April 4, 2006
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.
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.