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Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics

Callahan's Effort Helps Baseball To A 6-4 Victory Over Utah Valley

Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics
          Release: 02/17/2013
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PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - Derek Callahan pitched seven innings striking out six and allowed three runs in a 6-4 winning effort for Gonzaga University baseball over Utah Valley University Sunday. The game was the final game of the Palm Spring Tournament opening weekend for the Bulldogs.

By ending the weekend on a positive note, Gonzaga evens its record at 2-2 while Utah Valley drops to 1-3.

"Today we saw a nice pitching performance from Callahan," head coach Mark Machtolf said. "We also played very well on offense. We hit some balls hard in big situations to score some runs."

Through four innings the Zags were able to build Callahan a comfortable lead.

In the top of the first Mitchell Gunsolus tripled to left field, one of his three hits of the day, and two batters latter Clayton Eslick brought him home with an RBI double. Zach Abbruzza hit an infield single to third to put runners on the corners for Marco Gonzales. The lefty hit a sacrifice fly to right to put the Bulldogs up 2-0.

Gonzaga tacked on two more runs in the third. With one out and two runners on base, Cabe Reiten singled in Travis Forbes to add a run. Then with two outs, Gunsolus struck again by driving a double down the left field line bring in another.

The Bulldog offense produced again in the fifth inning. With two on and one out, Forbes laid a sacrifice bunt to the pitched to bring home Eslick.

Utah Valley would threaten in the eighth. Spencer Gothberg hit a bases loaded single followed by a Kai Hatch single to make the score 5-2.  The Zags brought in freshman Michael Rucker for relief and he was able to work out of the inning limiting the damage.

Entering the ninth, the Zags held a 5-4 edge.

However, the Bulldogs were able to give themselves some breathing room by adding an insurance run in the ninth. Freshman Caleb Wood tripled to right field but a Utah Valley throwing error allowed him to score.

Gonzaga held the lead and Rucker closed the bottom of the ninth and picked up his first save.

The Zags totaled 15 hits in the game. Gunsolus, Abbruzza, Forbes and Reiten all had multi-hit game.

"Rucker pitched a good couple innings for us to close it out," Machtolf said. "Today was a nice team performance."

The Zags are back on the field Friday when they will face UNLV in Stockton, Calif., for the first of a two game series.

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