May 13, 2006
SAN DIEGO, Calif. - The University of San Diego baseball team held off a late Gonzaga University rally in the ninth inning to even the West Coast Conference series with the Bulldogs Saturday afternoon with an 11-7 win at Cunningham Stadium.
With the win, the Toreros move to 31-22 overall and 12-8 in the WCC and gave head coach Rich Hill his 200th-career WCC win to make him only the third skipper in the history of the conference to achieve this honor. With the loss, the Bulldogs fall to 28-22 overall and 9-11 in the WCC.
With USD leading 6-4 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, the Toreros bats came alive as they put up five runs on four hits. Keoni Ruth got things rolling as he hit a high chopper to the second baseman, and was able to beat out the throw at first base. Ruth then advanced one base on a bad throw by the GU second baseman to give USD a runner in scoring position with one out. After the Zags intentionally walked Jordan Abruzzo, Josh Romanski made the Zags pay as he brought in Ruth with an RBI single up the middle. After Shane Buschini singled up the middle to load the bases, Ryan Lilly pushed across the next run with a walk. Designated hitter David Harris brought Romanski home as he reached on a fielder's choice, with Lilly being throw out at second base and moving Buschini to third base. Kevin Hansen brought in the final two runs of the inning on a single to left field giving USD a seven-run advantage.
The Bulldogs then gave the Toreros a brief scare in the top of the ninth inning as with two outs, Gonzaga was able to push across three runs to cut into the Toreros deficit. GU's runs came on back-to-back doubles by Ryan Weigand and Dustin Colclough. Then with runners at first and second, Gonzaga appeared to have the momentum, but freshman relief pitcher Romanski put an end to it with a strikeout to Shawn Wayt, preserving the win for USD.
USD would score two runs in each of the first, fourth and seventh innings and Gonzaga would score one run in each of the fourth and fifth innings and two runs in the seventh inning to round out the scoring for the day.
Offensively for USD, Ruth and Buschini both had a solid day at the plate with Ruth going 3-for-3 with two RBI, one double and two runs scored and Buschini went 3-for-5 with one RBI and one run scored.
Anthony Slama (2-0) picked up his second win of the season as he allowed three runs on five hits in 2.0 innings of work. Matt Fields (0-1) was saddled with the loss for the Bulldogs as he allowed one run on two hits in 1.1 innings of work.
The Toreros will return to action on Sunday in a rubber game with the Bulldogs at Cunningham Stadium with a game time set for 1 p.m.