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Alex Stanford had a career-best five hits and five RBI in game one against the Waves.
Courtesy: Torrey Vail

Zags Take Game One But Couldn't Complete Comeback In Nightcap

Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics
          Release: 04/01/2012
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SPOKANE, Wash. - It took over seven hours but the Gonzaga University and Pepperdine University baseball teams opened their West Coast Conference season splitting a doubleheader Saturday. The Bulldogs took game one by a score of 10-7 while the Waves won the nightcap 7-6 in 12 innings.

It was a career day for Gonzaga's Alex Stanford, who in game one had five hits including a double and driven in five runs to set a career high. Billy Moon was also productive in the afternoon cap, driving in a three runs on three hits including a triple.

David Bigelow (2-2) was the pitcher of record in both games for Gonzaga (17-7, 1-1 WCC), winning game one and suffering the loss in the nightcap. The redshirt freshman combined for 1 2/3 innings and although he struck out two, he allowed three unearned runs on two hits and two errors. Game one starter Tyler Olson struck out eight batters and allowed five runs, one earned, on nine hits, two walks and two Bulldog errors. Zach Abbruzza closed out the ninth allowing a one-out walk before striking out the next two batters to earn his fourth save of the year.

Game two starter Andy Hunter went 5 1/3 innings, striking out three batters and surrendering five runs, two earned, on five hits and a walk. Derek Callahan allowed four runs in 2/3 of an inning while Derek Peterson, Kenny Smith, Karl Myers and Sean-Luke Brija combined for a 4 2/3 shutout innings.

Lane, Royce Bolinger, Clayton Eslick and Maxx Garrett each logged in a pair of the Bulldogs 11 hits in game two. Eslick also led the effort by driving in three runs.

The Waves (17-10, 1-1 WCC) jumped on the board right away in game one with a one-out solo home run off of Olson in the first inning, but the Zags tied it up in the third inning when Garrett and Lane hit back-to-back doubles.

Stanford led off the next inning with a single through the right side and after Hunter moved him over with a sacrifice bunt, Moon broke the tie with a RBI single up the middle. Two batters later, Payden Cawley Lamb hit a RBI single up the middle to give Gonzaga a 3-1 lead.

Eslick opened up the fifth inning with a double to center field, Steven Halcomb laid a sacrifice bunt before Stanford brought in the fourth run with a double to left center field.

Lane led off the sixth inning with a single up the middle and although Cawley Lamb laid down a sacrifice bunt, Waves starting pitcher Scott Frazier's throw to second base for the force out was off line, allowing both runners to reach safely. Stanford punished Frazier for his mistake by hitting a two-out two-run single up the middle. The Waves got out of the inning when Hunter's grounder to the third baseman tagged out Bolinger.

The Waves started to come back late in the game when they scored five unearned runs in the seventh and eighth inning to take a 7-6 lead. The lead didn't last long. When the Bulldogs entered their half of the eighth inning, Frazier and the Waves bullpen would give free straight passes to Bonczyk, Eslick and Halcomb. With one out, Stanford delivered a two-run single to center field to give the Bulldogs the lead back. Moon would find a wide open gap in right center field to stretch a two-out base hit into a two-run triple and give the Bulldogs a 10-7 lead.

Lane got game two started with a single up the middle and after Cawley Lamb drew a walk and Bolinger struck out, Eslick singled through the right side and the right fielder had a hard time picking up the ball, allowing Lane to score on the error.

The Waves would tie the game using two doubles in the fifth inning and after Hunter struck out the leadoff hitter to start the sixth inning, Callahan took over striking out the first batter he faced before a two-out solo shot the Waves a 2-1 lead. Callahan would struggle in the next inning, allowing a leadoff single before walking the next two batters to load the bases. Peterson would come into the game after and a two-run single and a sacrifice fly in right field foul territory gave the Waves a 7-1 lead.

The Bulldogs rally started in the eighth inning when Bolinger led off with a triple to left center field and Eslick's groundout brought in the second run. In the ninth inning, three straight one-out singles by Moon, pinch hitter Brock Slavin and Lane loaded the bases. Cawley Lamb would walk in a run and Bolinger brought in another after he was hit by the pitch. Eslick would tie the game with a two-run single to left center field.

Both teams entered the 10th inning forfeiting their designated hitter privilege. Waves right field Aaron Brown (1-0) was called to pitch and because Slavin pinched hit for Garrett, Bulldogs DH Travis Forbes had to catch.

Both teams had scoring opportunities during the extra innings, but it was the Waves that came through in the 12th inning, when a one-out throwing error by Halcomb and a two-out double brought in the go-ahead run. Halcomb drew a one-out walk in the home half of the ninth but the Bulldogs couldn't bring him in.

The Bulldogs and Waves will play the rubber match Sunday at 1 p.m.
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