March 31, 2007
SPOKANE, Wash. - - The Gonzaga University baseball team fell 4-1 to No. 20 University of San Diego Saturday as a pitching duel between starters Clayton Mortensen and Josh Romanski highlighted the second game of the three-game West Coast Conference series at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field in Spokane. The three-game set is now tied 1-1.
With the loss, the Bulldogs drop to 17-15, 1-1 in WCC play, while the Toreros improve to 23-11, 1-1 in conference action.
Mortensen started the game for Gonzaga, allowing an early run before shutting out San Diego over his remaining six innings on the hill. In total, the senior allowed one run on seven hits and three walks, while striking out five over 7.0 innings of work. Chris Highmark (2-6) suffered the loss for the Zags, allowing three runs on three hits over 1.2 innings. Romanski earned the start for USD, allowing one run on four hits during 7.2 innings on the mound. Taking the win for San Diego was reliever AJ Griffin, who allowed no runs on two hits over 1.1 innings.
Both teams posted runs in the opening frame of the afternoon. San Diego took an early 1-0 lead in its half of the inning, piecing together singles by Jordan Abruzzo and Sean Nicol.
Gonzaga knotted the score 1-1 in the bottom of the first when, with the bases loaded, Romanski balked which forced Evan Wells to score.
Romanski dominated the Bulldogs for a majority of the afternoon, allowing only three hits after the first inning and, at one point, retiring 14 straight batters.
Mortensen allowed four hits after the first frame but was able to hold the Toreros scoreless, including getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning.
San Diego broke the 1-1 tie in the top of the ninth inning with run-scoring singles by Justin Snyder and Abruzzo, as well as a sacrifice fly to right field by Shane Buschini.
The Bulldogs threatened in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases with one out, but was unable to score any runs.
The two teams will meet Sunday in the rubber game of the three-game set. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field.