March 15, 2007
Spokane, Wash. - Gonzaga University opened its new baseball facility, Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field, on a winning note Thursday, defeating Rider University 9-4 in the first game at the new ballpark.
With the victory the Bulldogs improve to 12-10, while Rider slips to 2-8 overall.
Gonzaga pitcher Josh Monroe (3-0) earned the win as well as many firsts in the new ballpark. Monroe, who opened the game and the stadium with a strike for the first pitch, pitched 6.0 innings, allowing eight hits on three runs, all earned, while striking out six, including the first batter faced during the game. Chris Highmark earned his first save of the season after throwing three innings while allowing only one run. Rider starter Jimmer Kennedy (0-2) took the loss after allowing six runs on eight hits in 4.0 innings of work.
Rider's James Hayes recorded in the first hit at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field with a single in the first inning. After allowing the single, Monroe retired seven straight batters.
In the Bulldogs' half of the first inning, the second batter of the inning Bryan Winston posted the first Gonzaga hit at the new facility. The Zags would then piece together singles by Darin Holcomb and Dustin Colclough to drive home Winston for the first run of the game.
Gonzaga took advantage of an error in the third inning to extend its lead to 4-0. Winston scored on the throwing error when the Broncs' pitcher tried to pick off Holcomb, who reached on a single, at first .Holcomb then scored on a fly out to center field by Ryan Wiegand. Colclough then made Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field by hitting the first home run at the new facility. The catcher blasted a solo shot to left center to extend the Bulldogs' lead to 4-0.
The Broncs added a run in the top of the fourth when David Hayes hit a solo home run to left.
The Zags posted two more runs in the fourth inning to bring the score to 6-1. Aaron McGuinness, who singled to lead off the inning, scored with Winston hit into a fielders' choice that found Evan Wells out at second. Winston then scored on a single up the middle by Holcomb.
Rider added two more runs in the top of the fifth to narrow the score to 6-3. The two runs were plated on a double by Jeff Reynolds and an infield single by Brad States.
The Zags added their final three runs in the fifth inning. The first run was scored when Wiegand, who opened the inning with a walk, scored on a throwing error by the Rider third baseman. Mike Terry, who reached on the error, was then plated on a double to right field. The next batter, Michael Rhodes, then drove home McGuinness with a single to center.
The Broncs added their final run in the top of the ninth inning thanks to a single up the middle by Garrett Rugg.
The Zags will host Rider again Friday in the second game of the three-game series. Brandon Harmon is expected to get the start for Gonzaga. The game is scheduled for 2 p.m. at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field.