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Maxx Garrett hit his first home run on the season Saturday.
Courtesy: Torrey Vail

Zags Clinch Series With Doubleheader Wins Over Hawai`i

Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics
          Release: 03/24/2012
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SPOKANE, Wash. - It was a long day for the Gonzaga University and University of Hawai'i baseball teams Saturday. But at the end of the day, it was the Bulldogs who were victorious in both games, shutting out the Rainbows 4-0 in game one and completing a 7-6 come-from-behind win in game two.

Royce Bolinger and Maxx Garrett both hit a solo home run in game one and driven in two runs on the day. Eric Lane combined for five hits in both games to lead the Bulldogs (15-6) 20-hit day.

Marco Gonzales (4-0) was given double duties in game one, starting as the pitcher and batting fourth in the Bulldogs order. The sophomore took a no-hitter into the seventh inning but finished the day going eight innings with seven strikeouts and allowing only four hits and a walk. He went 1-for-4 at the plate during his outing on the mound.

Zach Abbruzza relieved Gonzales in the ninth inning, striking out one batter and allowing no hits to earn his third save of the season.

Andy Hunter started game two on the mound and received a no-decision after allowing six runs on eight hits and four walks in 4 1/3 innings. Derek Callahan (1-1) had a solid relief appearance, striking out five batters and allowing no runs to earn his first win in his collegiate career.

In game one, Gonzales walked the first batter he faced but went on to strike out the side to end the inning. Following his walk in the first inning he would retire 18 straight batters before allowing a leadoff double in the seventh inning to lose his no-hitter.

The Bulldogs got on the board in the fourth inning. Steven Halcomb got the inning started with a walk and Alex Stanford laid down a sacrifice bunt to move him to second base. Halcomb advanced to third on Hunter's single to left field and Garrett's fly ball to left field was deep enough to bring in the first run of the day. After Hunter reached second base on a passed ball, Lane singled to the outfield and Hunter slid into home safely to bring in the second run of the game.

With one out in the sixth inning, Garrett took a pitch to left field for his second solo shot as a Zag and one inning later Bolinger led off hitting the same direction for his third on the year to complete the 4-0 win.

The Rainbows (14-10) started game two bullying Hunter right away. Like Gonzales did in game one, Hunter walked the first batter he faced and with two outs, the Rainbows used a sacrifice bunt, another free pass, a RBI single and a two-run double to take a 3-0 lead. Hunter avoided more damage by striking out the next batter.

Despite allowing three runs in the opening frame, the Zags returned the favor by picking on starting pitcher Scott Squier. After Lane flew out to right field to lead off the Zags, Payden Cawley Lamb was hit by the pitch and the Bulldogs caught a break when Bolinger's grounder to the second baseman was poorly fielded. Gonzales followed with a base hit and Travis Forbes put the Bulldogs on board with a RBI single through the left side. While Clayton Eslick was at the plate with the bases loaded, a pitch deflected off the catcher's mitt and went into the backstop, allowing Bolinger to score the second run and move Gonzales to third base and Forbes to second. Eslick received a free pass to reload the bases and Squier's day turned out to be a short one when he hit Halcomb to allow the Bulldogs to tie the game. Reliever David Longville got Stanford to ground into a double play to end the inning.

Although the Bulldogs tied the game, the Rainbows got the lead back in the second inning. Like the way the first inning started, Hunter walked the first batter of the inning and a sacrifice bunt moved the runner into scoring position. The next batter singled to left field but a fielding error by Cawley Lamb allowed the Rainbows to take a 4-3 lead and add another runner in scoring position. The Rainbows scored its fifth run on a groundout to Lane at third base.

After the Rainbows took a 6-3 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Bulldogs scored their fourth run when Lane hit a one-out double to right center field and advancing to third on Cawley Lamb's groundout to the pitcher, Bolinger singled to center field to bring Lane home.

In the Bulldogs half of the eighth inning, Cawley Lamb caught a break when the first baseman bobbled a slow grounder to the right side. Bolinger followed with a single up the middle and Gonzales moved both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Both runs came home when Billy Moon hit a sacrifice fly to center field and Eslick singled down the left field line.

After Callahan retired the Rainbows in order in the ninth inning, Stanford led off the home half with a single to left field and Garrett successfully laid down a sacrifice bunt to move Stanford into scoring position. Lane's single bounced over the pitcher and although he reached safely, the shortstop's throw to the first baseman was wide, allowing Stanford to easily score in the winning run.

The Zags and Rainbows wrap up the four-game non-conference series Sunday at 1 p.m.
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