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Kenny Smith held the Ducks to three hits Tuesday evening.
Courtesy: Torrey Vail

Zags Late Comeback Held Off By No. 10 Oregon's Bullpen

Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics
          Release: 05/01/2012
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SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University baseball team put two runs on the board early in the game, but the 10th-ranked University of Oregon used a two-run home run and a safety squeeze to beat the Bulldogs 3-2 Tuesday evening.

Kenny Smith (2-1) had a strong performance on mound despite allowing all three runs, two earned. He held the Ducks (31-13) to three hits and issued two walks in seven innings of work. David Bigelow struck out one batter in two scoreless inning of relief.

On the hitting side, Royce Bolinger led the Bulldogs (27-15) by producing three hits, while Alex Stanford recorded a triple for the Bulldogs only extra-base hit.

The Bulldogs jumped on the board in the second inning when Stanford sent a one-out pitch over the center fielder for his second triple of the season. Alex Bonczyk brought Stanford home with a sacrifice fly to right field.

Clayton Eslick led off the fourth inning with a base hit to right field, Stanford singled through the right side before Bonczyk reached on fielding error by the second baseman to load the bases. Mitchell Gunsolus would drive the first run in his young career with a single up the middle.

The Ducks would erase the two-run deficit in the sixth inning when Smith issued a walk and then surrendered the two-run shot to left field. The Ducks caught a break in the seventh inning when a fielding error set up a hit-and-run base hit followed a RBI safety squeeze to take a 3-2 lead.

The Bulldogs didn't go down quietly in the ninth inning as Brock Slavin won a free pass to first base and a Bolinger followed with a base hit to right center field with one out. Although Eslick's groundout to the pitcher moved both runners into scoring position, the Ducks bullpen held off the Zags comeback attempt with a strikeout to preserve the win.

The Bulldogs and Ducks conclude the short two-game non-conference series Wednesday at 6 p.m.

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