Besting Gonzaga

Mitchell Lobetos
Staff Writer

The baseball team is still struggling to find their winning ways and last week was no different. The Dons (12-26, 7-8 WCC) played the University of New Mexico Lobos (26-11) for one game and a three-game set against the University of Gonzaga Bulldogs (21-12, 10-5 WCC). San Francisco got rolled by the Lobos but was able to edge their West Coast Conference foes for a 2-1 series win. Hopefully the wins against a rival powerhouse gives USF a productive rhythm for their remaining 18 games.

In the Dons series versus the Bulldogs, San Francisco one games one and three 5-3 and 9-1 respectively and lost game two 2-10. In game three, junior starting pitcher James Kannenberg put in 7.2 innings of work allowing three earned runs while ringing up six strikeouts. Even though the Zags jumped on Kannenberg for two runs in the first inning, USF was able to recover quickly. In the bottom of the first inning sophomore infielder Ross Puskarich hit a sacrifice fly to drive in one run and did so again in the third inning. The very next batter, sophomore Brady Bate, launched a shot over the fences for a three-run homerun. San Francisco held on to their 5-2 lead until the eighth inning when Gonzaga was able to squeeze out one more run via sacrifice fly. Junior right-hander Joey Carney came in for a 0.1 out save, his third save of the season.

During game two of the Gonzaga series, the Zags had their way in the final three innings of the game. Scoreless going into the sixth inning, the Bulldogs worked out three runs. By the end of the seventh inning the score read 4-2 in favor of Gonzaga. In the eighth inning USF surrendered two more runs but the final haymaker was in the ninth inning when opposing outfielder Jace Vandebrake launched a grand slam to push the score to 10-2. Almost every pitcher the Dons rolled out that day struggled but they had the cushion of a win the day before

Game one of the set was all San Francisco. Though senior starter Anthony Shew gave up one run in the first inning, he spun 8.0 innings of quality ball only allowing the one run and striking out six. The Dons drove five runs home in the second inning and piled on one more in the fifth inning and three more in the eighth. With a scoreline of 9-1, USF cruised to victory. Junior Matt Sinatro had himself an interesting game. Sinatro batted a respectable 1-for-4 but scored once by wild pitch, earned one RBI via double and another RBI via walk.

San Francisco got thumped by New Mexico. Sophomore starter Grant Goodman only lasted 0.1 innings and gave up four runs, three of which were earned. Seven more pitchers came in for relief, luckily four had scoreless outings. In wasn’t the sharpest game the team has had but definitely one easier to brush off being a non-conference game.

The Dons will look to improve from last week’s split games against the University of San Diego when they come to visit for the weekend. Be sure to check out San Francisco during their home series with the Torreros at newly remodeled Benedetti Diamond. At time of print the score against San Jose State University was unavailable.

Photo courtesy of Dons Athletics

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