PEORIA, Ariz. – Gonzaga University starting pitcher Cody Martin struck out a career-high 13 hitters in an 8-2 loss to Sacramento State University in the Bulldogs first game at the Peoria College Showdown Classic Friday evening.
Martin gave the Zags (2-2) a phenomenal effort on the mound, holding the Hornets (3-2) to just two earned runs on three hits over 6.2 innings before the bullpen allowed a six-run CSUS ninth to suffer the loss. Gonzaga committed four errors in the game including three in final frame. Andy Hunter led the way for the Zags with a 2-for-3 performance, recording his second home run of the season.
Gonzaga was the first to get on the board, taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning on Hunter's two-out solo homer to left field. Martin followed by striking out the side in the second inning but allowed a two-out two-run homer in the third inning to give the hornets a 2-1 lead.
Both starting pitchers settled in after the early inning mistakes as both teams were held scoreless until the Zags were able to pus a run across and tie the game at 2-2 in the sixth. Hunter got the inning going, leading off the inning with a double to right field before later moving up to third base on a passed ball. After a walk to Mark Castellitto, Royce Bolinger brought Hunter home with a RBI sacrifice fly to left.
The following inning saw the Bulldogs go to the bullpen after Martin had recorded two outs to start the seventh. Reliever Mark Phillips entered the game and following a CSU base-hit, closed out the inning with a strikeout. Phillips then opened the eighth with another punchout before Spokane native and left-hander reliever Billy Moon entered the game and promptly struck out the first two hitters he faced to keep it a 2-2 game in the eighth.
Gonzaga seemed to be in good position to get a rally started in their half of the eighth with the top of their lineup due up but the Sacramento State bullpen buckled down and sat the Zags down in order to keep it at 2-2.
CSUS then put together a one-out rally in the ninth, earning a walk and then using a double and a GU error on the play to score the inning's first run. The Hornets then went on to add five insurance runs, using two more Gonzaga errors in the inning to build the 8-2 lead.
Jeremy Stumetz (0-1) took the loss for the Bulldogs as James Chamberlin picked up the win for the Hornets with three innings of relief.
The threat of rain has forced the change of the Zags game against the University of Kansas on Saturday. First pitch is now set for 1 p.m. (PST).