Zags over U. of San Fran 6-5
SPOKANE, Wash. - Jason Chatwood hit a solo walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth for Gonzaga University Saturday as the Bulldogs defeated the University of San Francisco 6-5 at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field in Spokane, Wash. The three-game West Coast Conference series between the Zags and Dons is now tied 1-1.
After surrendering a game tying run in the top of the ninth, Gonzaga (28-19, 8-8) entered its half of the ninth inning with the scored knotted at five. The leadoff batter in the inning flied out for the first out of the inning, before Chatwood stepped in. The junior then hit a one-run home run just over the leftfield wall to give the Bulldogs the 6-5 victory. The walk-off was the first of the season for GU and the first since Mark Castellitto's walk-off against Loyola Marymount University last season.
Reliever Cody Martin (4-0) earned the win for the Bulldogs, as the freshman pitched the final 1.2 innings of the game. AJ Proszek started the game for GU, pitching seven innings, allowing three runs, two earned. Proszek allowed four hits, but held the Dons (27-1, 9-8) hitless until the fifth inning. USF reliever Brian Anderson (1-4) suffered the loss, allowing one run on one hit over 1.2 frames.
Gonzaga jumped out to a 4-0 lead in the fourth inning, as the Zags scored all four runs before recording an out. Ryan Wiegand led off the inning with a hard hit home run to right field. The shot cleared the right field wall before landing on the opposite side of Trent, the main street behind the outfield. The Bulldogs then used three consecutive singles before scoring on a bases loaded hit-by-pitch. The next two runs were plated on a single by Bryan Winston and a bases loaded walk to Evan Wells.
USF chipped away at GU's lead throughout the remainder of the game, scoring solo runs in the fifth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings. In the fifth, a two-base throwing error proved costly as Bobby Ethel was brought around to score on a single by Joey Railey. Ethel then went yard to left field in the seventh to narrow the Zags' lead to 4-2.
GU responded with a run in the bottom of the seventh, as Marcus McKimmy was driven in on a sacrifice fly to left by Drew Heid.
Kyle Morgan led off the eighth with a single for San Francisco, before scoring on a double to left center by Zach Kim. The Dons then tied the score 5-5 in the top of the ninth, as Morgan hit a single to center that drove in Stephen Yarrow, who walked to reach base.
Heid, Castellitto and Winston each posted two hits in the game to lead the Bulldogs. Wells extended his current hit streak to 20 games thanks to an infield single in the Zags' half of the first inning.
Gonzaga and San Francisco will play the rubber game of the three-game set Sunday at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. Prior to start of the game, the Zags will honor nine seniors as part of Senior Day. Brandon Blank, Ben Greenslitt, Brandon Harmon, Marcus McKimmy, Alex Parrott, Cory Powell, Michael Rhodes, Shawn Wayt and Bryan Winston will all be recognized before the 1 p.m. game.