April 26 was a day of firsts for the University of San Francisco Dons baseball team. The Dons made their national television debut on ESPNU against a familiar foe, the Gonzaga University Bulldogs. Heading into the series, the Dons and the Bulldogs were embroiled in a four-way tie for first place in the West Coast Conference standings.
Senior Jonathan Allen got the night started with a two-run home run in the top of the first to give the Dons a 2-0 lead. A scoreless second inning kept the Dons from capitalizing on their lead. A Bulldogs RBI single at the bottom of the second tied the game at two runs apiece.
A momentary lapse in offense saw both sides go scoreless in the third inning. An RBI triple in the bottom of the fourth acted as the catalyst for an explosion in the Bulldogs’ offense that lasted the rest of the game, much to the chagrin of the Dons. The Dons ended their scoring drought in the sixth inning as junior Jacob Munoz hit a sacrifice fly to bring Allen home. By the end of the sixth, the Bulldogs’ lead was becoming insurmountable as the Dons were down 14-3.
The eighth inning saw the Dons rally from behind. Sophomore Jack Winkler hit an RBI single which brought sophomore Nick Yovetich home and pulled the Dons within six runs. Having the potential to cut the Bulldogs’ lead down to three runs, Allen stepped up to the plate with two outs and two men on base. Allen ended up flying out for a second time, thus bringing the Dons’ rally to a close. Gonzaga scored one more in the bottom of the eighth, pushing their lead to seven.
USF did not muster any offense in the ninth and they would end up losing 15-8. Junior Riley Ornido went down as the losing pitcher, bringing his season record to 5-5.
This game marked the first time since Feb 17, 2015, that the Dons scored eight or more runs and did not end up winning.