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WCC Baseball Recaps

March 19, 2008

Portland - 3
Southern Utah - 1

PORTLAND, Ore. - Portland sophomore C Rocky Gale knocked in two runs and freshman left-hander Scott Burris picked up his first collegiate save as the Pilots defeated the Southern Utah Thunderbirds 3-1 on Wednesday afternoon at Joe Etzel Field. Burris didn't allow a base runner and struck out one in 3.0 innings of work.

Three runs seems to be the magical number for Portland (13-8) this season, as the Pilots are 13-1 when scoring at least three times. Portland is also 10-2 in game's decided by three runs or less.

UP starter Mark Triolo allowed just one run in six innings to move to a perfect 4-0 on the season. He scattered eight hits, struck out seven and walked just one.

Portland tallied the first two runs of the game in the bottom of the second. After a Danny Meier double made gave Portland runners on second and third with one out, freshman 3B Kevin Armijo picked up the RBI with a single to left field.

Gale followed Armijo with a perfectly placed bunt on a safety squeeze play that scored Meier and made it 2-0 in UP's favors.

Burris, who retired every batter he faced, spelled Triolo with a runner on and no outs in the seventh. Keli'i Zablan would then work his way around to score SUU's only run on fly out and an RBI ground out by Bucky Aona.

The Pilots responded with an insurance run in the bottom of the seventh. Gale knocked in his second run of the game with a line drive to right field that brought home Meier, a senior outfielder.

Southern Utah's (6-10) Alec Reichle (0-4) worked an effective 6.1 innings, but was charged with the loss. He allowed three runs on eight hits, struck out one and walked one. Reliever Jacob Noyes pitched the final inning and a third and didn't allow a base runner.

Meier and Armijo both had two hits for Portland, which finished with eight on the game. Meier also scored two runs.

Southern Utah, which also had eight hits, was led by Matthew Bezzant with three hits. Ray Wright and Zablan both tallied a pair of hits.

The Pilots and Thunderbirds are scheduled to play the second game of a two-game series at 2:00 p.m. on Thursday at Joe Etzel Field. Originally set for 3:00 p.m., Thursday's game was moved up an hour to accommodate Southern Utah's travel plans.

Gonzaga - 7
Utah Valley - 2

Spokane, Wash. - Evan Wells paced the Gonzaga University offense as the junior went 4-for-4 with three runs batted in and a pair of runs scored Wednesday as the Bulldogs' baseball team posted a 7-2 victory over Utah Valley University in Spokane, Wash. The win provided the Zags' with the three-game series victory, as GU took two of three contests.

Four Bulldog (12-8) pitchers combined to strikeout a season-high 11 batters in the game. Starter CJ McClure (3-1) earned the victory, allowing one run on eight hits while striking out five during 5.0 innings. Andrew Danner, Cory Powell and Cody Martin each saw time out of the bullpen for the Zags. Powell recorded a strikeout, while Martin continued his solid rookie campaign posting five strikeouts in 2.0 innings on the mound. Utah Valley (4-12-1) starter Dan Christensen suffered the loss, allowing six runs on nine hits over 7.0 frames.

The Bulldogs rallied in the third inning, scoring five runs to take the early lead. With runners on second and third and no outs, Wells hit a two-run double to left to get the Zags on the board. Two batters later, Wells scored on a single to center by Marcus McKimmy. McKimmy, who then stole second and third, would come around to score on a pop-out by Ryan Wiegand. Capping the inning, Tyson Van Winkle smashed his second home run of the season, a long ball that went over the net in left field.

The Wolverines scored their first run in the fourth inning as Utah Valley led off the inning with four consecutive singles to score lead off batter Jace Brinkerhoff. Gonzaga then posted three straight outs to leave three Utah Valley runners on base to end the frame.

In the seventh, the Wolverines' Brinkerhoff hit his second home run in as many days, as his solo shot to left narrowed the score to 5-2 in favor of the Zags.

The Bulldogs added a run in the bottom of the seventh on a double by McKimmy that plated Wells. In the eighth, GU capped scored with a single up the middle by Wells to score pinch runner Drew Heid.

Wells and Van Winkle led Gonzaga during the three-game series against Utah Valley, as both hit at a .429 clip, going 6-for-14. Wells recorded five singles, a double, four RBI, three runs scored and two stolen bases while Van Winkle led the Bulldogs with three extra-base hits - two doubles and a home run. The sophomore also drove in four while scoring three.

Gonzaga will take Thursday off before opening a three-game series at Sacramento State University on Friday. The Zags and Hornets will face off Friday at 1 p.m. before a doubleheader Saturday at 11:30 a.m. Monday, the Bulldogs will continue the road trip with a 1 p.m. start at UC Davis before returning to face regional rival Washington State University in Pullman, Wash. Tuesday night at 5:30.