Baseball Powers Past Washington State, 14-8

James Free II (photo by Meghan Laurel Photography)
James Free II (photo by Meghan Laurel Photography)

STOCKTON, Calif. - James Free II homered twice more as Pacific out-slugged Washington State, 14-8, in a Monday matinee. Free has clubbed five home runs in the last seven games.

Free finished the afternoon 4-for-5 with 4 RBI, while Kevin Sandri went 3-for-5 with 3 RBI. Ryan Schalch also added a two-run double, and Lucas Halstead went 2-for-3 with a home run and a pair of walks. Joey Riherd also added two hits and an RBI.

The Tigers racked up 17 hits, one off their season-high, and scored nine runs with two outs.

Washington State scratched across a run in the first on a pair of walks and a sacrifice fly.

Free drilled a first-inning pitch to dead center field to tie the game. After a walk by Schalch, Halstead hit a line drive to the wall in left, but the Cougars cut down Schalch at the plate to end the inning.

In the third, Sandri and Ryan Robards roped back-to-back doubles for a 2-1 lead. Riherd added a single down the right field line as the Tigers led 3-1. Moebius added a single to center to plate Halstead, Preston Moebius added an RBI single before the end of the inning for a 4-1 lead.

The Tigers tacked on a run in the fourth as Ryan Robards walked and came in to score on a double to left center by Schalch.

The Cougars rallied in the fifth, as Washington State loaded the bases with a walk, single and a fielder's choice in which the Tigers couldn't get an out. Justin Harrer then delivered a game-tying grand slam. JJ Hancock followed with a solo homer to center field for a 6-5 Cougar lead.

Pacific wasted no time getting the lead back in the bottom of the fifth, as Moebius singled to lead off the inning and after a pair of sacrifice bunts, Sandri singled through the left side to tie the game at 6-6. Robards followed with a single and Free then crushed a three-run homer to straight away centerfield for a 9-6 lead.

Washington State picked up a run back in the seventh on a double from Harrer, a groundout and a passed ball.

In the Tigers seventh, Sandri walked, Robards was hit by a pitch and after a single to left from Free, Schalch posted a sacrifice fly. Free was caught in between on a pitch in the dirt, but stayed in a rundown long enough for Robards to trot home for an 11-7 lead before Halstead posted a solo home run to left center.

Harrer added an RBI double to right in the eighth, but the Tigers answered with a pair of walks and a two-run single from Sandri.

Justin Giovannoni started and allowed one earned run in two innings, while John Besse added 1.1 innings of shutout ball in relief.

Cooper Casad was credited with the win, as he tossed 1.2 innings, but also surrendered five runs. Jordon Gonzalez tossed two innings, with no earned runs allowed. Miles Haddad added two-thirds of an inning, and Vince Arobio tossed the final 1.1 innings allowing just one hit.

The Tigers did not surrender a hit until the fifth inning.

Pacific improves to 12-15 overall, while Washington State falls to 15-12. The Tigers will play host to the BYU Cougars, on Thursday to open a three-game series. First pitch is at 6 p.m.