Bulldogs Drop Series Opener At San Diego
April 23, 2010
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – Andy Hunter recorded two hits and Clayton Eslick drove in two runs for Gonzaga University who dropped the first game of its West Coast Conference series with University of San Diego 9-4 Friday afternoon.
Gonzaga (13-25-1, 2-4-1 WCC) built a 3-1 lead after two innings but the Toreros (21-15, 7-0 WCC) posted eight runs in the middle innings to take the series-opener.
Heid led off the game with his fourth triple of the season and the 13th in his career, tying him for third on Gonzaga’s all-time career triples list with Larry Patterson. Heid came across later in the inning on a San Diego passed ball to give the Zags the early 1-0 lead. Eslick followed with an opposite field single down the left field line that saw Hunter score all the way from first to push the Bulldogs lead to 2-0.
USD picked up a run in their half of the first on a two-out RBI-single off of Gonzaga starter Cody Martin but the Zags came right back to regain a two-run lead with a run in the second inning. Cameron Edman opened the frame with a single to left field and later moved up to second base on a Kevin Hawk ground out. Ernesto Ortiz was then hit by a pitch and Heid reached on a USD error to load the bases. Steven Halcomb picked up the RBI on the next play as his fielder’s choice ground ball to the shortstop saw the Toreros only get Heid at second on the play, allowing Edman to come across and make it 3-1 Bulldogs.
Martin returned to the form the Bulldogs have been accustomed to seeing their ace in, sitting the Toreros down in the order in the second and third innings. San Diego took advantage of a Gonzaga miscue to put up three runs in the fourth. With two runners on, a pitch got away from GU catcher Hawk, allowing both runners to move up to second and third before a base-hit brought home both USD runners. Following another a single, the Toreros picked up another RBI base-hit to bring across the inning’s third run to take a 4-3 lead.
The Toreros went on to add three more runs in the fifth followed by a two-run sixth to build a 9-3 lead. Gonzaga struggled to get things going against USD starter Kyle Bliar after posting the three runs in the first two innings. Blair held the Zags scoreless in the third through seventh innings before his night ended after the Bulldogs fourth and final run came across with two outs in the eighth. Blair finished the game with 12 strikeouts in 7.2 innings.
Gonzaga added a run in the eighth inning as Mark Castellitto came across on a ground ball off the bat of Eslick for his second RBI of the game. After the Zags run came across in the eighth, USD went to its bullpen to record the final out of the eighth and a scoreless ninth to preserve the 9-4 win.
Martin (4-4) took the loss while striking out three in 6.1 innings. Ryan Leahy fired 1.2 scoreless innings of work out of the bullpen for the Zags.
The Bulldogs and Toreros continue their three-game series 1 p.m. Saturday before they close out the series 1 p.m. Sunday.
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