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Royce Bolinger has hit three home runs in the four-game series with Hawai`i.
Courtesy: Explosive Illusions

Bolinger Hits Back-To-Back Home Runs As Zags Sweep Rainbows

Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics
          Release: 03/25/2012
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SPOKANE, Wash. - Royce Bolinger hit two consecutive home runs and Billy Moon struck out four batters in 6 1/3 innings as the Gonzaga University baseball team defeated the University of Hawai'i 9-3 to complete the four-game non-conference sweep Sunday afternoon.

Bolinger, who has hit three home runs in the series, added a single and driven in four runs on the afternoon. He has also extended his hitting streak to a season-best nine games. Marco Gonzales also had three hits and a pair of RBIs.

Moon (2-1) allowed the three runs on 11 hits, Derek Peterson walked only one batter in 1 1/3 innings of relief and Kevin Moriarty, who made his collegiate debut in the ninth inning, allowed only two walks to close out the series.

Eric Lane got the Bulldogs (16-6) offense started with a four-pitch walk and back-to-back base hits by Gonzales and Bolinger brought in the first run on the day. After Clayton Eslick moved both runners into scoring position with a sacrifice bunt, Gonzales scored when Travis Forbes hit a soft grounder to the third baseman. During the play, the third baseman lost his balance and fell to the ground but was able to make a throw to the shortstop, who tagged Bolinger at third base for the second out.

The lead didn't last long as in the second inning the Rainbows (14-11) used a leadoff double down the left field line followed by a two-run shot to right field.

Gonzaga got the lead back and added more runs in its half of the second inning. Hawai'i starting pitcher Kyle Dowdy (1-1) loaded the bases with one out by walking Maxx Garrett and hitting Cameron Alvarado and Lane. Gonzales broke the tie with a two-run single through the right side and Lane would score the fifth run on Bolinger's grounder into a fielder's choice.

In the fourth inning, Gonzales hit a one-out single up the middle and Bolinger followed with a blast to the deepest part of the yard at left center field to give Gonzaga a 7-2 lead.

After the Rainbows used a leadoff double, a sacrifice bunt and a RBI single to score its third run in the sixth inning, Bolinger got the five-run lead back when he sent a pitch to left field for his second home run in the game.

Lane led off the eighth inning reaching safely on a throwing effort by the third baseman. After two groundouts, pinch hitter Brock Slavin was hit by the pitch and Alex Bonczyk, who came into the game as a substitute in the seventh inning, used his speed to avoid a double play and allow Lane to score in the Bulldogs ninth run.

After playing 22 non-conference games, the Bulldogs will now open their West Coast Conference season this coming weekend when they welcome Pepperdine University to the Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field for a three-game series. The series begins Friday at 6 p.m.

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