Three-Run Eighth Inning Pushes GU Over Oklahoma
SURPRISE, Ariz. – With two outs, junior Cory LeBrun connected on bases loaded single in the top of the eighth inning to put Gonzaga University baseball back on top as the Zags triumphed over University of Oklahoma 6-4 Sunday in the Spring Training Classic.
The win snaps the Bulldogs (3-8 overall) five-game losing skid. Reliever Will Abram (1-0) was credited with the win after replacing starter Andrew Sopko in the seventh. Sopko did his job in the game to keep GU close after pitching 6.0 innings, allowing four runs.
For Abram, it is his first win in a Zags uniform.
Gonzaga entered the top of the eighth inning trailing Oklahoma 4-3. With one out, Cabe Reiten (error) and Nicholas Minteer (single) reached to start the rally. OU reliever Ralph Garza Jr. then retired Caleb Wood but gave up a single to Beau Bozett to load the bases.
Then the middle of the Bulldogs lineup did its damage. Mitchell Gunsolus showed his patience at the plate and took a walk on a full count to bring home the tying run. Clean up hitter LeBrun then stepped up with his base hit to left field bringing in the two go ahead runs.
Oklahoma attempted one last rally in their final at bat. However Abram induced a game ending double play to close the weekend on a positive note.
The first Zag runs came across in the top of the sixth inning. Joey Harris laid a sacrifice bunt to bring home the one run and later in the frame Wood scored on an error by the Sooner third baseman. Gunsolus also added an RBI single in the inning.
Both LeBrun and Gunsolus each accounted for two runs bringing their season RBI totals to eight and seven, respectively.
Payden Cawley Lamb singled in the second inning to extend his hitting streak to eight games. Lamb and Gunsolus have also reached base safely in each of the 11 games this season.
Sooner Jake Elliot takes the defeat after working 7.1 innings allowing five runs. OU’s offense was paced by Taylor Alspaugh who went 3-for-4 on the day.
The Bulldogs non-conference picks up again next weekend. GU is set to take on UC Irvine for a three game series. The series in California marks the start of an eight-games in nine days stretch.