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WCC Baseball Recaps - 4/4

April 4, 2006

Gonzaga - 6
Washington State - 2

PULLMAN, Wash. - Gonzaga University ran its winning streak to eight games on Tuesday with a 6-2 win at Washington State University, but the real news was the Bulldogs defense.

Gonzaga turned triple plays against the Cougars in both the second and third innings.

The first came in the second inning. Simi Reynolds had given the Cougars a 2-0 lead with a RBI single that left runners on first and second. Zach Franklin lined to first baseman Bobby Carlson who stepped on the bag for the second out and threw to shortstop Aaron McGuinness covering second to complete the triple killing.

One inning later the Cougars again had runners on first and second when the Bulldogs duplicated the feat of an inning earlier - Jay Miller lining to Carlson who stepped on the bag and again threw to McGuinness to complete the triple play.

The NCAA record book does not list records for triple plays in a game.

After the Cougars took the 2-0 lead with single runs in each of the first two innings off Gonzaga starter and winner Bobby McEwen who ran his record to 4-1, the Bulldogs greeted WSU reliever Josh Williamson, the third Cougar pitcher of the night, with a rally that resulted in five fifth-inning runs.

A walk and two singles loaded the bases quickly off Williamson (1-2). Jackson Brennan got the Bulldogs on the scoreboard with a RBI groundout to third and Darin Holcomb plated two runs with a single up the middle as he extended his hitting streak to nine games. Another groundout made it 4-2 and Ryan Wiegand, who had struck out his first two times, extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a single to center for the fifth run.

Gonzaga added another run in the sixth. Zach Woodward led off with a single through the left side, went to second on a passed ball and scored on Alex Parrott's single up the middle.

The Bulldogs have now won 10 of their last 11 games, the only loss in that stretch a 15-3 setback to the Cougars on March 18 in the Pepsi/Johnny Quick Tournament in Fresno, Calif. The win evened the season series between the two clubs at 2-2 and the teams have identical 21-10 records.

Gonzaga, the only team to sweep the opening weekend of West Coast Conference play last weekend, returns to conference action at home with a 3-game set against Santa Clara University (1-2). The series begins Friday at 3 p.m. at Avista Stadium.

Washington - 11
Portland - 10

SEATTLE, Wash. - The Washington Huskies scored twice in the bottom of the eighth inning to top the Portland Pilots 11-10 in a non-conference baseball game Tuesday night at Husky Ballpark. All nine Portland starters got a hit as the Pilots, who also hit three home runs, totaled 12 hits for the game. The loss drops the Pilots to 10-18 overall (0-3, WCC), while UW improves to 21-11 (3-3, Pac-10).

With one out and the game tied 9-9 in the top of the eighth inning, UP freshman Sean Nicol scored when Washington center fielder Matt Hague dropped a Paul Crowder fly ball. Husky reliever Elliott Cribby then got sophomore Danny Meier to strike out and junior Adam Kerr to pop out, ending the inning and the threat.

In the bottom of the eighth, Portland reliever Brian Yoakum got Trevor Peterson to lead off the inning with a fly out to center. UP reliever Austin Dirkx then took the mound after Danny Cox reached on an infield single. Dirkx struck out Kyle Conley looking, before Ryan Anderson singled up the middle making it runners on first and second with two outs. Hague then knocked in the tying run with a single to right-center field. Anderson also scored on the play, after the ball was misplayed by UP center fielder Justin Ehlers. Dirkx (1-3) was saddled with his third loss of the season.

Cribby (4-2) picked up the win for Washington, while Tim Lincecum retired the side in order in the top of the ninth to pick up his first save of the season.

UW used six pitchers in the game. Portland countered with four.

The Pilots took an early lead as Nicol led off the game with a solo home run to left field, extending his hitting streak to 10 games.

Portland added three more in the second to take the early 4-0 lead. With two outs, Ehlers knocked in a run by following sophomore Cory Wiltshire's triple with a double. Ehlers, who had advanced to third on a passed ball, then scored on a throwing error by the shortstop. A few batters later with runners on the corners, Meier knocked in a run with a single to left. Two of the three runs were unearned.

Trailing 4-1 in the fourth inning, the Huskies put up four to take a 5-4 lead. Zach Clem and Trevor Peterson each had a two-run home run during the inning.

The UW lead was short-lived as the Pilots put up four runs of their own in the top of the fifth. Portland again did all of the damage with two outs. Two scored, one earned and the other on an error by the center fielder, on an RBI single by senior Travis Vetters. Junior Jesse Rodgers followed Vetters with a two-run blast that cleared the right field wall, making it 8-5.

The Huskies answered with two solo home runs, from Hague and Matt Lane, in the bottom half of the inning to make the score 8-7.

Meier answered with his team-leading fifth home run of the season in the top of the sixth. Meier's solo blast to center field made it a 9-7 Portland lead.

The UW homer parade wasn't finished. After scoring a run on an RBI ground out by Lane in the bottom of the seventh, Clem hit his third home run of the game. The solo shot tied the game at 9-9.

Nicol finished 2-for-5 with three runs and an RBI. Meier was 2-for-5 with 2 RBI's and a run, while Vetters went 2-for-5 with an RBI and one run scored.

Both teams committed three errors.

The Pilots return to WCC play with a three-game series against San Diego at Joe Etzel Field this weekend. The Pilots and Toreros play at 3 p.m. on Friday and at 1 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.

Saint Mary's at Nevada Postponed

Reno, NV - The non-conference baseball game scheduled for Tuesday, April 4 against Nevada has been postponed due to unsafe travel conditions. The Game has yet to be rescheduled. The game marks the fifth contest that has been postponed due to inclement weather this season.

Saint Mary's will continue West Coast Conference play this weekend when the Gaels head south to face the LMU Lions. The first game is scheduled for Friday, April 7 with first pitch slated for 2 p.m. from George C. Page Stadium.

California at Santa Clara Postponed

Santa Clara, Calif. - Rain has once again wreaked havoc on the Santa Clara baseball team as the game that was scheduled for today with California was postponed. The game will now be slated for a 6 p.m. start time on Wednesday at Schott Stadium.

The Santa Clara baseball team (17-13, 1-2 WCC) returns home Monday, April 10 to host the Stanford Cardinal (13-11, 2-4 Pac-10) before opening a three-game home series against the No. 22 Pepperdine Waves (20-13, 1-2 WCC) Thursday night at 7 p.m. Tickets are available by calling (408) 554-4660 or by visiting the Leavey Center ticket office.