No. 24 Zags Score Early To Complete Sweep Over Toreros
April 10, 2011
SPOKANE, Wash. – The 24th-ranked Gonzaga University baseball team scored the runs it needed in the first two innings to beat the University of San Diego 11-6 to complete the West Coast Conference series sweep Sunday.
The Toreros (7-22, 0-3 WCC) had a 10-6 hitting advantage but four costly errors gave the Bulldogs (19-9-1, 3-0 WCC) an early lead. Backed by stellar pitching from Marco Gonzales (5-2), the Bulldogs defense limited the Toreros to one run early in the game. Although he won his fifth straight start, Gonzales (5-2) pitched 6 2/3 innings to end his streak of three consecutive complete-games. Gonzales struck out six, walked two and allowed one run on six hits.
For the second consecutive game, Eric Lane was the only Bulldog to produce multiple hits. Billy Moon recorded four RBI including a three-run home run. Royce Bolinger went 0-for-3 with a walk and a RBI but saw his team-best 12-game hitting streak come to an end.
The Toreros used five pitchers. Starter Dylan Covey (1-3) suffered the loss after allowing nine runs in two innings. Lane led off the Bulldogs half of the first inning with a single and after Tyler Chism reached on a fielding error by the Toreros first baseman, Moon hit a three-run home run to left field.
The Toreros made two errors in the second inning to help the Bulldogs add more to their lead. Andy Hunter led off with a single up the middle and Stephen Halcomb followed with a walk. Keegan Acker laid down a sacrifice bunt down the third base line to move both runners in scoring position but the third baseman’s throw misses the first baseman for the Toreros second error to load the bases. Eric Lane brought Hunter home with a fielder’s choice to get Acker out at second. After Chism was walked to load the bases again, Halcomb scored the Bulldogs fifth run when Moon hit into a fielding error by the shortstop. Bolinger followed Moon with a RBI ground out to the shortstop and a wild pitch by Covey allowed Chism to score and advance the other two runners. After Edman walked, Clayton Eslick hit a two-run double to give Gonzaga a 9-0 lead. Hunter struck out in his second at bat to end the inning.
Gonzales struggled in the third inning. He hit the leadoff hit and following a walk, he surrendered back-to-back singles to give the Toreros their first run of the game. Gonzales held runners at second base the rest of the afternoon.
The Bulldogs took advantage of another Torero error to cash in a pair of runs in the fourth inning. Chism was hit by relief pitcher Jack Shannon to lead off the inning and stole second to move into scoring position. After Moon grounded out, Bolinger walked and with two outs, Eslick hit a fly ball to left field but the ball fell off Zach Komatani’s glove, allowing Chism and Bolinger to score and give Gonzaga a 11-1 lead.
The Toreros scored their second run in the eighth inning. Aaron Brooks came into the game and allowed a one out double and a RBI single. Hunter, who started the game at first base, was called to finish the game but got to a rocky start. After walking the first two batters and surrendering a single, Kris Bryant hit a grand slam the first pitch he saw from Hunter to make it 11-6. Hunter put the game away getting the last batter to fly out to center field.
The Bulldogs went 6-1 in their season-long seven-game home stand and will now begin a four-game road trip starting with Washington State University Tuesday in the finale of a three-game season series. First pitch is at 5:30 p.m.
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