Baseball Wins Series Finale 2-1 And Sweeps The Pilots
SPOKANE, Wash. – Pitcher Kenny Smith allowed just one run in seven innings to help Gonzaga University baseball sweep the University of Portland Pilots 2-1 Monday at Joe Etzel Field. The victory is the Bulldogs ninth consecutive over Portland.
With the sweep, the Bulldogs move into a tie for first place in the West Coast Conference with Pepperdine University. The Zags are 20-10-1 overall and 8-4 WCC. Portland drops to 12-20 overall and 4-5 WCC.
Gonzaga scored its two runs on just four hits but it was Smith’s (3-0) brilliance on the mound that highlighted the Zags day. Smith, making his second start of the year, scattered just seven hits while striking out four Pilots in his season-high seven innings of work.
The Zags manufactured its runs early in the game.
In the second inning, the Bulldogs got runners on second and third with one out thanks to an errant throw from the Pilot shortstop. Travis Forbes then hit a sacrifice fly to centerfield bringing in the first run of the game and giving GU a 1-0 edge.
Both sides scored in the third. Cory LeBrun reached on a fielder’s choice that brought home Mitchell Gunsolus who walked earlier in the inning. In Portland’s half of the inning, Jeff Melby grounded out to shortstop but on the play the lone Pilot run scored.
The 2-1 Bulldog lead would hold for the final score.
Pitcher Marco Gonzales made his first Gonzaga relief appearance and collected his first career save. Gonzales, who only pitched three innings in the series opener that was suspended due to rain, threw the final two frames and struck out two more Pilots.
Next up for the Bulldogs is a weekend WCC series in Spokane when Saint Mary’s College visits Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. Game one is Friday with a 6:02 p.m. first pitch.