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Kenny Smith allowed no runs in 6 2/3 innings to earn his first collegiate win.
Courtesy: Torrey Vail

Bulldogs Use 21 Hits To Help Smith Beat Washington State

Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics
          Release: 04/03/2012
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SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University baseball team used 21 hits, including homers by Andy Hunter and Steven Halcomb, to rally from a three-run early deficit and beat its in-state rival Washington State University 9-3 in front of 1,110 in attendance at the Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field Tuesday evening.

Hunter led the effort for the Bulldogs (19-7) with four hits, Royce Bolinger and Alex Stanford added three, Eric Lane, Payden Cawley Lamb and Clayton Eslick had a pair while Halcomb's shot was his only hit on the evening.

Bulldogs starter Derek Callahan allowed three runs in 2 1/3 innings, but Kenny Smith (1-0) earned his first collegiate win by helping the freshman the rest of the way, striking out six batters and allowing no runs on four hits and a walk.

Cougar starter Kyle Swannack (2-3) went three innings after allowing four runs on 10 hits.

The Cougars (13-12) jumped into the lead right away as they used three singles and a walk off of Callahan to score all of their three runs.

The Bulldogs (19-7) slowly started its comeback in their half of the first inning. Lane led off with a single to centerfield and after Bolinger hit a one-out single through the right side, Eslick hit a single to left center deep enough for Lane to score the Bulldogs first run. Although Stanford singled to centerfield, the Cougars escaped the jam by getting Halcomb to ground into a double play.

Callahan retired the second inning in order, but in the third inning the Cougars started to snap out of it, using a single and a free pass to put a runner in scoring position. Smith came in and although he hit a batter to load the bases, he escaped the threat on two groundouts.

With one out in the Bulldogs half of the third inning, Bolinger sent a pitch near the warning track in right field for a triple. After Eslick was hit by the pitch, Stanford hit a hard single to right field to bring Bolinger home and cut the Cougars lead to one.

In the fourth inning, Hunter tied the game with a solo shot to right center field on the first pitch he saw. Moon followed with a double to right center field and after he moved to third base on Garrett's single to left field, the Bulldogs took a 4-3 lead when Lane hit a grounder to the second baseman but made an effort to reach safely, avoiding a double play. Cawley Lamb would single through the right side before two fly outs ended the inning.

While the Bulldogs bats were working on getting the runs, Smith made sure the Cougars were tamed as the sophomore retired 16 of the remaining 19 batters.

In the sixth inning, Lane hit a two-out single up the middle and back-to-back singles by Cawley Lamb and Bolinger brought in the fifth run of the game.

With two outs in the home half in the eighth inning, the Bulldogs put the game out of reach. Bolinger won a free pass to first base and after Eslick singled to left field, Stanford followed with a RBI single to right field. During the play, the right fielder made a throw home in attempt to get Bolinger out but it was way off line and Eslick and Stanford advanced to second and third, respectively, on the error. Halcomb put the game out of reach with a three-run shot to left field.

The Bulldogs will use Wednesday to travel to Southern California to play a tough West Coast Conference series with 19th-ranked University of San Diego. The series begins Thursday at 3 p.m.
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