Huskies split with ‘Zags on diamond

Senior left-hander Zack Daniels pitched the first complete game of his career and his teammates backed him with 14 hits as the Huskies defeated Gonzaga 10-3 and salvaged a split of a non-conference doubleheader at Husky Ballpark on Tuesday.

Daniels allowed only seven hits and three runs with one walk and four strikeouts to improve his record to 2-0. Two of those runs came via the home run. Gonzaga's Kemp Quackenbush hit his fifth long ball of the season, a shot over the right field wall, and NCAA home run leader Nate Gold smashed his 32nd of the season, a shot over the wall in left center field, in the fourth.

By the time the Bulldogs did their damage against Daniels, the Huskies had already chased Gonzaga starting pitcher and loser Steve Hare (0-1) after only one and two thirds innings. Brandon Jacobson led off in the bottom of the first with a walk and moved to second on a wild pitch, and put the Huskies up 1-0 on a ground single to center by Taylor Johnson. Johnson moved to second on Hare's second wild pitch of the inning and scored to make it 2-0 when Tyler Davidson chopped a single off second baseman Brad Welker's glove and into center field.

Washington added a pair of runs in the bottom of the second as Nick Batkoski lined a leadoff double into right center field, advanced on a one out fly ball to center by Jacobson and was aboard when Taylor Johnson stroked his fourth home run of the season into the screen beyond the center field wall.

After the home runs by Quackenbush and Gold cut the Husky lead to 4-2, Washington made it 5-2 in the bottom of the fourth on a single by Greg Isaacson, another wild pitch, this time by Bulldog reliever John Gonzalez, and a single into left by Garthwaite. The Huskies put the game away with three runs in the fifth. John Otness bunted for a base hit leading off the inning and, after advancing to second on a ground out by Ben Johnson, scored on Batkoski's second double of the game. Isaacson singled to put Husky runners on at first and third and Gonzalez hit Jacobson with a pitch to load the bases. Then Gonzalez lost his control and walked both Davidson and Garthwaite to force in Batkoski and Isaacson and give the Huskies an 8-2 lead.

The Huskies added their final tallies of the game in the bottom of the eighth against fourth Gonzaga reliever Eric Dworkis. Otness and Ben Johnson singled and Batkoski walked to load the bases. Isaacson plated Otness with a sacrifice fly to center, and Jacobson lined a double into the right field corner to score Ben Johnson and give the Huskies a 10-2 lead.

With the outcome of the game no longer in doubt, Gonzaga tacked on a run in the top of the ninth as John Gebbers hit a sinking line drive into center field that Garthwaite could not reach. The ball got down and rolled to the wall and by the time Jacobson retrieved the ball, Gebbers stood at third with a triple. He then scored when Brian Munhall grounded out to first baseman Steve Ramsey.

With the victory and the split of the doubleheader, Washington improved to 26-23-1, while Gonzaga dropped to 26-27.

The Huskies, currently tied with Stanford for second place in the Pac-10 with 11-7 records, return to conference play with a three game series against the Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis from Friday, May 17 to Sunday, May 19. Ace Shawn Kohn will start the opener for Washington.

NOTES: Gonzaga rallied from an 8-4 deficit to defeat Washington 12-10 in the opener of Tuesday's doubleheader. The Bulldogs scored one run in the fifth and three in the sixth to tie the game, and after Washington scored to take a 9-8 lead, Gonzaga scored four runs in the seventh to take a 12-9 lead. The Huskies made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth. Garthwaite led off with his 14th home run of the season into the center field screen to make it 12-10. Then Bryan Johnson walked and Michael Done singled to center. However, Tila Reynolds, attempting to sacrifice, bunted into a force out at third, Isaacson flied out to center, and Aaron Hathaway struck out to end the game.

Nate Gold hit his 31st home run of the season in Game 1 to set a new West Coast Conference single season record, breaking the former mark set by Taggert Bozied of San Francisco in 1999.

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