SPOKANE -- Marco Gonzales was a triple shy from hitting for the cycle, but the sophomore first baseman helped the Gonzaga baseball team score the runs it needed to beat Hawai'i 4-1 in the series opener Friday evening.
Gonzales hit a double in the first inning, led off the third with a home run for the second consecutive game and singled in the seventh.
Royce Bolinger and Payden Cawley Lamb both added two of Gonzaga's 11-hit evening. Bolinger and Clayton Eslick both recorded a key RBI base hit early in the game to help the Bulldogs (13-6) beat the Rainbows (14-8).
Starting pitcher Tyler Olson (3-0) reached seven innings in his outing, striking out six batters but surrendering eight hits and the lone run in the fifth inning. David Bigelow went the rest of the way striking out three batters and allowing one hit to earn his second save on the year.
In their first road game of the season, the Rainbows opened the game already threatening to score. Although Olson struck out the first batter in the game, he got into a jam by allowing back-to-back singles. A one-out fly ball to Cawley Lamb in right field moved the runner on second base to third but the senior pitcher got the next batter to ground out to the third baseman Lane to escape the threat.
The Bulldogs seemed to have figured out Hawai'i's starting pitcher Matt Sisto (4-2) right away when Gonzales and Eslick hit back-to-back one-out doubles and Bolinger followed with RBI single up the middle to give the Bulldogs a 2-0 lead.
Gonzaga would add another run in the third inning when Gonzales, with no help from the wind, led off with a solo blast to right field.
Lane led off the fifth inning with a single up the middle, Gonzales hit a grounder to the second baseman but a fielding error followed by a throwing error by the right fielder allowed Lane to score the fourth run and Gonzales to reach second base. Eslick drew a walk and Cawley Lamb's one-out single to right field loaded the bases, but Steven Halcomb grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Rainbows got on the board in the seventh inning when with two-out and a runner on first base, a base hit to the right field fence was deep enough for the runner to score their first run on the evening. Olson would close out his day striking out the next batter to end the inning.
The Bulldogs attempted to get the four-run lead back in their half of the seventh inning. Gonzales led off with a single through the right side and advanced to third on Bolinger's one-out single through the left side and Halcomb's two-out walk. Stanford hit a hard fly ball to left center but the left fielder was in time to make the catch to end the inning.
Bigelow came in the eighth inning striking out the first two batters he faced. He allowed a single up the middle but he would finish the evening by retiring the next four batters to save the game.
Saturday will be a doubleheader between the Bulldogs and Rainbows. First pitch in game one will be at 1 p.m. Game two will follow approximately 30 minutes after game one.