by Gonzaga Athletics
IRVINE, Calif. – Right-handed pitcher Taylor Jones found himself in another pitching duel for the Gonzaga University baseball team Saturday as the Zags came up on the short end of a 1-0 decision against UC Irvine at Cicerone Field at Anteater Ballpark.
The Bulldogs fall to 3-9 on the year. UC Irvine wins its eighth consecutive and moves to 10-3.
Jones (1-2) gave a valiant effort in a battle with NCAA ERA leader Andrew Morales (3-0, 0.00 ERA). Gonzaga managed six hits against Morales but the right-hander extended his scoreless innings streak to 30.
Jones worked 7.0 innings scattering six hits for the one run. The sophomore walked two and struck out three. His counterpart Morales struck out 12 in 8.0 innings. NCAA saves leader, Sam Moore, picked up his seventh of the year for UCI.
Sean-Luke Brija made his third appearance of the season and worked a scoreless eighth inning in relief of Jones.
The decisive run scored in the home half of the fifth inning. Anteater Evan Cassolato led off with a triple off Jones and later scored on a Ryan Cooper sacrifice fly.
A missed opportunity in the first inning haunted the Bulldogs. With just one out, the Zags loaded the bases against Morales but would have nothing to show for it. Morales struck out Caleb Wood and Sam Brown to escape the frame.
Another Bulldog scoring opportunity presented itself in the top of the fifth inning. Payden Cawley Lamb singled and Beau Bozett walked to put runners on with one out. However, Morales worked through the jam by gettingMitchell Gunsolus to fly out and Cory LeBrun to strikeout.
Lamb and Gunsolus each had a pair of hits for the Zags. Both have reached base safely in every game this year. For Lamb, he extends his hitting streak to nine-games.
The remaining Zag hits came from LeBrun and Joey Harris.
Gonzaga resumes its series with UC Irvine Sunday with a 1 p.m. contest at Anteater Ballpark.