Gonzaga Falls To Cougars 4-1
April 12, 2005
SPOKANE, Wash. - Jay Miller's third home run of the season, a two-run blast to deep left field in the eighth inning, gave Washington State University the cushion it needed as the Cougars defeated Gonzaga University 4-1 Tuesday in a non-conference baseball game at Avista Stadium.
The loss dropped the Bulldogs to 20-13 overall as they dropped their third game in four meetings with WSU this season. WSU improved to 17-20.
Kaeo Rubin led off the eighth inning by being hit by a pitch by Josh Bryant, on in relief of Gonzaga starter Jay Bryner. Miller followed two batters later and drove a 1-1 pitch over the left field fence at about the 340 mark.
Starting pitchers Bryner and Jayson Miller for the Cougars hooked up in quite a duel for six innings. Bryner, who took the loss in evening his record at 3-3, allowed three hits, walked three and struck out three while allowing a pair of earned runs. He threw just 84 pitches. Miller, whose record improved to 2-3, matched his GU counterpart pitch-for-pitch, allowing three hits, walking four, striking out three and allowing one earned run while throwing 77 pitches.
Both teams scored single runs in the third. WSU designated hitter Zach Franklin opened the third by being hit by a pitch, went to second on Jeff Miller's sacrifice bunt, advanced to third on Matthew Thomas' single up the middle and scored on Kaeo Rubin's groundout to second.
The Bulldogs came right back to tie the game in their half of the inning. Designated hitter Mike Terry lined a double down the left field line, went to third on a one-out groundout to first and, following a walk to Darin Holcomb, scored on an RBI single up the middle by Kiel Thibault. The Bulldogs had an excellent opportunity to break the game open as cleanup hitter Bobby Carlson drew a walk to load the bases, but Miller got Jeff Culpepper on a swinging strike three.
WSU took the lead in the fifth. Franklin and Jeff Miller opened the inning with singles and Thomas put down a textbook sacrifice bunt to advance the runners. Rubin followed with a sacrifice fly to center scoring Franklin.
Gonzaga had a couple of solid chances late in the game. In the sixth, Culpepper drew a one-out walk and went to second when Aaron McGuinness was safe on shortstop Thomas' throwing error that drew Jim Murphy off the bag and first, his sweep tag missing McGuinness. But Will Ayala hit into a second-short-first double play to end the inning.
In the eighth inning the Bulldogs had a pair of walks sandwiched around a strikeout, but Travis Webb came on in relief to strike out Culpepper swinging and got McGuinness on a called third strike to end the inning.
The Bulldogs had the leadoff man on in the ninth, Ayala singling off Webb down the left field line. But Dane Renkert came in to record a pair of strikeouts before getting a groundout to end the game in picking up his third save of the season.
Gonzaga will return to West Coast Conference action with a three-game series this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the University of Portland, then travel to WSU next Tuesday for the final meeting of the season between the teams.
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