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WCC Baseball Recaps

Feb. 28, 2008

Gonzaga - 19
BYU - 12

Spokane, Wash. - Junior Jason Chatwood hit home runs in back-to-back at-bats to lead the Gonzaga University baseball team to a 19-12 victory over Brigham Young University Thursday in its 2008 home opener at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. Chatwood was one of five Bulldogs to record multiple hits in the outing, including Bryan Winston who went 4-for-5 with six runs batted in.

Starter Brandon Harmon (1-1) earned the victory for Gonzaga (1-4) as the senior allowed six runs, five earned, on seven hits while striking out five during 6.0 innings of work. Jeremy Stumetz and Cody Martin also saw time on the mound for the Zags. Brigham Young (1-3) threw five pitchers including starter Jake Wortham (0-1). Wortham was tagged with the loss after allowing eight runs on eight hits during 2.0 innings.

Chatwood, Winston, Marcus McKimmy, Tyson Van Winkle and Michael Rhodes all recorded multiple hits in the game with Chatwood and Winston earning four apiece. Van Winkle and McKimmy each posted three while Rhodes recorded a double and a single. In addition, Chatwood, Van Winkle, Rhodes and Evan Wells each scored three runs to account for 12 of the Bulldogs runs scored.

BYU jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the opening frame thanks to one-run singles by Steve Parker, Bryce Ayoso and a two-run single by Jonathan Cluff.

Portland - 9
Northern Illinois - 6

Surprise, Ariz. - The Portland Pilots opened play at the Coca Cola Classic with a 9-6 win over the Northern Illinois Huskies in 16 innings at Surprise Stadium on Thursday. Senior Danny Meier came through once again for the Pilots, smacking a two-out, two-run double in the top of the 16th inning.

On Tuesday, Meier blasted a two-out, two-run walk-off home run to give the Pilots a 7-5 win over Concordia.

After the Pilots (4-2) tied Thursday's game at 5-5 in the top of the eighth, both teams went scoreless during the next seven innings. UP senior 2B Brandon Howard began the top of the 16th with a lead-off single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by sophomore OF Jeff Arbayo. Back-to-back walks to junior OF Bryant Kraus, which was intentional, and to junior DH Paul Crowder loaded the bases with one out.

NIU's (0-1) Dave Reynolds then relieved Nick Badgley on the hill and promptly struck out junior 1B Chase Powell.

Meier then doubled to left-center field to score Howard and Kraus, giving the Pilots a 7-5 lead. Crowder, who reached third base on Meier's double, then scored on a Reynolds' balk. Meier followed him home on an RBI single by freshman 3B Kevin Armijo to make it a 9-5 Portland lead going into the bottom of the 16th.

NIU threatened to plate a few runs in the bottom half of the inning, but UP junior reliever Matthew Lange (3-1) limited the damage to one run to pick up the win. Lange, who leads the West Coast Conference in wins, surrendered just three hits and struck out six with no walks during six innings of work.

Badgley (0-1) pitched just two-thirds of an inning and was saddled with the loss.

Portland's bullpen was marvelous, following an uncharacteristically shaky start by senior southpaw David Gruener. Gruener was chased in the sixth inning after allowing five runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings.

Following Gruener, freshmen Tyler Thompson, Scott Burris and Zach Varce combined with Lange to hold the Huskies to just the one run in the bottom of the 16th on eight hits. The group struck out 13 and walked just two in 10.1 innings of combined work.

Varce struck out five of the nine hitters he faced.

Northern Illinois used seven pitchers on the day, with starter Trevor Feeney working into the eighth inning. Feeney allowed four runs, two earned, on seven hits, while striking out two and walking one.

The Huskies opened the game's scoring with a run in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs, Danny Reed doubled home Bobby Stevens to give NIU the 1-0 lead.

A few innings later, Portland claimed its first lead of the game when both Crowder and Kraus scored on a throwing error by Northern Illinois to make it 2-1 in the sixth inning.

The Huskies responded with four runs in the bottom of the sixth to force the Pilots to play catch-up once again. Reynolds, who would later pitch for the Huskies, did most of the damage with a two-run double to make it 5-2.

Sophomore C Rocky Gale got a run back with a solo home run in the top of the seventh, his first homer of the season. In the eighth, Kraus pulled the Pilots within a run with a solo shot of his own to left field. Moments later with the bases loaded and two outs, Gale came through again with an RBI single to tie the game at 5-5.

Portland finished with 13 hits, led by Powell with three. Armijo, Gale and Kraus each had a pair of hits, while Gale and Meier each knocked in two runs.

Northern Illinois had 15 hits, but were hurt by three errors. Reed had a game-high four hits, while Reynolds added three. Reynolds led the Huskies with two RBI's.

Play at the Coca Classic continues tomorrow as the Pilots battle the eighth-ranked Michigan Wolverines at 3:00 p.m. The Pilots then play Hawaii on Saturday before taking on top-ranked and tournament host Arizona State on Sunday.

Chatwood narrowed Gonzaga's deficit in the bottom of the first with his first home run of the season, a solo-shot to left center. During the next inning, with two outs, a runner on second and one run already scored, Chatwood recorded his second home run of the game to become the first Zags since 2002 to record home runs in back-to-back at-bats. The next batter, Van Winkle, then stepped up to the plate smashing a ball over the left field wall for his first home run of the season, bringing the score to 5-4.

Gonzaga would go on to post three runs in the third thanks to a three-run shot by Winston before eventually scoring 13 unanswered runs to take a 13-4 advantage.

Brigham Young began to chip away at the lead in the sixth inning with two runs, before scoring three runs in each the seven and eighth frames. The Zags maintained their lead throughout the game though, scoring two runs in each the sixth, seventh and eighth.

In total, Gonzaga posted 18 hits including nine multiple-base hits. Prior to Thursday afternoon, the Bulldogs had recorded only two extra-base hits in the opening four games of the season. The hit total was the highest for the Zags since an 18-hit barrage on March 26, 2006 against Dartmouth College.

Friday the Cougars and Gonzaga will continue the four-game series at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field with a doubleheader. Matt Fields is expected to earn the starting in the opening game, which is scheduled for a Noon first pitch. Cory Powell will start for GU in game 2, which will begin thirty minutes following the end of game one. Both games will be nine inning contests.