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Balanced Attack Lifts Zags Over Lions

May 5, 2007

Box Score

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga (29-21, 12-5 WCC) scored in five innings Saturday to build a 9-2 win over LMU in game two of a three-game West Coast Conference series at Patterson Baseball Complex in Spokane, Wash. In front of nearly 1,000 fans, LMU (20-29-1, 7-10 WCC) struck first but was held scoreless in the final four innings for the second straight day.

The Gonzaga pitching staff of starter Clayton Mortensen and relievers Chris Highmark and CJ McClure kept the LMU offense quiet in the final four innings after the Lions got two early runs off Mortensen.

Mortensen entered the contest ranking in the top-10 in the nation in strikeouts, but could manage only four Saturday against the Lions. The senior right-hander did manage to get the win however, and improved to 7-2 on the season after working 7.1 innings. He held the Lions to the two runs on eight hits.

The Lions took a 1-0 lead in the first inning on back-to-back singles by leadoff hitters Eric Farris and DeAndre Miller.

LMU added another run in the fifth, when the Zags traded a run for an out on a sacrifice bunt by Miller.

Gonzaga was able to push across runs in five different innings, including three in the bottom of the first on a pair of walks and three straight singles off LMU starter Brian Wilson.

Wilson settled to face just three batters in the second, but the Bulldogs scored an unearned run in the third after an error by Farris to go up 4-1.

The Gonzaga lead extended when the Bulldogs scored a combined five runs in the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings, thanks in part to four doubles.

Senior Ezequiel Ruvalcaba entered in the seventh and retired five of the seven batters he faced to work a hitless 1.2 innings. Ruvalcaba, along with left fielder Elvis Herrera, missed their graduation ceremony Saturday to remain with the Lions. Fellow academic seniors Michael Glomb and Daniel Macias will rejoin the Lions for Sunday's game after participating in the commencement exercises on campus Saturday in Los Angeles.

Wilson fell to 4-6 on the season after throwing 5.1 innings and allowing six earned runs on 11 hits. The Lions' sophomore, who shared WCC Pitcher of the Week honors with Mortensen this week, equaled his counterpart's four strikeouts.

Gonzaga's Ryan Wiegand and Aaron McGuinness led all players Saturday, each going 3-for-4.

Offensively for the Lions, Farris and freshman Joe Zeller each had two hits. Miller drove in both of the Lions' runs Saturday.

With five stolen bases so far this series, Farris moved into a tie for fifth place all-time in the LMU career stolen bases rankings, tallying 57 in just his three seasons in a Lion uniform. His 30 stolen bases in 2007 is the most in one season for a Lion since 1984.

The Lions and Bulldogs conclude the three-game WCC series Sunday with a 1:00 p.m. first pitch. Fans can catch the action on www.LMULions.com via both Lions' All-Access audio and Gametracker.