March 31, 2006
SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga won a thrilling, extra-inning battle with Portland, 8-7, to open West Coast Conference play Friday afternoon.
With the score knotted at 5-5, Portland knocked out two runs to take the lead in the top of the 10th inning. Pilot second baseman Sean Nicol picked up his fifth hit of the game by doubling in center fielder Justin Ehlers. With the infield in, Portland scored their second run of the inning on a bloop single down the right field line.
Facing a two-run deficit in the 10th, Gonzaga right fielder Alex Parrott walked. Senior center fielder Jackson Brennan laced his third hit of the game off the wall in left center for a stand-up double. A sacrifice fly by sophomore Darin Holcomb knocked in Parrott, advancing Brennan to third. With one out, second baseman Scott Campbell stepped in and snuck a double down the left field line to tie the game. After an intentional walk to Wiegand, and a strike out by Carlson, catcher Dustin Colclough came to the plate. With runners on first and second and two down, Colclough connected on a hard line drive that was misplayed by Portland leftfielder Adam Kerr resulting in Campbell scoring the winning run from second.
Colclough finished the game 3-6 with 3 RBI.
The Bulldogs had taken a 5-4 lead into the eighth inning, before allowing the tying run on a sacrifice fly. Gonzaga had a great opportunity to retake the lead in the bottom half of the inning with the bases loaded and one out. The Bulldogs were unable to capitalize as the Pilots got designated hitter Ryan Wiegand and first baseman Bobby Carlson to pop out to end the inning.
The Bulldogs grabbed an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first as centerfielder Jackson Brennan crushed his 8th homerun of the season over the wall in left. Brennan would later add a second homerun and a double to go with 2 RBI and 3 runs scored.
Campbell, a junior from Auckland, New Zealand, picked up three more hits and an RBI against Portland, improving his average to .414 this season.
Brandon Harmon pitched four and a third innings of relief, striking out four batters. The sophomore right-hander from Spokane picked up the win for the Bulldogs, his first victory of the season.
With the win Gonzaga's record now stands at 18-10, 1-0 in conference play. The Bulldogs will continue their series against the Pilots at Avista Stadium, Saturday at 1pm.