sacrifice bunt. PH Taylor Murphy smoked a ball through the second baseman and took second on the throw home, which prevented Taasaas from coming around. With runners on second and third, Wagner hit a chopper up the middle to plate Taasaas, but Wagner was retired when the second baseman Vilter robbed him of a hit with a backhand over his shoulder, spin and throw for the out.

In the Riverside half of the ninth, RHP Kevin Hammann picked up a groundout for the first out, but hit Tellez and surrounded a single through the left side by Chavez. After Sullivan gloved a sinking liner in left center for the second out, Prestridge singled up the middle to load the bases. Andriese followed with a single through the middle to tie the game and Holinsworth's single up the middle gave Riverside the 6-5 win.

Hammann (2-2) took the loss, while UC Riverside closer Trevor Frank improved to 4-0 on the season by tossing two-thirds of an inning. Highlanders LHP Dylan Stuart went 8.1 innings, allowing five runs (three earned) on nine hits in a no decision.

Pacific falls to 9-19 on the year, 2-5 in the Big West. UC Riverside improves to 15-14 overall, 4-3 in the Big West. Game two of the series is Saturday at 6 p.m.