Bulldog Offense Backs Gonzales' Gem Outing In 7-5 Win
May 28, 2011
SPOKANE, Wash. - Billy Moon had three hits but his sliding catch deep in the left field foul territory with the bases loaded in the ninth inning secured the Gonzaga University baseball team's 7-5 come-from-behind victory over the University of San Francisco Saturday afternoon.
The Bulldogs (32-18-1, 15-5 West Coast Conference), who suffered a 4-2 series-opening loss to the Dons (30-23, 15-5 WCC) Friday, got the win they needed to have the WCC championship be decided in the rubber match Sunday, which starts at 1 p.m.
Bulldogs freshman Marco Gonzales (12-2) set a career-high of 12 strikeouts in 8 2/3 innings and allowed five runs on eight hits and a walk. Gonzales couldn't complete what would have been his fifth complete-game but Cody Martin backed the Bulldogs starter for his 11th save of the season.
Gonzaga's 15-hit barrage was led by Moon and Clayton Eslick, who also had three hits and a RBI. Moon and Cameron Edman, who drove in two runs, both recorded a double while Keegan Acker hit a key triple to provide somewhat of an offensive spark mid-way through the game.
The Bulldogs saw themselves trailing very early in the game. After striking out the side in the first inning, Gonzales allowed a leadoff double followed by back-to-back one-out singles and a two-out RBI double to give the Dons a 3-0 lead.
The Dons added a little bit of breathing room with a leadoff home run in the seventh to take a 4-2 lead but it was the Bulldogs who did the most damage in that inning.
After Keegan Acker flied out to center field to lead off the inning, the heart of the Bulldogs batting order started the hitting explosion they were looking for in the series. Tyler Chism started the explosion with a single up the middle. Moon hit a fly to left field but the fielder's diving effort came up short which gave the left-handed hitter a double and two runners in scoring position for the Bulldogs. With no help from the wind, Edman hit a hard fly toward left field that hit the fence and although he had to settle with a double, it was enough drive in the two runners and tie the game 4-4. The Bulldogs did more damage with three consecutive singles by Royce Bolinger, Eslick and Hunter to take a 7-4 lead. The Dons got out of the inning with back-to-back ground outs to the shortstop.
Gonzales retired eight-straight before surrendering back-to-back two-out singles in the ninth. As Bulldogs head coach Mark Machtolf signaled for his senior closer Martin, Gonzales received a well-deserved standing ovation from the 904 people in attendance.
The Dons continued to put up a fight even though they were down to their final out. The first batter Martin faced singled to right field over Chism's head to bring in the Dons fifth run. Martin would load the bases with a walk but the next batter hit a fly deep in the left field foul territory, where Moon made the sliding catch.
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