STOCKTON, Calif. – The University of the Pacific baseball team battled back in the 11th inning to defeat the University of Nevada, 10-9.
The Tigers improve to 6-8 overall, while the Wolfpack fall to 5-6 on the season.
Nevada took the early 1-0 lead, in the first inning. Leadoff batter Joshua Zamora doubled to center field to put himself in scoring position. A fly out to left right field pushed Zamora to third. Mike Euchavia scored Zamora on a ground out to second.
The Tigers responded back to take the lead, 2-1. Kevin Sandri singled up the middle and advanced to second on a wild pitch. From there, Tyler Ryan reached first on a fielding error allowing Sandri to advance to third. With two outs, Matthew Tarantino stepped up and knocked a double to left center scoring Ryan and Sandri for the one-run lead.
After three scoreless innings, the Wolfpack tried to claim the lead back but were unsuccessful. With two outs, Grant Fennell and Jaylon McLaughlin stole second and third, respectively, but McLaughlin scored on a throwing error by the Tigers to tie the game, 2-2.
In the bottom of the fifth, the Orange and Black kept the lead in their favor. With two outs, Sandri smoked one up the middle to reach first. Ryan got walked to push Sandri to second. Cleanup hitter, James Free singled to left field but was able to advance on an error by Nevada, which moved Ryan to third and scored Sandri for the 3-2 lead.
However, at the top of the sixth, the Wolfpack pulled out two runs to claim their second lead of the game. Weston Hatten walked before stealing second on two outs. Hatten then advanced to third on a passed ball followed by another walk by Keaton Smith.
With two outs, Chase Grant smacked a double to left center to score Hatten and Smith for a one-run lead at 4-3.
In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Tigers reclaimed the lead. Free singled down the left field line before Tarantino reached first on a fielder's choice, causing Free out at second.
With two outs, Nate Verlin singled to right center to push Tarantino to second. Lucas Halstead stepped into the batter's box and crushed a double to center field to score Verlin and Tarantino for the 5-4 lead.
It did not end there, as the Tigers took a two-run lead in the bottom of the eighth. Free singled to right field to score Bradley Jekich for the 6-4 lead.
The Wolfpack was not going down without a fight, as they forced extra innings tying the game at the top of the ninth. With two outs, Fennell singled up the middle followed by Euchavia hitting a double down the right field line. Dillan Shrum hit a double to center field to score two runs for the tie, 6-6.
After a scoreless 10th inning, Nevada pulled ahead by three runs at the top of the ninth, 9-6. Shrum singled to left field to score Fennell. Euchavia and Shrum each advanced a base on a wild pitch, which caused Euchavia to score for the 8-6 lead. The final run came on a double to left field by Hatten, scoring Shrum.
The Tigers stepped up to the plate and the let the bats fly. Free led off singling to right field to set the momentum. Tarantino then wacked a double to left field to advance Free to third. Verlin was walked to load the bases.
With no outs, Halstead doubled to center field to score Tarantino and Free and move Verlin to third. Carter Hayes singled to the pitcher, scoring Verlin and advanced Halstead to third, who was able to score on a throwing error by Nevada to close out the game and give Pacific the victory, 10-9.
"It was a back and forth game where both teams did a lot well and made a lot of mistakes too," said head coach Ryan Garko. "There were quite a few teaching moments in this one that we will go back and discuss tomorrow, but at the end of the day I am proud of the fight and character of our guys to find a way to win this game against a very well coached Reno team."
Free notched four hits in six at-bats with two RBI and one run. Halstead was right behind with three hits in six at-bats with one run and four RBI. Tarantino and Sandri had two hits in six at-bats with two runs. Tarantino notched two RBI. Bryce Kirk, Verlin, and Hayes all tallied hits for the offense, as well.
The Tigers had 14 hits in 48 at-bats with 10 runs and 10 RBI against just one error.
On the mound, John Besse (1-1) earned the win for the Tigers pitching one inning giving up one walk. Cooper Powell (1-2) was charged with the loss for the Wolfpack giving up two hits and one earned run.
Pacific hits the road for a three-game series against the Indiana University Hoosiers in Bloomington, Indiana, starting on Friday, March 9 with first pitch set for 3 p.m.