Brian Gump Stellar as Pacifics Take Series from Hawaii with 12-1 WinJune 24, 2012 - North American League (NAL) San Rafael Pacifics
The Pacifics No. 2 starter was stellar, allowing just three hits in seven innings, struck out five, and didn't allow a walk to help the San Rafael top the Hawaii Stars 12-1 in front of a near-capacity crowd at Albert Park on Sunday.
"I felt a little rushed," admitted Gump, more a custom to pitching under the lights. "I told Andrew Pevsner 'this feels a little different today.' I said 'it's probably going to be either really good or really bad.' ... He looked at me and said 'It's going to be really good.'"
The afternoon heat didn't slow the Pacifics rolling offense either, as San Rafael (11-7) scored three times before the fan's had a chance to warm their seats. Maikel Jova reached on an RBI fielder's choice, and Steve Boggs belted a two-run triple that sneaked by a diving attempt by Stars centerfield Matt Hibbert. That was just the beginning for Boggs, who finished 4 for 4 with two RBIs and scored a run.
"Today we were having fun," Boggs said. "I see ball, hit ball, that's it."
As was the case Saturday, San Rafael broke the game open in the sixth inning, erupting for six runs on five hits. Tomochika Tsuboi led the charge with a two-run double, while rookie catcher Matt Alton hit his second homer of the series, and Zack Pace added a run-scoring hit.
"We're almost to a month into the season, and (everybody is) starting to heat up," said first baseman Johnny Woodard, referencing the double-digit hit and run totals of the past two games. Woodard himself had three hits, and fell a home run short of the cycle. His triple to right was off the base of the outfield fence, and is now hitting .309 on the season with 15 RBIs (second most on the team).
Even with the offense lighting up the scoreboard for the second straight night, Gump was eager to credit the work of the defense.
"(Hawaii was) getting first pitch outs quite a bit and kind of adding to my success. But, it comes down to defense and hitting and the defense played great behind me, they made all the plays," said the lefty (2-1) who earned the win and lowered his ERA to 1.44 - third best in the North American League. "(The defense) kept extra runners off the base baths and let me go to work.
"Any time they do that it makes me a lot more comfortable on the mound."
The Pacifics opened up a two-game lead over the Stars (9-9), and handed Ronnie Loeffler
(3-1) his first loss of the year. Loeffler pitched eight innings of two-hit ball against the Pacifics in a 5-0 win on June 18.
"Everything's g coming together now. We're playing great defense, we're pitching now, the bats area heating up now obviously two; double digit run tallies the last two games," Gump said. "It's a lot of fun when you're playing baseball like this."
San Rafael is off Monday, but welcomes the Sonoma County Grapes back to town for a six-game series beginning Tuesday. The two teams split the season opening series, winning three games a piece. Tickets are available at Pacificsbaseball.com.
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