Gonzaga Drops Series Finale and Series at Portland - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Gonzaga Drops Series Finale and Series at Portland

by Gonzaga Athletics

PORTLAND, Ore.-After one tie score and two lead changes, the Gonzaga University baseball team found itself on the short side of a 6-5 decision, losing to Portland Sunday afternoon at Joe Etzel Field.

The Pilots scored the game's first run in the bottom of the second with an RBI double from Eric Sapp, and the Zags tied the game up in the top of the fourth. With runners on first and second and one out, Tyler Frost flew out to left field, moving up both runners. The lead runner, Taylor Jones, took third on the play, and he advanced to home after a throwing error from Portland left fielder Turner Gill.

Portland re-took the lead in the bottom of the frame with a leadoff home run from Cody Lenahan, but the Zags fired right back with two in the top of the fifth for their first lead of the game. Joey Harris and Dustin Breshears reached base with a single and a hit by pitch, respectively, lead off the inning. Third baseman Mitchell Gunsolus then brought them both home with a double to left center field.

The Zags extended their lead with two more runs in the top of the seventh. Breshears scored his second run of the game after Sam Brown singled to right field with no outs. Three batters later, Gunsolus came home when Justin Jacobs reached base on an error from Portland second baseman Dan Whittaker. The two-spot gave Gonzaga a 5-2 lead entering the bottom of the seventh inning.

In the second half of the frame, Portland scored two to come within one of the Zags on an RBI double from Brady Kerr and an RBI single from Gill. That one-bagger from by Gill chased GU starter Brandon Bailey from the game. The sophomore righthander had entered the inning only allowing two runs and five hits with five strikeouts before the Pilots added two runs and three hits to his tally in the first third of the frame. Closer David Bigelow came on in replacement of Bailey and loaded the bases with a single and a walk, but got out of the jam with a lineout from Sapp. Portland scored two more in the eighth inning, taking back the lead at 6-5. The Pilots loaded the bases in the first three at bats on a hit by pitch, a single, and an error by Bigelow. After a fielder's choice and an out at the plate, Gill doubled to right field, bringing in two runs for the lead. Jacobs and Bohling combined to throw out a potential third run at the plate, and the Zags threw another runner out at home to end the frame. GU couldn't re-tie the game in the top of the ninth, however, and it ended at 6-5. With the loss, the Zags suffered their first WCC series loss in the last three attempts.  

Bulldog Bites
  • Breshears reached base twice Sunday, scoring both times. He led the Zags this weekend with a .444 batting average, going 4-for-9 with a walk, a hit by pitch, two doubles and three runs scored. He raised his season batting average 15 points, up to .241. He's reaching base at a clip over 100 points at .344.
  • Gonzaga had won each of the last two WCC series, taking two of three from then-WCC leader and #25 San Diego April 2-4 and then sweeping Saint Mary's April 10-12. It's also the Bulldogs' first series loss to Portland in five years (last: 2010).
  • Despite the series loss, the Zags are still in sixth place in the WCC standings, 1.5 games behind BYU for fifth and two games back of fourth-place Loyola Marymount. Gonzaga has nine more conference games left in the season, three each against Santa Clara, Pacific, and Pepperdine.  
  • Today's game was the first time Bigelow had allowed multiple runs in an outing all year. He entered the game with an ERA of 1.48 and only four runs allowed. Just two days earlier, he'd gone 2.1 innings of scoreless ball for the save, taking over with a two-run lead in the seventh.  
Next Up
Gonzaga (19-19, 9-9 WCC) continues its nine-game road trip with three more conference games at Santa Clara. That series will begin Friday, April 24, with a 6:00 p.m. first pitch for game one. All three games will take place at Stephen Schott Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.

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