Pacific needed extra innings to extend its Four Rivers Conference baseball winning streak to 27 games.
A sacrifice fly ball by Tyler Straatmann in the bottom of the eighth inning gave the Indians a 3-2 victory over St. Clair Monday at Pacific High School.
“It was a good game for us. Winning close games like that builds character for the team,” said Pacific Head Coach Jeff Reed. “We left 13 runners on base. It would have been a bitter pill to swallow had we lost because we missed so many opportunities, but we came out on the right side.”
Pacific (6-3, 3-0) won in the eighth inning after St. Clair tied the game 2-2 with a run in the top of the seventh inning.
The Bulldogs (3-12, 2-2) took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning. Pacific countered with two runs in the bottom of the first.
“It was a close ball game that was well-played by both sides. The pitching and defense was outstanding. It was a great high school baseball game, and it shows how our team is improving,” said St. Clair Head Coach Rob Hauck. “We had our chances, but were unable to get the winning run in. Credit goes to both teams for an outstanding game.”
Hank Vandaveer got the start on the mound for Pacific in a no-decision. In 6.2 innings, he allowed two runs, one earned, on three hits with two walks and seven strikeouts.
Zeth Boyer worked the final 1.1 innings for the win. He struck out one and allowed no runs, hits or walks.
“Hank threw the ball well. They tied the game in the seventh and had a chance to take the lead,” Reed said. “We brought in Zeth and he got (Austin) Gotway, who swings the bat well, with a runner in scoring position.”
Brenden Murphy pitched the entire game for St. Clair. He allowed three runs, two earned, on eight hits with six walks, one hit batter and four strikeouts.
“Murphy threw another great game, but the offense was not there to support him,” Hauck said. “As a team, we have to get more guys on base and be able to drive in those runs. We hung in with Pacific the entire game, which Murphy allows us to do every game, but we were not able to get guys on base until the seventh.”
James Howie finished with two hits and two RBIs for Pacific.
Tanner Brown, Hunter Finney, Zeth Boyer, Allen Fitzgerald, Vandaveer and Straatmann each had one hit. Vandaveer also walked twice.
Austin Gotway collected one hit, one walk and one run for St. Clair.
Blake Dierking and Jake Oermann both added one hit and one RBI. Ayden Carey scored a run.
St. Clair-Blair Oaks
Following a 10-0 baseball loss in five innings to Borgia, St. Clair turned around and gave Blair Oaks a run for its money before dropping a 3-2 decision Saturday at Ronsick Field in Washington.
Blair Oaks defeated Borgia in Saturday’s final game, 9-4.
“We played a much better game against Blair Oaks,” said Hauck. “We made a couple of mistakes late in the game, and good teams will take advantage, which Blair Oaks did.”
Kody Halmich pitched all seven innings for the Bulldogs. He allowed three runs, one earned, on six hits with no walks, one hit batter and two strikeouts.
“Kody pitched excellent and our defense was behind him to make some huge plays for him,” Hauck said. “We were able to get out of a couple of jams. That helped us gain some momentum.”
St. Clair (3-11) collected eight hits in the contest.
Greg Marler and Wyatt Mehler both were 2-3 at the plate.
Gotway reached base two times with one hit and one walk. He also scored a run.
Oermann finished with one hit and two RBIs.