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Mortensen, Harmon Pitch Bulldogs To Sweep

April 8, 2007

PORTLAND, Ore. - Gonzaga University got a pair of outstanding pitching performances Easter Sunday as the Bulldogs swept the University of Portland 7-4 and 6-0 in a West Coast Conference baseball doubleheader at Joe Etzel Field.

Clayton Mortensen went the distance and struck out 16 as Gonzaga (20-16, 4-2) captured the first game, then turned the ball over to Brandon Harmon who tossed a hitter in a 6-0 victory to complete the sweep.

Mortensen (3-2) scattered six hits, allowed two earned runs and walked two. He finished the game by striking out the side in the ninth. Harmon (5-4) didn't allow a hit until the sixth inning en route to the complete game shutout. He finished the day facing only 33 batters, allowing two hits, walking three and striking out five.

In the opener the teams traded big innings early, the Bulldogs scoring five in the second and the Pilots (14-16, 2-4) coming back with four in the third.

Aaron McGuiness started the scoring the in the second inning with a leadoff homer run, his third of the season. A one-out single by Mike Terry, a walk to Michael Rhodes and an Evan Wells single to center plated Terry with the second run off Portland starter the loser Given Kutz (4-3). Darin Holcomb's single through the left side scored Rhodes with Wells going to third and Holcomb top second on a throwing error by the left fielder. Ryan Wiegand capped the inning with a two-run double down the right flied line.

The Pilots came right back with four runs in the third, most of the damage coming with two out. With two out and runners on second and third, an infield single scored one run. A single to center by Chase Powell chased home another run. Justin Pierce was hit by a pitch to put runners on first and second, and it seemed Mortensen was out of the inning when Jesse Rodgers grounded to short. But Wiegand muffed McGuinness' throw allowing two runs to score.

Gonzaga got insurance runs in the fifth and eighth. Shawn Wayt's single to center scored Dustin Colclough who was aboard on a fielder's choice. In the eighth, Chris Siegfried relieved Kutz and the Bulldogs loaded the bases on a walk, fielder's choice and singles by Brian Winston and Holcomb. Wiegand's sacrifice fly to left scored Wells who had reached on a fielder's choice.

In the nightcap, Gonzaga took a 1-0 lead in the second inning after stringing together three straight one-out singles by Colclough, McGuinness and Wayt, the latter driving home Colclough.

That was all Harmon would need as he allowed just a one-out single in the sixth and an infield single in the ninth.Until the sixth the only baserunners for the Pilots were in the second inning on a hit batter and in the fifth on a leadoff walk.

The Bulldogs pushed the lead to 4-0 in the fourth. Wayt doubled to lead off the inning and advanced to third on a single by Terry. The Bulldogs then attempted a squeeze play, but Rhodes' bunt came directly back to the mound. But Pilots pitcher Sean Sargent's throw to sophomore catcher Paul Crowder was off line and allowed Wayt to score. The Bulldogs followed the throwing error with a sacrifice fly by Winston and an RBI double to center by Holcomb.

Gonzaga completed the scoring in the eighth inning, plating two to provide the 6-0 lead. A walk, error and sacrifice bunt put runners on second and third with one out when Wells put down a sacrifice bunt to score Brandon Blank. A hit batter and a walk set the stage for Wiegand's bases-loaded walk for the final run.

The Bulldogs will be at Washington State University on Tuesday for a non-conference game.