No. 2 Beavers Rally Late, End Gonzaga's Upset Bid - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

No. 2 Beavers Rally Late, End Gonzaga's Upset Bid

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Gonzaga looked to defeat No. 2 Oregon State, but a late rally lifted the Beavers to the win. Gonzaga looked to defeat No. 2 Oregon State, but a late rally lifted the Beavers to the win.

by Gonzaga Athletics

TEMPE, Ariz. – Gonzaga University baseball carried a 3-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning but second-ranked Oregon State University rallied and spurned the Zags upset chances Friday at the Husker Classic as the Beavers took the game 4-3 to open the 2014 season.

With two outs in the bottom of the eighth inning, Beaver Jeff Hendrix singled with runners on second and third to give OSU the decisive 4-3 lead. Hendrix’s base knock came off reliever Kenny Smith who entered the game in the sixth for freshman starter Brandon Bailey.

For Bailey, it was his collegiate debut for the Zags. After allowing a run in the first inning, the Broomfield, Colo., native settled down and delivered five strong innings of work. He was charged for one run on four hits while striking out four Beavers.

Midway through the game, Gonzaga took a 2-1 lead on a Joey Harris single to right field. It was Harris’ first collegiate hit and a pair of throwing errors allowed the two GU runs to score. Through five innings, Gonzaga appeared poised to upset OSU.

The Zags added an insurance run in the sixth on the bat of Payden Cawley Lamb. Lamb singled down the left field line to bring home Cory LeBrun, who previously reached on a base hit. LeBrun had two hits in the game.

Oregon State chipped into the lead with a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the seventh. The Beavers had loaded the bases but only managed the one run after Smith struck out Michael Howard to end the inning.

Smith who took the loss, gave the Zags three innings of relief and allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits.

Both GU and OSU left 11 runners on base.

Mitchell Gunsolus had the first Gonzaga hit of the new year in the top of the first inning. On an 0-2 count, Gunsolus singled to right center and would later steal second but he did not score.

Gonzaga is 6-11 on opening day since 2000. Oregon State has a five game winning streak over the Bulldogs dating back to 2008.

Opening weekend continues tomorrow with a Saturday doubleheader. Gonzaga will take on tournament host University of Nebraska at 2 p.m. followed by a 6 p.m. tilt with University of the Pacific.

Program history can be made Saturday as well. Head coach Mark Machtolf is just two victories away from his 300th as Gonzaga’s skipper.

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