Big Innings Lead Baseball To 12-7 Win Over Utah
Feb. 15, 2004
SURPRISE, Ariz. - Gonzaga University took advantage of two big innings Sunday afternoon as the Bulldogs (2-1) scored seven runs in the first inning and five runs in the eighth to collect a 12-7 win over the University of Utah during final day action of the 2004 Coca-Cola Baseball Classic in Surprise, Ariz. The Bulldogs will stay in Arizona for one more day to face No. 7 Arizona State University in Tempe on Monday night. Utah heads back home with a 0-3 record in the second annual event at the Spring Training complex of the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers.
The Bulldogs offense exploded in the first inning as they scored seven runs off Utah starter Eric Schaler. Schaler struggled with his control allowing four Bulldogs hits, walking two batters, hitting two more GU batters and tossing one wild pitch. The end result was a 7-0 lead for Gonzaga after one inning. Mike Rundle started the scoring with a sacrifice fly to center followed by an RBI single by David Johnson. After Jeff Culpepper scored on a wild pitch, Chris Sinner delivered the big blow of the inning with a two run single up the middle. Brad Welker capped the scoring with an RBI double down the right field line.
Gonzaga starting pitcher Matt Reding looked sharp during six innings of work as he allowed four runs, only two of them earned, before exiting in the seventh. Eric Chevalier drove in the first of his four Utah runs with a solo homer in the fourth. He added a two-run double in the fourth inning to account for two of the three Utes runs in the frame.
Utah tied the game in the eighth inning against the Bulldogs bullpen as pinch-hitter Tyson Olson dropped in a two-run double to left center to close the Bulldogs lead to 7-6. Chevailer then singled through the left side to knot the game at 7-7. Bulldogs pitcher Eric Everson (1-0) then closed the door on the Utah rally and would pick up the win as Gonzaga added five runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Marshall Bratton was hit by a pitch to open the inning and scored when Aaron McGuinness tripled to center field against Utah reliever Clay Westmoreland (0-1). Westmoreland would surrender four more runs before Ben Buck could get a Gonzaga out and end the game on a time limit rule. Jackson Brennan and Culpepper would each drive home runs in the inning while the other two Bulldogs runs came on a throwing error following a bunt by Welker.
Brennan, Welker, Culpepper and Sinner each had two hits for Gonzaga with Sinner driving in a team-high two runs. Chevalier and Ryan Khoury each had three hits for Utah while relief pitcher Travis Kohn shut the Bulldogs down for five innings during the middle of the contest. With the win Gonzaga improved to 4-0 all-time against Utah.
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