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Royce Bolinger's two-run home run helped the Bulldogs start a comeback.
Courtesy: Torrey Vail

Zags Ninth-Inning Rally Comes Up Short In Loss To No. 4 Hogs

Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics
          Release: 03/14/2012
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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. - Royce Bolinger hit a two-run home run in the seventh inning and the Gonzaga University baseball team tried to rally in the ninth, but it wasn't enough as the fourth-ranked University of Arkansas' bullpen held on to beat the Bulldogs 5-3 Wednesday afternoon.

The Razorbacks (16-2) sweep the two-game series from the Bulldogs (10-5), who have lost five straight games.

Clayton Eslick and Marco Gonzales each turned in a pair of the Bulldogs eight hits. The Zags also got base hits from Eric Lane, Bolinger, Travis Forbes and Andy Hunter.

Zach Abbruzza (0-2) kept the Razorbacks hitless in his three-inning outing. He struck out two batters, walked two and allowed one run. Ryan Leahy faced three batters and allowed one run on a hit and a walk before handing the ball to Karl Myers, who allowed three unearned runs in his 1 1/3 outing. Sean-Luke Brija, Kenny Smith and Derek Peterson combined to throw 3 1/3 scoreless innings.

The Razorbacks used eight pitchers after starter Trent Daniel threw only two frames. His successor, Brandon Moore (2-0), earned the win after allowing one hit in three innings of work.

After three scoreless innings, Arkansas got on the scoreboard in its half of the fourth. The Razorbacks used a RBI single and a RBI groundout to take a 2-0 lead. One inning later, the Bulldogs retired the first two batters but a fielding error by Hunter allowed the inning to continue and the Razorbacks took advantage by adding three unearned runs using a RBI single followed by a two-run single.

The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard for the first time in the series in the seventh inning. Eslick reached on a fielding error by the first baseman and Bolinger followed with a two-run shot to left field. Forbes was hit by the pitch with one out and after Hunter struck out looking, Gonzales hit a single to left center field to set up runners on the corners. But the Bulldogs couldn't do more damage as Garrett struck out swinging to end the inning.

Looking for a comeback in the ninth, Forbes led off with a single to left field. After Brock Slavin came in to pinch run for Forbes, he advanced to second on a passed ball. Hunter walked before Gonzales hit a RBI single up the middle to cut the Razorbacks lead to two. Garrett tried to move the runners over by laying down a sacrifice bunt but the pitcher was able to force out Hunter at third base. Eric Lane hit a ground to second base but was able to reach first base to avoid the double play. Steven Halcomb hit a line drive toward center field but was robbed by the shortstop to end the game.

After playing 15 games on the road to start the 2012 season, the Bulldogs return to Spokane to open up their home schedule this weekend against the University of the Pacific. The three-game series begins Friday at 6 p.m.

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