STOCKTON, Calif. - Pacific looks ready to succeed on the mound as they prepare for the season opener on February 17 at San Diego State. 64% of Pacific's innings pitched from the 2016 season return. Last season, the Tigers improved their team ERA by almost half a run.
For more on Pacific's returning pitchers, click here.
2016 innings-leader Will Lydon is back for Pacific and ready to serve as the Friday starter once again. Lydon went 3-9 last year with a 4.52 ERA, the best mark amongst Pacific's starters. The senior also had three complete games, including back-to-back CGs against Portland and Loyola Marymount that saw him strike out eight while allowing just one run thanks to a shutout against Portland. Lydon has started 40 games in his career, putting him 17 away from the most starts in Pacific's history. With 70 innings this year, Lydon will become just the seventh Tiger to throw 300 innings in his career.
Also back for Pacific is Ricky Reynoso, who had a 4.76 ERA in his 64.1 innings as a freshman. Reynoso went 3-4 on the year, earning 13 starts. Against San Francisco, Reynoso struck out nine over seven shutout innings, then followed that with a one-run, nine-inning performance against Gonzaga.
Shelby Lackey is back for the Tigers after moving into the rotation for his last three appearances as a freshman. Lackey had a 5.01 ERA last year, striking out 17 in his 23.1 innings of work. He had eight appearances without allowing an earned run and set a new career-best in innings in his final start when he went 4.1 innings against Pepperdine.
Vince Arobio, now second all-time in career saves for Pacific, is back for his senior season after being drafted by the Boston Red Sox. Arobio had six saves last year and is now just four saves away from setting Pacific's career record for saves. His career K/9 mark of 9.69 is also fourth all-time while his mark of 14.02 K/9 last season was the best in Pacific history. Arobio had a three-inning, five-strikeout save to end the year in 2016, setting new marks for most innings and most strikeouts in a game.
Pacific's bullpen will remain in the steady hands of Justin Giovannoni and Jordon Gonzalez, who each set career-highs in innings last year. Giovannoni threw 32 innings for the Tigers, lowering his ERA by three-tenths of a run from his freshman year and recording his first career save with a shutout inning against Portland on April 17. Giovannoni had nine outings with an earned run and twice pitched 4.1 innings, a career best.
Gonzalez struck out 28 batters in his 23.1 innings, good for a 10.80 K/9 mark that was second on the team. Against Nevada, Gonzalez struck out the side in his one innings of work. Against BYU, Gonzalez struck out six batters in three innings, setting a new career-best mark for a single appearance.
Miles Haddad enters his second season working off the mound for Pacific after serving primarily as a middle infielder previously. Haddad had three appearances as a pitcher last year, including a perfect inning against Northwestern on February 28. He also had a career-high in at-bats last year with 23.
Cooper Casad joins the Tigers from College of Marin, where he played alongside fellow Tigers Matthew Tarantino and Ryan Schalch. Casad had an ERA under 3.30 both of his years at Marin, going 4-1 with a 3.24 ERA last season. He struck out 79 batters in 91.2 innings last year and picked up a save despite working primarily as a starter.
In addition to Casad, Pacific will welcome five more newcomers to the pitching ranks, all freshman. Kyle Ostrowski, John Besse, Ryan Shreve, Ed O'Bannon III, and Bailey Hansen will all pitch for Pacific this year for the first time.
The season starts off on the road against San Diego State on February 17. The first home game for the Tigers will be February 24 at 6:00 pm as they kick off a three-game series with Cal Poly.
Make sure to follow Pacific baseball on Twitter with the username @PacificBaseball and on Instagram at pacificbaseball.