Zags Have Opportunities Slip Away In 3-2 Setback To Oregon
SPOKANE, Wash. – Gonzaga University left the bases loaded three times and stranded 13 runners in the game as 19th-ranked University of Oregon held on for a 3-2 non-conference baseball victory Tuesday at Patterson Baseball Complex.
The Bulldogs (10-17), who had the bases loaded with two out in the eighth but couldn’t score, mounted one last comeback in the ninth off Ducks (20-8) closer Jake Reed who picked up his team-leading sixth save of the season.
Gonzaga’s Caleb Wood and Payden Cawley Lamb worked one-out walks off Reed before Jimmy Sinatro singled up the middle to score Wood. Sam Brown went down swinging for the second out and Nicholas Minteer took a called third strike to end the game.
The Zags had an excellent chance to get on the scoreboard first in the third inning. Beau Bozett’s one-out infield single to short, a double to the base of the wall in the right field corner by Mitch Gunsolus and a one-out walk to Cawley Lamb loaded the bases. But Oregon starter and winner Jordan Spencer (1-0) retired Sinatro on a popup to second and got Sam Brown on a called third strike to keep the game scoreless.
Gonzaga starter and loser Karl Myers (0-2), making his second start in seven appearances this season, threw three strong innings before being touched for single runs in the fourth and fifth innings.
Tyler Baumgartner led off the Oregon fourth with a single, went to second on Mitchell Tolman’s single and the runners advanced on a passed ball. Shaun Chase walked to load the bases but Myers got J.B. Bryant to ground into a double play which scored Baumgartner. Myers fanned Kyle Garlick to end the inning.
In the Oregon fifth Myers was touched for a one-out triple to the wall in right-center field off the bat of the number nine hitter Mark Karaviotis and Ben Brown came on in relief. Aaron Payne walked and A.J. Balta grounded to short scoring Karaviotis as the run was charged to Myers.
Gonzaga got one run back in the fifth off reliever Stephen Nogosek who came on in the fourth inning as Ducks used five pitchers in the game. Bozett was hit by a pitch to start the inning and went to second on an errant pickoff throw into right field by Chase, the Duck catcher. Wood’s one-out single to short left field moved Bozett to third and Cawley Lamb walked to load the bases once again. Sinatro singled to left to score Bozett but a popup to third and a grounder to third left the bases loaded without the Bulldogs inflicting further damage.
Oregon got what proved to be the decisive run in the eighth inning. Balta started things with a walk off Sean-Luke Brija and, following a line drive out to left, the Bulldogs brought Kenny Smith out of the bullpen, the fourth of five Zag pitchers to take the mound. Mitchell Tolman greeted Smith with a single to left to advance Balta to third, Tolman taking second on the throw from the outfield which went to third base. Chase was walked intentionally to load the bases and set up the double-play situation. J.B. Bryant’s sacrifice fly to deep left scored Balta and advanced the runners to second and third. A walk loaded the bases but Smith got out of the jam with a fly ball to left.
The Bulldogs loaded the bases in the eighth. Brown rapped a one-out single to center off Oregon reliever Garrett Cleavinger and with two out Cabe Reiten doubled to the gap in right-center moving Brown to third. Pinch hitter Cory LeBrun was hit by a pitch to load the bases but Cleavinger got Bozett on a called third strike to end the uprising.
Sinatro was the lone Zag with a multiple-hit game, going 2-for-5 and drove in both Gonzaga runs. The Bulldogs out-hit Oregon 7-5, but the five Oregon pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts.
The teams will conclude the two-game series Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Patterson Baseball Complex.