Gonzaga Holds Off LMU to Take Game One
Gonzaga scored twice in the first and two more in the ninth to beat LMU, 4-1.
Opening a critical three-game West Coast Conference series on Friday at LMU’s Page Stadium, visiting Gonzaga (28-15, 14-8 WCC) scored twice in the first and two more in the ninth to beat LMU (26-24, 13-12 WCC) by a score of 4-1.
LMU starter Tyler Cohen turned in a quality start on Friday, allowing just the two runs in the first en route to tossing 6.2 innings and surrendering just six hits and one walk with four strikeouts. Unfortunately for LMU, Gonzaga’s Brandon Bailey tossed a complete game, allowing just one run on seven hits with 10 strikeouts to improve to 8-3 on the year. With the loss, Cohen dropped to 3-4.
Dustin Breshears did the bulk of the damage for Gonzaga, finishing 3-for-4 with three RBI. Justin Jacobs, who went 2-for-3 with a double, drove in the first run in the first before Breshears capped the inning with an RBI-single.
LMU broke through with its lone run in the third when Seaver Whalen doubled with two out and came around to score on an infield single from Phil Caulfield. Caulfied chopped a grounder to the hole at shortstop and Whalen never hesitated, turning third and scampering home in front of the relay throw from first.
Whalen finished the game 3-for-3 with the run scored, and fell a homer shy of the cycle.
After allowing the run in the third, Bailey returned to tossing up zeroes, maintaining the slim one-run advantage into the bottom of the eighth. There, Whalen once again gave the Lions a jolt, sending a one-out triple into left-centerfield to push the tying run just 90 feet away. Phil Caulfield followed with a grounder to second base on the ensuing play where Whalen hesitated just slightly before coming to the plate. The throw was up the third-base line, but brought the ball right into Whalen as he slid home and was tagged out by catcher Joey Harris.
With the momentum now sitting with Gonzaga following the play at the plate, the Bulldogs caught a break in the top of the ninth when Breshears bounced a grounder off the second base bag with the bases loaded and two out, sending the ball into left centerfield and chasing home a pair of runs.
With Bailey on the mound trying to complete the game in the bottom of the ninth, Austin Miller sent a double into the left field corner, but that would be all the offense the Lions could muster the rest of the way.
LMU will continue the series with Gonzaga on Saturday at 6 p.m.
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