RIVERSIDE, Calif. – The non-conference woes continued for Gonzaga University baseball Tuesday, as the Zags were downed by UC Riverside 11-6 at the Riverside Sports Complex.
The Bulldogs have dropped four in a row and slide to 3-12 on the year.
Trailing 9-3 into the eighth inning, the Zags had one last push to stun the Highlanders. With two outs, Taylor Jones walked and Cabe Reiten was hit by a pitch to put two runners on. Sam Brown then singled to center field which allowed Jones to score on a UC Riverside field error.
Jimmy Sinatro then connected for a base hit to center field to bring home the second run of the frame. Avoiding a late collapse, UC Riverside brought in reliever Joie Dunyon to face Mitchell Gunsolus. Ever patient, Gunsolus walked to loaded the bases for Caleb Wood.
Wood connected for an infield single to cut the lead to three-runs, 9-6. In stepped Beau Bozett with the chance to tie the game with an extra base hit but unfortunately he hit a deep fly out to left field to end the inning.
UC Riverside distanced themselves further in the bottom of the eighth with another two runs and closed out the game by putting Gonzaga down in order in the ninth.
GU started Will Abram (1-1) who was removed after 2.0 innings of work. The southpaw was held responsible for five runs on three hits while walking five. Highlander Jordan Kron picked up the win.
The bulk of the scoring occurred early in the contest. The Highlanders scored on its first at bat on a sacrifice fly to right field. The lead was short lived however as the Bulldogs scored a pair of runs in the top of the second.
Reiten hit an RBI single down the left field line to score Cory LeBrun, who walked to open the inning. The next run came on a sacrifice fly to right field off the bat of Sinatro.
The Gonzaga 2-1 lead unraveled in the bottom of the third inning as UC Riverside scored five runs in the frame. The Highlanders loaded the bases with no outs and Abram walked in the tying run. GU then went to the bullpen and brought in freshman hurler Wyatt Mills.
Mills limited the damage as much as he could but four more runs scored on four hits and an untimely Gonzaga error. The inning finally came to a close when Nick Vilter popped up to Wood at second base.
GU made it a three-run game after Brown singled in Jones in the top of the fourth. Jones walked early in the inning before Brown’s two out base hit up the middle. Through four innings, the Zags tailed 6-3 and that score would hold up until seventh inning.
Highlander David Andriese extended the UC Riverside lead to 7-3 when he connected for a solo home run to right field off reliever David Bigelow. More trouble ensued for Bigelow in the inning as the Highlanders added two more runs on two hits and two walks.
The Bulldogs used five pitchers in total. In addition to Abram, Mills and Bigelow; the Zags used Ben Brown (0.1 inning) and Zach Abbruzza in relief.
Offensively Gonzaga had 10 hits paced by Gunsolus’ three. Sinatro had a season-high 2 RBI.
The Bulldogs play its fifth game in five days Wednesday. The Zags will take on CSU Bakersfield for a 6 p.m. contest.