March 25, 2007
Spokane, Wash. - Darin Holcomb and Brandon Harmon highlighted efforts of the Gonzaga University baseball team Sunday, as the Bulldogs spilt a doubleheader with Utah Valley State College at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field in Spokane. The Zags dropped the first game 9-8, while blanking the Wolverines 5-0 in the second game.
With the win in the late game, Gonzaga improved to 16-13 for the season and also avoided the series sweep by Utah Valley State, which fell to 7-15 overall. The two teams were forced to play a doubleheader Sunday when Saturday's scheduled match-up was called on the account of rain.
Harmon (3-4) posted the second complete-game shutout of the week for a Gonzaga pitcher with the victory in the second game of the doubleheader. Harmon allowed five hits while striking out eight over 9.0 innings on the mound. Dan Christensen (1-3), who also threw a complete game, took the loss, allowing five runs on nine hits while posting five strikeouts.
Clayton Mortensen (2-2) started game one for the Zags but earned the no decision in 7.0 innings, allowing five runs, four earned on a dozen hits. Jeremy Stumetz (1-1) suffered the loss, allowing four unearned runs on two hits in two innings of work. Earning the win in the game was Turreal Moore (1-1) allowing two runs on five hits over 5.0 innings of relief action.
Holcomb went 5-for-10 for the day including three home runs, six runs batted in and four runs scored. Holcomb hit a three-run shot in the first game before posting long balls in consecutive at-bats in the late match-up. The third baseman became the first Bulldog to hit home runs in back-to-back at-bats since Nate Gold accomplished the feat during the 2002 season.
Gonzaga jumped out to an early 6-0 lead after the opening two frames of the first game thanks to run-scoring hits in the first by Ryan Wiegand and Dustin Colclough, while a one-run double by Evan Wells and Holcomb's three run homer highlighted the second inning. The Zags posted an additional run in the sixth inning on an infield single by Bryan Winston.
Utah Valley State chipped away at the Bulldogs' lead throughout the game, posting one run in the third, fifth and sixth innings. The Wolverines combined a pair of doubles down the left field line in the seventh to narrow the score to 7-5. Derrick Thomas hit the first grand slam at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field in the top of the eighth to lift UVSC over the Zags 9-7.
The Bulldogs had two more opportunities to capture the victory but were only able to drive home one run in the eighth on a double to right center by Wiegand. Gonzaga left the bases loaded to end the eighth and stranded two men on base, one in scoring position, to end the game.
In the second game, Holcomb got the Bulldogs out to a 2-0 lead in the first frame with his second home run of the afternoon that also scored Wells, who walked to lead off the inning.
Gonzaga posted one run in the second on a double to center by Mike Terry before Holcomb added his second home run of the game, third of the day, with a solo shot to left field.
The Zags finalized the score 5-0 with a run-scoring single to center by Aaron McGuinness that plated Holcomb, who reached base on a single to left center.
The Bulldogs will continue its 12-game home stand this week with four games at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. Gonzaga will play a mid-week game against Lewis-Clark State College Tuesday before opening West Coast Conference play with a three-game home series against No. 21 University of San Diego that begins Friday at 3 p.m.