HONOLULU, Hawaii – A five-run eighth inning by the University of Hawai'i led to a 6-5 loss for Gonzaga University in the series-finale Sunday afternoon. Andy Hunter led the Zags with two hits and two RBI as four Bulldogs each recorded a pair of hits in the rubber game of the three game series.
Gonzaga (11-15) answered a first inning Hawai'i (16-12) run with a single run in the second inning as back-to-back doubles by Royce Bolinger and Clayton Eslick brought home the Zags first run of the ball game. An inning later the Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead on a Chris Sturdivant RBI groundout.
The Zags added two more runs in the fifth on a bases loaded walk by Hunter and sacrifice fly by Mark Castellitto. Kevin Hawk and Drew Heid got things going with one-out singles before Sturdivant walked to load the bases.
Hunter then walked on four pitches to bring home the inning's first run but the Zags missed out on possible scoring a couple more as Castellitto drove a pitch deep to centerfield, chasing the Rainbow centerfielder all the way to the wall before he made the catch, leaving Castellitto just a foot or two away from a grand slam. Heid did tag up on the play and came home to push the Zags lead to 4-1.
Bulldogs starting pitcher Jeremy Stumetz settled in after allowing the first inning run, holding the potent UH lineup to just three singles over the next six innings. After the senior right hander sat the Rainbows down in order in the seventh he went back out for the eighth. The first Hawai'i batter flew out and Stumetz walked the next batter. The next batter singled and the Rainbows leading hitter Kolten Wong followed with a three-run home run to tie the game at 4-4. Stumetz came back to get a fly out but then a single, a double and an error by the Bulldogs gave UH a 6-4 lead.
Gonzaga didn't go quietly as Sturdivant singled with two outs and Hunter then doubled to deep right field to drive in Sturdivant and cut the Hawai'i lead to 6-5. With the tying run on second, the Rainbows went to the bullpen and called in Jesse Moore who held off the Zags comeback attempt with a strikeout to preserve the win for Hawai'i.
Stumetz (2-2) finished with three strikeouts and allowed six runs, four earned in 7.2 innings.
Gonzaga hosts University of Washington for a two-game series set for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday and 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. Tuesday night's game will be broadcast on SWX-TV with Sam Adams and Mike Peterson calling the action.