April 7, 2012
SAN DIEGO, Calf. - Behind perhaps his best outing as a Torero, sophomore right-hander Dylan Coveyabsolutely dominated the Gonzaga University (20-9, 3-3 WCC) hitters Saturday afternoon in a West Coast Conference game, as the 19th-ranked University of San Diego baseball team (25-8, 5-2 WCC) won the rubber game against the Bulldogs, 5-3, at USD's Cunningham Stadium.
Covey (4-2) gave up two runs in the top of the first inning, then gave up a single to the first batter in the second, and from that point on, Covey was dominate. He retired 19 of his next 21 batters, only issuing one walk in the fourth, and eighth innings before leaving the game with a 5-2 lead. Michael Wagner then came in and sealed the victory, as he allowed one run on two hits in 1.0 innings of work to pick up his 14th save of the season. The 14 saves now tied him with AJ Griffin for most single-season saves in USD history.
With the ball game all tied up at 2-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, the Torero bats exploded and pushed across three runs on three hits. Connor Joe led off the frame by reaching on an error by the GU shortstop. Dillon Haupt kept things going, as he singled to right centerfield, moving Jon Hotta, who was inch running for Joe, to second. Kris Bryant then stepped to the plate and launched a two-run triple to right centerfield to give USD its first two runs of the inning. Bryan Haar then singled up the middle to push across Bryant and cap the Toreros' scoring for the day.
Gonzaga attempted to put on a late rally, as they scored one run in the ninth, and had runners at the corners with two outs, but Wagner did not allow the Zags to do anything else, as he caught Maxx Garrett looking at the plate on a 3-2 count to seal the victory for the Toreros.
The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard first, as they scored two runs in the top of the first inning. Eric Lane was hit by a pitch, then stole second and Clayton Eslick drove in Lane with a RBI single. Andy Hunter then hit a looping ball into shallow left field, and the Toreros lost the ball in the sun, allowing the final run to score, to give GU a 2-0 advantage.
San Diego then evened the score in the bottom of the second. Andrew Daniel got things started with a stand-up double to left centerfield, and moved to third on a Corey LeVier groundout. Then one of the strangest plays of the season occurred. Victor Rasor-Thompson drilled a ball into left center field, and Gonzaga centerfielder Royce Bollinger came sprinting in for the ball and made what appeared to be a great diving catch. He then began to stand up, and GU right fielder Payden Crawled Lamb knocked Bollinger over, thus the ball came spitting out of his glove, and the umpire ruled the play still alive, allowing Rasor-Thompson to get a double and Daniel to score from third. After a lengthy argument from Gonzaga head coach Mark Machtolf, play resumed and Louie Lechich hit an RBI single to centerfield, which allowed Rasor-Thompspn to score and even the game up at 2-2.
Gonzaga starting pitcher, Billy Moon (3-2), was saddled with the loss as he allowed five runs, four earned, on nine hits in 7.0 innings of work.
Offensively for the Toreros, Dillon Haupt led the way, as he went 3-for-4, while Bryant led the RBI category, going 1-for-4 with a triple and two big RBI.
The Toreros will return to action on Monday as they head across town to take on San Diego State in a 6 p.m. non-conference game at Tony Gwynn Stadium.