Courtesy Gonzaga athletics
SPOKANE, Wash. – The Gonzaga University baseball team posted six runs in the first inning giving starting pitcher Marco Gonzales more than enough breathing room as the Zags prevailed over 25th-ranked University of San Diego 6-2 Friday night at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. Gonzales (4-1) hurled seven strong innings allowing just one run while striking out nine batters from a very potent Toreros lineup.
With win, Gonzaga improves to 13-6-1 overall and 3-1 in West Coast Conference play. The defeat is the first WCC loss for San Diego as they fall to 14-7 overall and 3-1 WCC.
San Diego scored the first run of the game in its first at bat with a Connor Joe RBI single up the middle but the Gonzaga attack would quickly respond in the bottom half of the inning.
Torero starter Michael Wagner (1-2) walked Mitchell Gunsolus to start what would be a six run inning for the Zags. After the walk, Cory LeBrun connected for a double to right field to put runners on second and third base. The next batter Clayton Eslick hit what appeared to a fly out to center field but the fielder misjudged the ball as it hit the outside of his glove allowing Eslick to reach on the error and a run to score.
Billy Moon would next reach base after being hit by a pitch opening the door for a Brock Slavin RBI single to left center. With no outs and bases loaded the Bulldogs had a 2-0 lead.
San Diego would record its first out but Caleb Wood got the Zags bats going again with a single to right field to bring home another run. Cabe Reiten followed with a 2 RBI double to the third base side putting GU up 5-0.
Travis Forbes brought in the last run with a sacrifice fly to center. When the first inning was done, Gonzaga led 6-1 on four hits.
The lead was enough for Gonzales who has pitched past the sixth inning in five consecutive starts.
The Toreros would threaten in the top of the ninth with another run and bases loaded and two outs but Arturo Reyes struck out Joe to bring home the win.
Game two of the Gonzaga and San Diego series is Saturday at 6 p.m.