Zags Advance to Championship Game With 17-10 Win
March 14, 2008
Fresno, Calif. - Behind strong offensive efforts by Evan Wells and Grant Kveder, the Gonzaga University baseball team defeated New Mexico State University 17-10 at the 2008 Pepsi/Johnny Quick Classic in Fresno, Calif. The Zags will take a 3-2 record in the tournament into the championship game on Saturday.
Kveder led the Bulldogs (9-7) with five hits, going a perfect 5-for-5 with a double, three runs batted in and three runs scored. Wells led the Zags on the afternoon, driving in six runs on four hits while scoring one. In total, Gonzaga recorded 21 hits on the afternoon for a season-high.
GU starter Matt Fields (2-1) earned the victory allowing six runs on eight hits while striking out five over 5.1 frames. Jeremy Stumetz, Andrew Danner and Cody Martin all saw time out of the pen for the Zags as Martin continued his strong rookie season allowing no runs and one hit during the final inning of the game. New Mexico State (6-6) starting pitcher Sebastian Vendette (0-1) suffered the loss as he allowed seven runs on six hits over 2.1 innings of work.
The Bulldogs opened scoring with three runs in the second inning thanks to run-scoring singles to right field by Wells and Jason Chatwood. The Aggies responded with a run in the bottom of the frame as Colin Crouthamel hit a solo home run.
Gonzaga used four hits to erupt for six runs in the top of the third. The Bulldogs sent 11 batters to the plate as Kveder, Drew Heid, Wells, Chatwood, Ryan Wiegand and Brett Nicholas each earned runs batted in during the inning. New Mexico State's Joesph Scaperotta drove home a run in the bottom of the frame with a single, narrowing GU's lead to 9-2.
Wells recorded two more RBIs in the fourth and sixth frames to help the Zags extend their lead to 11-2 heading into the bottom of the sixth. NMSU rallied in the bottom of the inning for four runs. The Aggies' sixth inning effort was highlighted by a two-run double to centerfield by Trevor Bloom.
Gonzaga answered with five runs in the seventh inning thanks to four run-scoring singles, including a two-run base hit to left by Kveder. New Mexico State lessened the blow in the bottom of the frame scoring one run to bring the score to 16-7.
New Mexico State capped its scoring in the bottom of the eighth as Marcus Quade, Franky Busani, and Gavin Heineman each drove home one run a piece.
The Zags finalized the scored at 17-10 in the top of the ninth as Wiegand singled to right, scoring Wells.
The Bulldogs' victory provided them with the right to play for the tournament championship Saturday evening as they will take on the University of Utah at 6:05 p.m as the Zags' Cory Powell is expected to get the start on the mound. Earlier this week, Gonzaga defeated the Utes 10-5.
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