Zags top Cougs in extra innings

WSU didn’t allow a run until eighth inning, forced Bulldogs to strand 18 runners on base



Junior infielder Justin Harrer hits a two-run home run in the bottom of the first inning in the game against Gonzaga on April 3 at Bailey-Brayton Field.

RYAN BLAKE, Evergreen reporter

Gonzaga University took a 3-2 lead on a balk in the 13th inning to edge out WSU baseball Tuesday at Bailey-Brayton Field.

Locked in a 2-2 game after 12 innings, the Bulldogs (27-21) got a runner on third base after a hit by pitch, sacrifice bunt and a wild pitch by the Cougars (15-28-1).

The home plate umpire then called a balk on WSU freshman left-handed pitcher Michael Newstrom, allowing the go ahead run to score.

“I saw it and didn’t have a reason to argue it. It was a balk,” Head Coach Marty Lees said.

Redshirt senior right-handed pitcher Colin Maier was the first of eight pitchers used by the Cougars in the game. He threw four and one-third innings without allowing a run. Maier loaded the bases in the first inning before settling down.

“[Maier] was a little shaky the first inning but he got himself out of it and got better as the game went on,” Lees said.

WSU scored both its runs in the fourth inning. Senior first baseman James Rudkin led off the inning with a line drive solo home run to left field, his third of the season.

Sophomore outfielder Danny Sinatro followed with a walk. With Sinatro running on a 1-1 pitch, senior infielder Ryan Ramsower singled through the right side of the infield, allowing Sinatro to reach third base.

Sophomore catcher Cal Waterman scored Sinatro with a sacrifice fly to center field to give WSU a 2-0 lead.

The Bulldogs tied it with two runs of their own in the top of the eighth inning. Redshirt sophomore left-handed pitcher Isaac Mullins allowed a leadoff walk before being replaced by freshman right-handed pitcher Brody Barnum.

The runner reached third base on a groundout and a wild pitch. The next batter followed with a single past a diving Rudkin at first to make it 2-1. After a hit by pitch and a hard single up the middle, the Bulldogs tied the game at two.

WSU pitchers allowed 16 hits to Gonzaga batters, but forced the Bulldogs to strand 18 runners on base in the game.

“I thought there were a lot of good pitches executed tonight by guys who haven’t pitched a lot this year,” Lees said.

The Cougars had chances to score in the game as well, recording 11 hits and leaving 16 men on base.

After the Bulldogs took a 3-2 lead, WSU looked to tie it in the bottom of the 13th inning when freshman infielder Jack Smith and sophomore infielder Dillon Plew both reached base.

But fly outs by junior infielder Andres Alvarez and junior infielder Justin Harrer ended the game and gave the Zags the victory.

The Cougars will travel to California to take on Stanford University 6 p.m. Friday for their last road series of the season.