Feb. 11, 2007
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - Clayton Mortensen's stellar pitching performance led the Gonzaga University baseball team to its first victory of the 2007 season Sunday, with a 3-2 victory over UC Riverside at the Sports Complex in Riverside, Calif.
With the win, the Zags snap a five game losing-streak and improve to 1-4 on the season. The loss marked the first of the season for the Highlanders who fell to 5-1 overall.
Mortensen (1-1) earned his first win of the season, throwing a complete game, allowing two runs, one earned, on six hits and three walks, while striking out a career-high 11. The senior held UC Riverside hitless until the fifth inning and held it scoreless until the seventh.
The 11 strikeouts mark the first time since the 2003 season that a Bulldog pitcher has struck out 10 or more batters. Former Zag, Eric Dwokis struck out 10 batters during 14-0 shutout over Saint Mary's on May 3, 2003.
Taking the loss for UC Riverside was Dan Runzler (0-1). In his first outing of the season, Runzler allowed three runs on four hits while walking four and striking out eight.
The Zags jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the third inning. Evan Wells walked to lead off the frame and was scored during the next at-bat when Aaron McGuinness doubled to right center. Two batters later, Ryan Wiegand singled to left field to plate McGuinness.
Gonzaga added the eventual winning run in its half of the sixth inning when Wiegand, who led off the inning with a double, was scored on a double to right center by Mark Castellitto.
UC Riverside rallied in the seventh scoring two runs. The Highlanders' took advantage of a Gonzaga throwing error and a run-scoring single to fall short of trying the game.
Wiegand led the Bulldogs for the weekend with a .462 batting average. The first baseman went 6-for-13 with six runs batted in and one run scored.
The Bulldogs will hit the field again next weekend, when they defend their 2006 tournament title at the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic in Surprise, Ariz. The weekend will pose three difficult games against three teams that participated in the 2006 NCAA postseason. Friday, the Zags will face off against defending national champion Oregon State University at 2 p.m., PST. Saturday, Gonzaga will match-up with the University of Missouri, a participant in the super regionals last season, at 10 a.m., PST. In the weekend finale on Sunday, Gonzaga will face Arizona State University at 1 p.m., PST. Last season, the Sun Devils reached the postseason, but fell in the regionals.