April 22, 2007
SPOKANE, Wash. - - Junior Brandon Blank recorded four hits, going a perfect 4-for-4, Sunday as the Gonzaga University baseball team completed a three-game sweep of West Coast Conference foe Saint Mary's College with a 10-4 victory at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. Blank highlighted a group of five Bulldogs that recorded multiple hits in the contest.
The victory improves the Zags to 26-18 overall, including 9-3 in conference play. The victory also sealed the fourth consecutive WCC series win this season for Gonzaga, as well as the first conference series sweep. The Gaels fall to 16-23-1 for the season with the loss and 0-12 in league play.
Josh Monroe (6-2), who started the game for the Bulldogs, earned the win allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk while striking out three over 5.0 innings on the mound. Matt Fields threw three shutout innings out of the bullpen for the Zags, while Jeremy Stumetz closed out the game allowing one run in one inning of work. Saint Mary's starter Taylor Stanton (1-3) allowed five runs on six hits over 3.1 innings en route to earning the loss.
Gonzaga scored often in the contest, scoring in six innings. The Zags posted the first run of the game in the second inning when Ryan Wiegand hit his second home run in as many days and his fifth of the season. The sophomore led off the frame with a solo shot to right field to give the Bulldogs an early 1-0 advantage.
Blank led off the third with his first of two doubles on the afternoon before scoring on a single by Darin Holcomb. Holcomb and Bryan Winston, who drew a walk to reach base, would later come home on a single to center field by Aaron McGuinness to extend Gonzaga's lead to 4-0.
The Gaels posted two runs in the top half of the fourth frame on run-scoring singles by Anthony Aliotti and Ian Gordan to narrow the Zags' lead to 4-2. Gonzaga answered Saint Mary's in the bottom of the inning when Blank, who reached on his second double of the day, scored on a sacrifice fly by Winston.
Following a Saint Mary's run in the top of the fifth, the Zags scored two more in the bottom of the inning to post a 7-3 advantage. Wiegand, who reached on a Gaels throwing error, scored the first run when he was plated on a single by McGuinness. McGuinness then scored on an infield single by Wells.
Saint Mary's threatened to narrow the score in the top of the sixth when, with one man on and two outs, J.P. Musgrove hit a hard shot to left field. The ball appeared to be hit out of the park, until Gonzaga left fielder Shawn Wayt jumped up, caught the ball with his glove over the wall, to rob Musgrove of a home run.
The Zags capped their scoring with a three-run eighth inning, combining four hits, including back-to-back run-scoring doubles by Holcomb and Wiegand.
Saint Mary's finalized the score at 10-4 with a run in the ninth. The lone inning run was plated on a triple to right field by Kenny Fuglerud.
In addition to Blank's four hit performance, Wells, Holcomb, Wiegand and McGuinness posted multiple-hits for the Zags. Wiegand and McGuinness posted three hits a piece, while Wells and Holcomb each recorded two. Wiegand led the Bulldogs for the three-game series, hitting at a .583 clip with seven hits, including a pair of doubles and home runs, five runs scored and five runs batted in.
The Bulldogs will fit the field again Tuesday when they round-out a four-game season series with regional rival Washington State University. The game is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. first pitch in Pullman, Wash.