8th inning homer lifts Huskies past Zags, 5-3 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

8th inning homer lifts Huskies past Zags, 5-3

Photo: UW Athletics Photo: UW Athletics

By Washington Athletics

SEATTLE –  Willie MacIver made up for an earlier base running mistake by hitting a two-run homer in the eighth inning that broke a 3-3 tie and lifted Washington to a 5-3 win Tuesday night over Gonzaga at Husky Ballpark.
 
After the Huskies (15-14) surrendered a one-run lead in the top of the inning, Nick Kahle singled to start the home half of eighth. MacIver showed bunt on the first two pitches he saw and pulled the bat back each time to swing away. On the third pitch he saw from Trent Schulte (0-1), MacIver once again showed bunt, but this time he pulled the bat back and smacked the ball over the wall in left-center field for his first home run of the season.
 
"I had the slash on, so pretty much I was just trying to shoot a ball into the six-hole because the shortstop was playing close to second and the third baseman on the line," MacIver said about his at bat. "So, I was literally just trying to hit a ball there. I got under it a little and it flew out of here."
                                                                                               
Alex Hardy (3-0), who came into the game in the eighth inning, got the last three outs of the game to preserve the win. 
 
Gonzaga scored twice – both runs charged to starter Josh Burgmann – to go up 2-0 in the fourth inning. Right fielder Nick Brooks started the inning with a home run the opposite way to right-center, his second of the year, to break the ice. After Patrick Chung doubled on the next pitch, Burgmann's day was done. Chung eventually came around to score on a sacrifice fly by Gunnar Schubert, completing Burgmann's line at five hits and two earned runs allowed over three innings.
 
It took until the sixth inning for the Huskies to get on the scoreboard, but the wait proved to be worth it when they punched three runs across the plate to take a 3-2 lead. Gonzaga starter Justin Blatner had held the Huskies to two hits over five masterful innings before allowing the first four Huskies to reach in the inning.
 
After Mason Cerrillo singled and Levi Jordan was hit by a pitch, Kahle doubled down the left-field line to score Cerrillo. The next batter MacIver singled to centerfield to score Jordan and send Blatner to the showers.
 
Jonathan Schiffer capped the scoring for the Huskies by singling off of Schulte to send Kahle home for the go-ahead run.
 
The Huskies were looking for more, but with the bases loaded and one out, Braiden Ward struck out. The third strike was in the dirt and MacIver tried to sneak home on the play, but was tagged out for the final out of the inning.
 
The Bulldogs evened things back up in the eighth inning, 3-3, by pushing a run across the plate after there were two outs and the bases were empty. Carson Breshears and Schubert both reached on infield singles and Branson Trube hit a soft base hit to right field off Hardy to send Breshears home. Hardy stuck out Ernie Yake to end the threat and set up MacIvers heroics in the eighth.
 
MacIver and Kahle both went 2-for-4 at the plate to pace UW's offense.
 
The Bulldogs outhit the Huskies, 11-8.
 
The teams wrap up the quick two-game series on Wednesday with a 5:05 p.m. scheduled first pitch.

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