May 29, 2009
FULLERTON, CA - Gonzaga's offense banged out 18 hits on the night and the third-seeded Bulldogs scored in every inning but the second as they handed second-seeded Georgia Southern a 19-10 loss in the opener for both teams at the 2009 NCAA Baseball Regional on Friday evening at Goodwin Field in front of 1,202 fans.
Gonzaga improved to 36-16 overall and moved into the winner's bracket to face either No. 2-national seed Cal State Fullerton or No. 4-seeded Utah on Saturday evening at 6 p.m. The Eagles fell to 42-16 overall and will meet the loser of the Titans-Utes contest in an elimination game at 2 p.m. on Saturday afternoon.
It was not a good night for the starting pitcher as Georgia Southern ace Chris Mederos was chased after only two-thirds of an inning, facing 11 batters and allowing seven runs (two earned) on five hits as part of Gonzaga's seven-run top of the first.
Bulldogs' starter Matt Fields didn't fare much better, chased after 2 2/3 innings, allowing eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits as the Eagles ralled from 7-0 and 8-2 deficits to tie the game with a six-run third inning on four home runs.
Gonzaga set the tone early, sending 12 batters to the plate in the first inning and scoring seven runs for the early lead. Five hits and three hit batters chased Eagles starter Chris Mederos after only two-thirds of an inning.
Georgia Southern responded with a pair of runs in the bottom of the second to break onto the scoreboard and slugged four home runs as part of a six-run third inning to claw its way back and tie the game at 8-8.
However, the Bulldogs' Anthony Synegal led off the fourth with his seventh home run of the season to snap the tie and start a string of eight unanswered runs over the next four innings to seal the victory.
Every Bulldogs starter had at least one hit - seventh of those notching multi-hit games on the evening paced by Tyson Van Winkle and Mark Castellitto's three-hit, three-RBI performances.
The two teams combined for eight home runs, including a pair by the Eagles' Griffin Benedict, who finished 4-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI.
Reedy Berg (4-4) earned the win in relief for Gonzaga, allowing just two runs on six hits and striking out six in six innings of work. Colin Snow (4-3) suffered the loss for Georgia Southern, allowing two runs on three hits in 3 1/3 innings of work.