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Zach Abbruzza has lowered his ERA from 10.12 to 3.38 in 13 innings pitched.
Courtesy: Explosive Illusions

Five-Run Seventh Inning Leads Zags To Win Over Huskies

Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics
          Release: 04/10/2012
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SEATTLE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University baseball team scored five runs in the seventh inning to help freshman pitcher Zach Abbruzza earn his first victory as the Bulldogs beat the University of Washington 8-5 Tuesday to complete the two-game sweep.

Abbruzza (1-2) was awarded his first collegiate victory after striking out three batters and allowing only one hit in four shutout innings of relief.

The Bulldogs (22-9) also got another strong performance from Alex Stanford, who produced three base hits for the second consecutive game. Royce Bolinger also added three hits while Brock Slavin and Maxx Garrett both led the Bulldogs with two RBI each.

Bulldog starter Derek Callahan threw 2 2/3 innings allowing two runs, one earned, on two base hits and two walks. Sean-Luke Brija threw two shutout frames before but David Bigelow allowed three runs, two earned, on one hit before handing the ball to Abbruzza.

The Huskies (17-13) sent seven pitchers to the mound to stop a Bulldog offense that compiled 12 hits in game one Monday evening. Joshua Fredendall (0-2) suffered the loss after giving up a two-run lead during the five unearned run explosion in the seventh inning.

Washington jumped on the scoreboard without recording a base hit in the first inning. Bulldog starter Derek Callahan walked the leadoff hitter before the Huskies used a sacrifice bunt, a stolen base and a RBI groundout to bring him home and take a 1-0 lead.

The Huskies, once again, got their leadoff hitter on base in the second inning with a single through theright side. A throwing error during a pickoff attempt moved the runner intosecond base and two fly balls to the outfield brought in their second run of the game.

Garrett led off the third inning with a single to center field and he advanced to third on Eric Lane's base hit to right center field. Payden Cawley Lamb would hit a fly ball to center field deep enough for Garrett to score the Bulldogs first run.

Like the Huskies did in the first inning, the Bulldogs found a way to score two runs in the sixth without a base hit. Stanford led off the frame with a walk and after Andy Hunter was awarded first base on a hit by the pitch, Steven Halcomb put both runners in scoring position with a sacrifice bunt. Slavin hit a grounder to first base but Stanford beat the first baseman's throw home to tie the game. A suicide squeeze by Garrett brought in Hunter and the Bulldogs took a 3-2 lead.

The lead didn't last long as the Huskies used a hit batsman, a single, an error and two fielder's choices to score three runs and take a 5-3 lead.

Bolinger got the five-run burst started with a one-out single up the middle and although Eslick hit agrounder to the first baseman, the throw to second base for the force out passed the middle infielders and Bolinger advanced to third on the error. Stanford would hit a RBI single to left center field to cut the Huskies lead to one and after Fredendall intentionally walked Hunter to load the bases, the Bulldogs used consecutive RBI singles by Halcomb, Slavin, Garrett and Lane to take an 8-5 lead.

Abbruzza went the rest of the way retiring nine of 10 batters to secure his first win.

After being on the road for almost a week, the Bulldogs come home to host a three-game West Coast Conference series with Santa Clara University this weekend. The series starts Friday at 6 p.m.

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