Gonzaga turns back Oregon, 9-7
EUGENE — Oregon erased an early five-run deficit, but Gonzaga rallied for three late runs to win, 9-7, in the first of a two-game nonconference series on Monday night at PK Park.
Trailing 6-1 in the fourth, Tim Susnara jump-started a five-run Oregon inning with a two-run double to right to score Jake Bennett and Steven Packard, who opened the inning with walks.
Pinch-hitter Nick Catalano followed with a walk of his own, and Austin Grebeck brought the Ducks within a run with a two-out, two-run double down the left-field line. Daniel Patzlaff, who replaced Kyle Kasser at third base in the third, picked up the equalizer for the Ducks with an RBI single to left to score Grebeck.
Oregon (22-20) took the lead in the fifth with a similar sequence, as Bennett and Packard again walked back-to-back to start the inning followed by Susnara’s third hit of the game, and Travis Moniot walked with the bases loaded to force home a run and put Oregon up, 7-6.
Gonzaga (26-15) retook the lead for good in the seventh on a two-run single by nine-hole hitter Jace VanDeBrake, and added an insurance run in the eighth on an RBI base hit by catcher Joey Harris. The Zags’ bullpen held the Ducks scoreless on just two hits over the final four innings to secure the win.
The Ducks scored in the first inning for the fifth time in their last six games, with A.J. Balta delivering an RBI triple to right-center to score Kasser after he walked and stole second.
Susnara continued his hot hitting, setting a career-high with four hits while driving in two to raise his batting average to .280. The sophomore hit his team-leading 11th double of the season while putting together his team-high 11th multiple-hit game and fourth multiple-RBI game.
In his last seven games, Susnara is 12-for-22 (.545) with a home run, four doubles, eight RBIs and six runs scored.