Baseball Sweeps Saturday Double Dip At Loyola Marymount
April 19, 2003
LOS ANGELES - Gonzaga University (17-20-1, 6-12 WCC) ended a five-game West Coast Conference losing skid in grand fashion Saturday afternoon as the Bulldogs swept a WCC double-header from West Division leading Loyola Marymount University (22-19, 9-9 WCC). The Bulldogs rallied for a 4-3 win in the first game before exploding for a 11-4 win in the nightcap.
In the first game of the day left fielder David Johnson provided the offensive heroics for the Bulldogs as he drove home three runs during Gonzaga's 4-3 victory.
With the Bulldogs trailing 3-2 in the top of the ninth Johnson connected for a two-run home run against Lions relief pitcher Stephen Kahn (3-4). Jeff Culpepper scored on the blast after drawing a lead off walk against Lions starter Kyle Huddy. Huddy had held Gonzaga to just three hits through eight-plus innings.
Ed Clelland (3-3) pitched into the ninth for Gonzaga before John Gonzalez closed the door with a Billy Lockin fly out to right with two outs and the tying run on third. Gonzalez picked up this third save of the season with his third of an inning.
A Jonathan Oller two-run home run in the fourth had given the Lions an early 2-0 lead and Lockin scored the third run in the bottom of the eighth as he scored on a ball hit by Jonathan Higashi that was misplayed by the Zags infield.
Gonzaga earlier tied the game in the seventh with two runs, one unearned. Sam Hess had a single to left that allowed Gordon Corder to score from second as the LMU left fielder misplayed the ball. Johnson drove home the next run on a fielder's choice.
Culpepper had two of the Bulldogs four hits in the first game while James Cooper had two hits for LMU.
In the nightcap Gonzaga blew out to a 6-0 lead behind three Bulldog home runs in the early innings against Loyola Marymount starter Justin Abreu (5-2).
Jeff Culpepper kept the long ball coming in the third as he hit a solo shot to centerfield. Eric Rodland capped the Bulldogs early scoring when his RBI single in the fourth pushed Gonzaga out to a 6-0 advantage.
Bulldogs starter Eric Dworkis (5-4) kept the Lions in check during five innings of work as he struck out nine. Dworkis gave way to the Zags bullpen in the sixth and LMU was able to make the game interesting.
LMU scored one run in the fifth on a Jonathan Oller sacrifice fly before Billy Lockin added a sacrifice fly in the sixth. Catcher Brady Koch then closed the Bulldogs lead to 6-4 in the seventh as he singled up the middle to score two more LMU runners.
Gonzaga bounced back in the top half of the eighth as shortstop Nick Froman singled up the middle with bases loaded to score two Bulldogs and extend the lead to 8-4. Gonzaga added some insurance runs in the ninth as Corder collected his second hit of the game, a two-run double down the left field line. Chris Sinner drove home the final Gonzaga run with a double to score Corder.
Danny Evans led the Bulldogs with three hits in the second game as Corder drove home four runs with a 2-for-5 day. Gonzaga had 16 hits in the second game after being handcuffed with only four hits in the morning contest. Jonathan Higashi had three hits in the loss for LMU.
Gonzaga returns to action on Monday afternoon when they host Whitworth College at 4 p.m. The game will take place at Spokane Falls Community College after Gonzaga started construction on its new basketball and baseball facility last week. Directions to the baseball field at SFCC can be found on the Gonzaga Athletics website. The Bulldogs will also host San Diego at SFCC next weekend with Friday's game starting at 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday games are still slated for 1 p.m. starts.
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