March 1, 2007
LEWISTON, Idaho - - Josh Monroe pitched seven shutout innings as the Gonzaga University baseball team defeated the Air Force Academy 3-1 Thursday in the opening day of the Banana Belt Tournament at Harris Field in Lewiston, Idaho.
Monroe (1-0) started the game for the Bulldogs, throwing 7.0 shutout innings allowing only two hits, while striking out nine. CJ McClure earned his second save of the season in relief, working two innings, allowing one run on two hits. Alex Trusdale threw eight innings in the loss, allowing three runs on 5 hits and two walks, while striking out four.
After a 30 minute game delay to start the game and a 15 min delay following the first inining due to snow and hail, the Zags and Falcons opened the game with both teams remaining scoreless until the fifth inning. In the fifth, Gonzaga's Mark Castellitto smacked the first pitch of the inning to right field for a double. Castellitto was advanced to third on a fly out by Tyson Van Winkle, before scoring on an Air Force wild pitch.
Gonzaga scored the game winning run in the top of the eighth inning Michael Rhodes scored on a sacrifice bunt by Evan Wells. Rhodes was reached base when he was substituted as a pinch runner for Mark Ellis. Ellis singled to lead off the inning, before being replaced by Rhodes. Rhodes then stole second and advanced to third on a fly out by Aaron McGuinness.
The long Air Force run of the game came in the bottom of the ninth frame when Shea Hall scored on a ground out.
The Bulldogs return to action tomorrow when they face Utah Valley State College in the second day of the Banana Belt Tournament in Lewiston. Brandon Harmon is expected to get the start when the game starts at 11 a.m., PST.