Gonzales Strikes Out 15 In Bulldogs Win Over LMU On ESPNU
SPOKANE, Wash. - Marco Gonzales struck out a career-high 15 batters in 11 innings pitched and Payden Cawley Lamb delivered a walk-off RBI single in the 12th inning to lift the Gonzaga University baseball team to a 1-0 West Coast Conference victory over Loyola Marymount University in front of a record crowd of 2,011 and on its debut on ESPNU Saturday evening.
Gonzales received a no-decision after throwing 139 pitches and held the Lions (20-18, 8-6 WCC) to five hits and no walks. In addition to passing his career-mark of 11 strikeouts set last season against the University of San Francisco, Gonzales also pitched more than ninth innings in a game for the first time in his young collegiate career. He has pitched to ninth inning six times in his career at GU.
Zach Abbruzza (2-3) took over for Gonzales in the 12th inning, and although he surrendered a walk, the freshman used a fly out and two strikeouts to retire the Lions.
Lion freshman starter Trevor Megill received a no-decision despite limiting the Bulldogs (27-13, 7-7 WCC) to four singles. Aaron Griffin (3-4) suffered the loss after allowing the winning run on three hits and a walk.
Both teams had scoring opportunities early in the game, but it was the Zags that came through in the 12th inning. Andy Hunter reached on a one-out single to right field and pinch-hitter Billy Moon followed with a base hit up the middle. After a balk was called by the umpires, Griffin intentionally walked Mitchell Gunsolus to load the bases and the pinch-hitter Cawley Lamb punished the Lions for the balk and loading the bases by sending a pitch to left center field for the winning run. The center fielder made a diving effort to make the catch but couldn't keep the ball in his glove.
The 2,011 fans in attendance passed the Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field's previous record of 1,917, which was set April 16, 2010 against Pepperdine University.
The Bulldogs and Lions will meet for the rubber game of the WCC series Sunday at 1 p.m.