Bulldogs Ninth Inning Rally Comes Up Short at Texas Tech - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

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Bulldogs Ninth Inning Rally Comes Up Short at Texas Tech

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Courtesy Gonzaga Athletics

Gonzaga University was able to bring the go-ahead run to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning but a nice defensive play by Texas Tech University preserved a 9-7 Red Raider win Tuesday evening. Drew Heid finished with three hits including his second home run of the season for the Zags (4-5) in the first of a two-game series with TTU (8-5).

The Red Raiders were first to put runs on the board as a two-out two-run double off of Bulldogs starting pitcher Mark Phillips gave TTU the early 2-0 lead. The Gonzaga offense answered right back, putting up a five-spot in their half of the second inning. The inning started with Mark Castellitto and Clayton Eslick each earning walks before Sean Wilson stepped in and singled a 3-2 pitch back up the middle to score Castellitto. A ground out and a strikeout led to the Zags having runners on second and third with two outs. A run was able to come home on a TTU error and Heid then jumped on a 2-0 pitch for a two run blast to make it a 4-2 game. The inning would continue as Chris Sturdivant was hit by a pitch and after advancing to second would come home for the innings' fifth run on an Andy Hunter single for a 5-2 GU lead.

TTU regained the lead with a single run in the third inning and four more in the fourth inning to take a 7-5 lead. In the fourth the Red Raiders used a two-run single, an RBI base hit and perfectly executed squeeze play to push the innings four runs across.

The Gonzaga bats continued to battle, scoring two runs in the sixth to tie the ball game at 7-7. Eslick singled to start the inning but was forced out on a fielder's choice by the next batter Wilson. Wilson then stole second and Ernesto Ortiz followed with a double to right field, scoring Wilson for the inning's first run. Heid then reached on an infield single but an error by the Tech shortstop during the play allowed Ortiz to score and tie the game.

The Red Raiders were able to push the go-ahead and eventual game-winning run in the seventh inning. TTU used five singles to score two runs off of Gonzaga reliever Billy Moon to take a 9-7 lead.

Down two in the ninth, the Bulldogs made it interesting as Heid led off the inning with single then moved up to second a batter later as the potential tying run in Hunter was walked. The next batter Royce Bolinger flew out to right field for the innings second out, bringing Castellitto to the plate as the go-ahead run. He wouldn't get a chance to deliver as Red Raider catcher Jeremy Mayo picked off Hunter at first to end the game.

Moon (1-1) suffered the loss after allowing the two runs in the seventh.

The series wraps up tomorrow at 10 a.m. PST.

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