CORVALLIS — Gonzaga baseball hung on late to take down the nation's No. 3-ranked team Oregon State by a score of 6-3 on Tuesday night in Corvallis, Ore.
GU (24-17) took the lead in the fourth with a three-run inning and never relinquished it to the Beavers (31-11-1). Oregon State, the defending national champion, made it interesting in the ninth, putting the tying run on first with the bases loaded, but Daniel Naughton got the strikeout to end it.
"This was a great all-around effort to beat a really quality team on the road," head coach Mark Machtolf said. "We had tough and productive at-bats up and down the lineup, and we got a great start from [Nick] Trogrlic-Iverson. We are proud of Daniel Naughton to come in and slam the door in the ninth."
GU starter Nick Trogrlic-Iverson turned in a standout performance on the mound, going 5.0 innings and allowing just one run on two hits with one strikeout and one walk. Michael Spellacy worked the mound next for Gonzaga and was equally as good, throwing 2.1 scoreless innings of relief, allowing four hits and striking out three. Trent Schulte finished out the eighth, but was replaced by Naughton after the first two batters reached in the ninth. The freshman had three strikeouts sandwiched around a walk and a pair of hits.
On offense, Mason Marenco and Ernie Yake had two hits apiece, while Troy Johnston supplied the power with a two-run homer. Yake reached four times in the game with two walks and scored two times.
After three scoreless innings by both teams, GU got on the board in a big way in the fourth with three runs. Guthrie Morrison knocked home Yake on a full-count single, and then Johnston hit his sixth home run in the last seven days. This one was a two-run shot, his seventh overall on the year.
OSU scored one run in the bottom of the fourth, but GU answered again in the sixth inning. Austin Pinorini walked to open the inning and then moved to third on a double by Fredrickson. A passed ball resulted in two runs after the Beavers threw away the ball trying to get Pinorini, which allowed Fredrickson to scamper home and make it 5-1 Zags.
Spellacy entered on the mound to start the sixth and found himself in a jam with two outs and runners on the corners, but he struck out the next batter looking to end the threat. He got out of another two-on, two-out jam in the seventh, and then Schulte did the same in the eighth to keep the GU lead at 6-1.
Oregon State put together a rally in the ninth, getting the first two runners aboard via walks. The Beavers got a double to score two, and then loaded the bases with two outs before Naughton's game-ending strikeout.
Gonzaga returns home for the weekend, hosting Saint Mary's in a three-game set beginning on Friday at 6 p.m. on SWX. Links to live coverage will be available at GoZags.com.