The Dirtbags offense has been under pressure from head coach Troy Buckley to produce wins all season, but it never got the chance Sunday. A disastrous pitching performance damned the Dirtbags early as they fell 19-6 to Minnesota (5-12).
The loss leaves the Dirtbags (3-15) still searching for their first series win of the season.
Dirtbags freshman LHP Basilio Pacheco allowed two doubles in the second inning. With runners on second and third, Jack Wassel, who was hitting just .234 coming into the game, hit a two-RBI single. Minnesota brought eight men to the plate and took a 3-0 lead in the second inning.
“I just didn’t think [Pacheco] was very effective, I thought his tempo wasn’t very good,” Buckley said.
Pacheco (1-3) was done after the onslaught. He allowed three runs on four hits striking out two and walking two. He was tagged with the loss.
[Pacheco was] kind of tentative and tried to baby the ball today,” Buckley said.
At their sharpest, the Dirtbags have shown an ability to strike back after being scored against. That was not the case Sunday.
Senior RHP John Sheaks relieved Pacheco. Sheaks’ first pitch was blasted for a double. Later, Minnesota’s Jordan Kozicky hit a sacrifice fly. Kozicky had nine RBIs in the series. The Dirtbags trailed 4-0 after three innings.
“All the pitchers are trying to help each other in one way or another,” Sheaks said. “Obviously, we’re not doing too hot right now.”
Dirtbags’ designated hitter Laine Huffman advanced a runner to third with a single in the third inning setting up junior first baseman Jacob Hughey’s fourth RBI of the series. Hughey added another RBI with his third hit of the day in the seventh.
With a single in the fifth Huffman now has five hits in his last two games. He came up limping and left the game after sliding into second base later in the fifth inning.
“I think it’s a hamstring, we’ll know more tomorrow,” Buckley said.
Three Dirtbags’ errors in the seventh inning allowed two runs and sealed the defeat. An eight run in the ninth inning added insult to injury.
The Dirtbags travel to Los Angeles for a 6 p.m. Tuesday match against USC.