LOS ANGELES — Sometimes matchups don’t live up to their expectations. What looked likely to be a pitcher’s duel between a pair of the West Coast Conferences top aces turned into a barrage of line drives Friday afternoon at George Page Stadium.
With Loyola Marymount ace Colin Welmon, who entered with a 0.62 ERA, and Gonzaga two-way stud Marco Gonzales facing off on the mound, a quick, low-scoring affair seemed to be in order, but neither pitcher had their best stuff and both struggled to miss bats.
It ended up being the LMU offense that prevailed. The Lions (12-13, 4-3) scored five unanswered runs against Gonzales after , tying the game in the sixth inning and chasing Gonzales in the seventh, to take a 7-4 victory to open the conference series.
The Game Changer:
Gonzales went down to the ground clutching his left knee after he was hit by a Tanner Donnels line drive just above the knee. He briefly laid on his stomach with his head up, staring with a blank look across his face. But the tough Gonzales was soon on his feet and walking around the mound. After two warmup tosses, he appeared to be ready to go.
Gonzales had retired 12 of the 13 previous batters before Donnels, but he never settled back into a groove. David Edwards hit an 0-2 pitch off the Blue Monster in left field for a game-tying double and the following inning, LMU scored three runs that were all charged to Gonzales. In total, Gonzales allowed seven runs after having given up only 11 in his first six starts this season.
Loyola Marymount head coach Jason Gill talks about the offense picking up starter Colin Welmon and the boost Tommy Cheek has provided recently in the middle of the lineup:
Gonzaga head coach Mark Machtolf says Marco Gonzalez can’t be perfect every game and talks about the hole losing the series opener puts the Bulldogs in:
LMU designated hitter Tommy Cheek talks about his four-hit performance and the offense picking up Colin Welmon when he didn’t have his best stuff:
- Caleb Wood - 2-for-3, R, 2B, RBI, BB, SB
- Travis Forbes – 2-for-4, 2B
- Tommy Cheek - 4-for-4, R, 2 RBI
- David Edwards - 1-for-3, 2B, 2 RBI, HBP
- Brice Savage - 2-for-4, 2B
- Bret Dahlson – 2.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, Win
Also check out the 20-shot photo gallery from Thursday afternoon’s matchup at Page Stadium.