May 27, 2007
San Diego, Calif. - The Gonzaga University baseball team was unable to capture the West Coast Conference Championship title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament Sunday, falling in the third game of the best-of-three series 13-1 to fifth-ranked University of San Diego at Cunningham Stadium in San Diego. The Zags will now await the announcement of the 64-team NCAA Regional field, as they wait to see if they will receive an at-large selection. The selection show will be aired live Monday at 9:30 a.m. on ESPN.
The loss drops Gonzaga to 33-25 for the season, while the Toreros improve to 43-16 overall. Earlier in the day, San Diego was named as a host site for the national tournament, and as a result a spot becomes one of the 64-teams to earn a selection to the tournament.
The Zags' starter Josh Monroe (6-4) suffered the loss going 2.2 innings allowing eight runs on 10 hits with one strikeout. San Diego starter Matt Couch (9-2) earned the win allowing one run on five hits and two walks over 6.0 innings of work. Reliever AJ Griffin earned the save for the Toreros throwing 3.0 innings of one-hit shutout ball.
In the top of the first frame, the Bulldogs' jumped out to an early one run lead before an out could be recorded. Evan Wells led off the game with a single to centerfield before advancing to second on a balk. Wells was then drove home on a single to right by Bryan Winston to take the 1-0 advantage.
San Diego responded in the bottom of the first scoring three runs to take the lead and never look back. The trio of runs in the first came thanks to three singles, a double and a sacrifice fly.
The Toreros went to score six runs over the next two innings, posting one in the second and five in the third. In the second, Sean Nicol scored when Justin Synder grounded into a double play. In the third, USD plated five runs on four singles, a double and a walk.
San Diego continued its scoring in the fifth inning, posting three runs on a two doubles and three walks to take the 12-1 lead.
The final run of the game was scored in the seventh on a run-scoring single through the left side by Daniel Magness to finalize the score at 13-1 in favor of San Diego.
Wells, Winston, Darin Holcomb, Shawn Wayt and Brandon Blank all recorded hits on the afternoon for the Bulldogs. For the best-of-three series, the Zags were led by Holcomb and Wayt. Holcomb went 5-for-11 (.455) including three doubles, while Wayt hit at a .444 clip with two runs batted in.
The Bulldogs now await the announcement of the NCAA Tournament field, which will take place Monday at 9:30 a.m. and will be aired live on ESPN. Should Gonzaga be awarded an at-large selection, regional play begins on Friday, June 1.