SPOKANE -- The Gonzaga baseball team grabbed the lead in the first inning, but No. 19 Arizona State used a unearned run and a two-run home run to beat the Bulldogs 4-2 on Friday.
Royce Bolinger led the effort at the plate by going 3-for-3 with a RBI triple. Although Bolinger was the only Bulldog (29-18) to record multiple base hits, Marco Gonzales and Mitchell Gunsolus both stretched their only hit into a double.
Bulldog starter Tyler Olson (4-2) threw 7 1/3 innings and allowed all four runs, three earned, on five hits and three walks. He also struck out seven batters. Derek Peterson allowed a hit and a walk in the eighth inning and Derek Callahan retired the visitor’s half of the ninth in order.
The Bulldogs got their two runs across in the first inning. Gonzales led off with a double to right center field and Bolinger sent a pitch to the same direction for a one-out RBI triple. Bolinger would score the second run on Brock Slavin’s grounder to the second baseman.
Olson built a rhythm right from the start, but with two outs in the fourth inning, the Sun Devils (30-17) would use their first base hit on the evening followed by a walk and a fielding error to bring in their first run. Olson got out of the jam by getting the next batter to ground out to the third baseman Gunsolus.
The Sun Devils led off the fifth inning with a single to the outfield and a two-run shot to left field put them ahead of the Bulldogs 3-2. Then they would add breathing room to their lead in the seventh with a two-out solo blast to the deepest part of the yard in left center field.
The Bulldogs and Sun Devils will play the middle game of the series Saturday at 6 p.m.