Bulldogs Close Out Weekend With 6-4 Win Over Bradley
March 14, 2010
SAN ANTONIO, Tex. - Gonzaga University closed out play at the Irish Baseball Classic in San Antonio, Tex. with a 6-4 victory over Bradley University Sunday. The Bulldogs (7-7) posted a 2-2 record in the tournament, picking up both of its wins against the Braves (4-6).
Gonzaga never looked back after putting up three runs in the first inning as they received solid efforts on the mound by starter Jacob Brown and relievers Andrew Danner and Billy Moon. The Zags registered six stolen bases and had Drew Heid and Ernesto Ortiz each finish with two hits while Andy Hunter scored three runs.
Heid provided the early spark for the Bulldogs, leading off the bottom of the first inning with a double to right field and later came around to score as the next batter Chris Sturdivant singled back the middle. After Sturdivant stole second, Hunter grounded a ball to third base that the Bradley third baseman misplayed, allowing Sturdivant to come around for the score and Hunter to advance to second. Two batters later the Zags picked up their third run of the inning after an errant throw by Braves starting pitcher Andy Johnson after he fielded a Sean Wilson comebacker, allowing Hunter to trot home and give GU a 3-1 lead.
Brown kept the Bulldogs lead intact for the next three innings, working around a couple Bradley scoring threats before running in to a jam in the fifth inning. Brown retired the first two hitters of the inning via ground out and a fly out before back-to-back base-hits resulted in the Braves cutting the Gonzaga lead to 3-2. Following a bunt single and a walk, the Bulldogs went to the bullpen and called in the left-hander Danner who struck the first batter he faced to end the inning.
The Zags came right back with a run of their own in the bottom half of the fifth as Heid got things going once more, slapping an opposite field single to left to start the inning. He then stole second and one batter later Hunter singled to left to score Heid. After a wild pitch allowed Hunter to move to second, Mark Castellitto drove a pitch into the right centerfield gap for an RBI-double to score Hunter and open up a 5-2 GU lead.
Both teams traded single runs in the seventh inning as Gonzaga picked up its run on Wilson's sacrifice fly that scored Hunter, making it a 6-3 ball game.
Bradley made things interesting in the eighth as a lead-off single forced the Zags to call in Moon from the bullpen. The Braves brought one run across in the inning off of Gonzaga's young lefthander but he buckled down and escaped the inning with a strikeout and an infield pop up to keep the lead at 6-4. Moon sealed up the Zags win by retiring the Braves in order in the ninth to pick up his second career save, both of which were against Bradley over the weekend.
Danner (1-0) earned his first career win with 2.1 innings of relief after Brown went 4.2 and struck out one in his first career start.
Gonzaga returns to Spokane from its 10-day road trip to close its eight-game-in-eight-days stretch with its first home series of the season, hosting BYU Monday and Tuesday at the Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. Both games will start at 6:30 p.m.
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