BERKELEY, Calif. – In the final tune up before the West Coast Conference Championships later in the week, the Gonzaga University baseball team dropped an extra inning nail-biter in the 12th to the University of California at Berkeley 3-2 Monday at Evans Diamond.
The Bulldogs (32-19-1), with the opportunity to take the lead, loaded the bases in the top half of the 12th-inning with two outs. However in his only at bat of the game, Jimmy Sinatro grounded out making way for the Golden Bears walk-off in the bottom half of the frame.
Reliever Karl Myers (0-1), in his second appearance of the year, began the inning for GU. A leadoff double and a walk to open the inning for Cal prompted head coach Mark Machtolf to go to the bullpen for Derek Peterson.
A sacrifice bunt moved the Cal runners to second and third for the first out. The next batter, Mitchell Kranson, singled to left field for the game winner.
The move for Peterson was the ninth pitcher used by the Bulldogs, a season-high.
The game was tight from the start with Cal taking an early 1-0 lead in the second inning. Reliever Andrew Sopko surrendered the run on a sacrifice fly to left field. GU tied the game in the sixth inning on a wild pitch. Steven Halcomb singled to open the frame and advanced on an error and a sac bunt before rounding home.
Gonzaga took its only lead of the game in the 10th inning on a Cory LeBrun double to left centerfield. Mitchell Gunsolus led off the inning with a single through the left side and scored two batters later on the LeBrun two-base knock.
With seemingly the game in hand for the Bulldogs, Cal rallied in the bottom half of the 10th to tie it all up. With two outs and runners on second and third, a wild pitch from Derek Callahan brought in the tying run. Callahan recorded the final out on a grounder to Caleb Wood at second base but the Golden Bears did enough to extend the game until the eventual walk-off.
Lefty Marco Gonzales made the start and worked just an inning. Also seeing action for the Zags was Sopko (1.1 innings), Billy Moon (3.0), Zach Abbruzza (1.2), Arturo Reyes (2.0), Taylor Jones (0.2), Callahan (0.1), Myers (1.0) and Peterson (0.1).
The Golden Bears out-hit the Bulldogs 10 to eight. Halcomb was the lone Zag with two hits.
In total the Zags left 14 men on base.
Up next for Gonzaga is the WCC Championships where the top seeded Zags will face the University of San Francisco. The contest opens the four-team tournament Thursday at 3 p.m. at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, Calif.