{{ article.title }}

Zags Nip Dons In Comeback Thriller

April 23, 2006

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga used timely hitting and a late-inning rally to come from behind and defeat San Francisco in the rubber match of a three game series, 9-8, Sunday afternoon.

Trailing 7-5 in the bottom of the seventh inning, senior Bobby Carlson stepped to the plate with two outs and a runner on first and cranked a two-run homer that plated freshman designated hitter Ryan Wiegand from first. Carlson's game-tying home run was his seventh dinger of the year.

In the top half of the eighth the Dons were able to score one run off reliever Brandon Harmon to take an 8-7 lead heading into the bottom of the eighth.

Facing a one run deficit, Gonzaga was able to move two runners into scoring position after a lead-off single by Aaron McGuiness and an error by Dons pitcher John Quine that allowed pinch-hitter Alex Parrott to reach first. A wild pitch then moved the runners to second and third. With one down, sophomore third baseman Darin Holcomb picked up a game-tying RBI with a sharp single to right field, scoring McGuinness and advancing Parrott to third. With runners on the corners and one out, the Bulldogs batting average leader, Scott Campbell stepped to the plate. With the score tied at 8-8, Campbell hit a fly ball to the center fielder that was just deep enough to score a tagging Parrott from third on a sac fly.

The sacrifice fly proved to be the difference, though San Francisco had a close call in the top of the ninth. After a leadoff single by pinch-hitter Zach Kim, and a sac bunt that advanced Kim to second, there was one down for center fielder Lucas DeLong. With a runner at second, DeLong crushed a ball to deep left field, but the ball somehow managed to stay in the park as Alex Parrott made a sure-handed catch a foot from the fence to secure the second out. Brandon Harmon got the final Dons batter on a pop-up to right fielder Zach Woodward to end the game.

Campbell struggled throughout the series, going 0-10, dropping his average to below .400, but remarkably was able to drive in 3 runs Sunday afternoon without the benefit of a hit. The junior from Auckland, New Zealand, hit sac flies in the 3rd and 8th, and picked up an RBI in the 5th on an infield groundout with the bases loaded.

Harmon, who came on in the 4th inning for Jay Bryner, pitched 5.2 innings of relief and struck out four batters to pick up his second win of the season. Bryner was credited with a no decision in his first start of the year.

The win improves the Bulldogs record to 26-15, and 7-5 in WCC play. Gonzaga now sits a game back from first place St. Mary's (8-4), and are tied for second with Pepperdine, San Diego, and San Francisco, each boasting similar 7-5 marks.

The Bulldogs will continue their home stand on Tuesday night with a 6:30 game against Washington State at Avista Stadium