SPOKANE -- After playing 18 games on the road to start the 2011 season, the Gonzaga baseball team opened its home schedule with a 4-1 win over nationally-ranked UC Irvine on Friday.
The Bulldogs (11-7-1) extend their unbeaten streak to seven games while the Anteaters (14-4), who are ranked 11th in both the Collegiate Baseball newspaper and USA Today Coaches’ polls as well as 15th in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, have lost three straight.
Ryan Carpenter (2-1) allowed the Anteaters only run in the first inning but settled down after, going seven innings with six hits, three strikeouts and three walks. Cody Martin went the rest of the way striking out five, including three straight in the ninth to record his fourth save of the year.
Royce Bolinger led the Bulldogs offense with three hits and two RBI. Five other Bulldogs also produced a hit including Billy Moon, who has matched his season-best five-game hitting streak.
UC Irvine’s Matt Summer (2-2) dominated the Bulldogs offense with eight strikeouts but the defense made four errors in the game.
D.J. Crumlich led off the game with a double to left field and after advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jordan Fox, he scored on a wild pitch and gave UC Irvine a 1-0 lead.
But the Bulldogs answered back in the third inning. Keegan Acker led off the inning with a single through the right side, Eric Lane grounded out to third base and Moon hit an opposite field single, Bolinger hit a two run double to left center to give the Bulldogs a 2-1 lead.
The Anteaters errors began to hurt them in the fourth inning. After Marco Gonzales led off the inning with a walk, he advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Cameron Edman and to third on a groundout. He scored the Bulldogs third run on a fielding error by the second baseman hit by Acker.
Following Gonzales’ leadoff single in the sixth, Edman laid down another sacrifice bunt to Summers but the pitcher’s throw to first base went wide into the outfield, allowing Gonzales to score from second and give Gonzaga a 4-1 lead.
After holding the Anteaters hitless in five innings, Carpenter got himself into a jam allowing a leadoff walk followed by a single. Martin came into the game with runners in scoring position and got out of the inning with two strikeouts and fly out.
The Bulldogs will hand the ball to Tyler Olson in Saturday’s game two of the three-game series against the Anteaters. First pitch is at 1pm.