Baseball Takes WCC Opener At San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – The defense of the 2013 West Coast Conference regular-season title got started on the right foot Friday, as the Gonzaga University baseball team took its league opener 6-5 at the University of San Francisco at Benedetti Diamond.
The victory marks the first win at San Francisco since April 9, 2010 and improves the Zags to 5-12 overall, 1-0 in conference play. The Dons fall to 8-7, 0-1 WCC.
Starter Taylor Jones improved to an even 2-2 on the year with the victory. The sophomore worked 7.2 innings and retired nine consecutive in the fifth through seventh innings. Dons starter Abe Bobb took the defeat.
Jones got himself into a jam in the opening inning. He retired the first two batters of the inning but then went on to hit the next two. Jones then walked Derek Atkinson to load the bases and Brendan Hendriks followed with a three-run double to put GU in an early 3-0 deficit.
GU took the lead in the top of the third inning on four hits. Cory LeBrun and Sam Brown each singled in a run before Jimmy Sinatro’s bases clearing double. The hit was Sinatro’s first extra-base hit of the year and it put the Zags on top 5-3.
San Francisco made it a one-run game in the bottom of the frame by taking advantage of a Gonzaga fielding error. It remained a one-run game until a masterful suicide squeeze bunt from Caleb Wood added an insurance run in the seventh.
Payden Cawley Lamb doubled to open the inning and advanced to third base on a sacrifice bunt from LeBrun. Playing aggressively, Wood placed his bunt down the first base line allowing Lamb to score.
Don Bradley Zimmer had his fourth home run of the year in the bottom of the eighth off Jones to make it a one-run game again. Jones retired the next batter before getting pulled for right-hander Kenny Smith.
Smith recorded the final four outs of the game en route to his third save of the year.
Gonzaga out-hit San Francisco 10-4 with Lamb, Wood, Brown and Sinatro each responsible for two.
The Zags and Dons will play game two of the series Saturday at 1 p.m.