May 11, 2007
MALIBU, Calif. - - The Gonzaga University opened a crucial three-game West Coast Conference series with No. 17 Pepperdine University with a 5-3 victory Friday at Eddy D. Field Stadium in Malibu, Calif. The Zags, who posted three runs in the ninth to secure the win, now need to post one more victory this weekend in order to secure second place finish and a spot in the WCC Championship.
The Bulldogs improve to 31-21 overall and 14-5 in league play with the victory, while the Waves fall to 31-18 and 10-6 against WCC opponents.
Gonzaga relief pitcher Jeremy Stumetz (4-1) earned the win, allowing no runs on two hits over 1.1 innings of work. Starter Josh Monroe posted a solid outing for the Bulldogs, allowing three runs, two earned, on eight hits during 7.2 innings on the mound. Pepperdine starter Barry Enright (11-3) suffered the loss, throwing 8.0 innings giving up four runs, three earned, on 11 hits while striking out a career-high nine.
The Waves jumped on the board early, posting runs in both the second and third innings, to take a 2-0 lead. In the second, Chase d'Arnaud led off the inning with an infield single before advancing on a fielding error and bunt before eventually scoring on a sacrifice fly to right by Denny Duron. The run in the third was drove home thanks to a single to right by d'Arnaud to score Eric Thames, who reached on a fielders' choice.
Gonzaga knotted the score 2-2 with a pair of runs in the top of the fourth frame. Darin Holcomb led off the inning with a bunt single before advancing to second on a single through the left side by Dustin Colclough. Holcomb then scored on a double to right center by Shawn Wayt that also found Colclough at third. Colclough scored during the next at-bat thanks to a fielding error by the Waves' shortstop.
Pepperdine regained the lead with a run in the bottom of the eighth thanks to a run-scoring double to left center by Travis Tartamella.
Down a run in the top of the ninth inning, the Bulldogs rallied, scoring three runs on five hits, to take the 5-3 lead. Aaron McGuinness and Wayt opened the inning with back-to-back singles before pinch hitter Ben Greenslitt loaded the bases with a bunt single. McGuinness then beat out a play at home on a sacrifice fly to right by pinch hitter Mark Castellitto to tie the game at three. Wayt and Greenslitt would both eventually score on close plays at the plate, thanks to singles by Bryan Winston and Holcomb to give the Zags the game winning runs.
Holcomb finished the afternoon going 4-for-5 with a run batted in and a run scored. Winston and Wayt also posted multiple-hits for the Bulldogs with two a piece.
Gonzaga will look to secure a spot in the conference championship Saturday when it faces Pepperdine in the second game of the three-game set. Clayton Mortensen (7-2) is expected to get the start for the Zags in the 1 p.m. start.