Bulldogs Use Late Innings To Beat Notre Dame
Feb. 27, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. - The Gonzaga University baseball team opened play at the Phoenix Classic with a 7-3 win over the University of Notre Dame at Diablo Stadium, the spring training home of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, in Tempe, Ariz. Friday night.
The Bulldogs improved to 5-1 on the season after scoring four runs in the final two innings to record their fourth consecutive win. Senior first baseman Ryan Wiegand and freshman right fielder Royce Bolinger each drove in two runs and senior pitcher A.J. Proszek (1-0) fired 2.2 scoreless-innings of relief to earn the victory for the Zags.
Senior designated hitter Anthony Synegal's RBI groundout broke a 3-3 tie in the eighth inning and Bolinger's run-scoring sacrifice fly capped Gonzaga's eighth-inning rally to put the Bulldogs up 5-3. The inning started with junior catcher Tyson Van Winkle's lead-off walk followed by junior left fielder Mark Castellitto's double down the left field line to put runners on second and third for Synegal and Bolinger. Synegal brought home Van Winkle from third with a ground ball to second base and Bolinger's sacrifice fly to right field allowed Castellitto to trot home for the Zags second run of the inning.
Gonzaga answered two first-inning runs by Notre Dame (2-2) with two of their own in the second on an RBI triple by Bolinger and a RBI sacrifice fly by freshman shortstop Ernesto Ortiz.. The Bulldogs then took a 3-2 lead on Wiegand's RBI double in the fifth but Notre Dame's rally in the seventh tied the game at 3-3.
Following their two-run eighth inning, the Bulldogs added to their lead with two more runs in the ninth. Senior second baseman Evan Wells came home on a Notre Dame wild pitch and a Wiegand RBI groundout capped the scoring for the Zags. That was all that Proszek needed as he sat the Irish down in order in the ninth to preserve the win.
After allowing two Notre Dame runs in the first, Bulldog senior starter Matt Fields held the Irish offense scoreless the next 5.1 innings. Fields earned is second consecutive no-decision after allowing three earned runs, scattering seven hits and struck out five before giving way to Proszek with one out and a runner on second in seventh. Proszek ended the Irish threat by striking out preseason All-American A.J. Pollack and then getting clean up hitter Jeremy Barnes to ground out to second. Proszek allowed just one hit and struck out two to pick up his first win of the season.
The Bulldogs continue play at the Phoenix Classic matching up against Creighton University at Marich Field at Phoenix College 2 p.m. Saturday.
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