Pacific gets win in opener for D-III season

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Howard Payne says aloha as they opened their
season with four games against Hawaii Pacific in
Howard Payne athletics photo

Pacific, Redlands, and Howard Payne opened the D-III season on Friday night. Pacific traveled to Redlands where they scored twice in the ninth to break a 2-2 tie en route to a 4-2 win. Howard Payne dropped their opener to D-II Hawaii Pacific 7-4.

Pacific 4, Redlands 2

The Boxers (1-0), who traveled from Forest Grove earlier in the day, were led by senior pitcher Casey Brown, who got the opening day start. Brown recorded 11 strikeouts in seven innings of work in a no decision. The 11 strikeouts are the most by a Pacific pitcher since Spencer Backstrom fanned 14 against Occidental on April 7, 2017. Brown and reliever Tyler Oscarson held the Bulldogs in check, limiting Redlands to just five hits on the night.

Redlands (0-1), who agreed to move the series opener over to Chapman University and nearby Hart Park, got a pair of hits from Aaron Singh and Andrew Renteria in the loss.

"A good team win tonight," said Pacific University head baseball coach Brian Billings. "Casey Brown set the tone with seven strong innings and 11 strikeouts. Tyler Oscarson came in and held it down and gave our offense a chance to win the game in the top of the 9th. It was a very cool moment for freshman Jacob Igawa to get the first hit of his career to win the game in the top of the 9th."

The Bulldogs scored the first run of the contest in the bottom of the first on a two out RBI double by Brennan Carr.

Pacific got its first hit of the season in the third inning when Dustin Meyer singled, who also advanced to second as the Bulldogs misplayed the ball. Then, Meyer moved up a base on a balk by the Bulldogs' starting pitcher Chris Fousek. Next, the Boxers' Von Ferguson brought in Meyer on a sacrifice fly to tie the game at 1.

A solo home run by the Bulldogs in the fourth put Redlands back in front before the Boxers came back to tie it in the fifth. Again, the Boxers took advantage of an error by Redlands to plate the game-tying run. Also, doing the damage was Ferguson, who singled in Ryan Krout, who got aboard to begin the inning after a wild pitch on a strike three pitch. Krout moved around the bases on an error and a ground out to set the stage for Ferguson.

Brown handed the ball over to Oscarson to begin the eighth, who escaped a threat by the Bulldogs. In the ninth, the Boxers took advantage of the third error of the night by the Bulldogs. Trevor Quinn started the inning with a single, taking second on the miscue by Redlands. Then, freshman Jacob Igawa in his first collegiate at bat delivered a RBI single, scoring pinch runner Dylan Morgan from second to put Pacific ahead 3-2 and for the first time in 2019. Next, Ian Blair singled to put runners on the corner for Meyer. Then, the Bulldogs got a double play but the Boxers managed to add an insurance run for the final margin.

In the bottom of the ninth, Oscarson got a pair of groundouts and a strikeout to close out the game for the Boxers in the win.

Hawaii Pacific 7, Howard Payne 4

Scoring early in the first, thanks to a Ty McCain sac fly that scored Cliff Lunceford, the Jackets started off with a load of confidence.

After the Sharks tied it up on a single in the second, Ty McCain and Nolyn Box had back to back doubles to put the Jackets back on top in the third. They then extended their lead to 3-1 in the fourth on a Noah Payne sac fly that plated David Groves.

The wheels fell off in the bottom of the fourth, though, as a couple of hit by pitches, a pair of singles, and a throwing error by the Jackets lead to a five run fourth inning for the Sharks of Hawai'i Pacific.

Two more errors and a balk in the sixth inning allowed for the Sharks to extend their lead to 7-3. The Jackets hit the score board again in the seventh with an RJ Roberts single that scored Noah Payne, but that's where the scoring would end.

Chandler Clark dropped the opener allowing 6 runs, 5 earned, in 3.2 innings with 3 strikeouts. He falls to 0-1 on the season. Ryan Richardson, Ben Schardt and Johnny Cravey made their first appearances on the mound for the Jackets, combining for 1 run in 3.1 innings and 1 strikeout.

Cliff Lunceford, Ty McCain and Nolyn Box all had 2 hits. McCain also had added a run batted in and a run scored.