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Bolinger’s homer guides Gonzaga over Santa Clara

Royce Bolinger’s three-run homer in the third inning gave Gonzaga a lead it wouldn’t surrender as the host Bulldogs defeated the Santa Clara Broncos 8-3 in a West Coast Conference baseball game played at Patterson Complex on Saturday.

It was the fourth straight win for the Bulldogs (24-9, 5-3). The Broncos fell to 18-14, 1-7.

Bolinger’s WCC-leading ninth home run gave Gonzaga a 3-2 lead and the Bulldogs added three more runs the following inning. Bolinger finished 3 for 4, Eric Lane was 2 for 3 and Maxx Garrett added a home run, his second of the season.

Marco Gonzales (5-0) pitched five innings, giving up Santa Clara’s three runs, but only two were earned. He has won 16 consecutive games over two seasons, the longest active Division I streak. He was making his first start since March 25 after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right leg.

David Bigelow pitched three innings and Sean-Luke Brija the final inning to sew up the win and get his first GU save.

The series concludes today with a 1 p.m. game.

Utah 4, Washington State 3: James Brooks led off the top of the 10th with a home run to lift the Utes (9-24, 5-9 Pac-12) to the victory over the Cougars (17-14, 4-6) in Pullman before 2,744 fans at Bailey-Brayton Field.

The Cougars tied the game in the bottom of the ninth when Tommy Richards scored on a wild pitch, but WSU left two on base as the Utes escaped a loss.

Brooks, who went 3 for 5, gave Utah a 3-2 lead in the seventh inning with a two-run double. WSU had led 2-1 since the fourth on Taylor Ard’s two-run home run, his sixth of the season. He had two of the Cougars’ five hits.

Anthony Drobnick (2-2), the last of five pitchers, got the loss.

The series concludes with an 11 a.m. game today.

Cal 5, Washington 2: Derek Campbell hit a two-run double in the seventh inning to break a 2-2 tie and the Bears (19-14, 4-7) went on to a 5-2 Pac-12 victory over the Huskies (17-15, 4-7) in Berkeley, Calif.

Pacific 6-1, Whitworth 2-7: Robb Dittrick went the distance in pitching the Boxers to a victory in the first game at Whitworth’s Merkel Field, but the Pirates’ second-game starter, Dan Scheibe, responded with a complete-game gem of his own to give the hosts a split of the Northwest Conference doubleheader.

The Boxers are atop the NWC standings with a 14-3 record, 17-12 overall. The Pirates are third behind Linfield at 12-5, 19-12-1.

Scheibe gave up six hits, walking none and striking out 12 to improve to 3-2.

Tyler Pfeffer’s NWC-leading 10th home run drove in three in the third. He finished 3 for 4, including a double, with four RBIs. Erik Nikssarian added his second homer of the season in the fourth.

Pfeffer, Nick Motsinger and Gerhard Muelheims finished with four hits apiece on the day for Whitworth.

The teams complete the series with a noon game today.

Wenatchee Valley 8-9, CC Spokane 3-7: The Sasquatch scored seven runs in the first inning but the Knights (4-8) rolled up 16 hits in overtaking CCS for the second-game victory and a sweep of the doubleheader in Spokane.

The Sasquatch (5-7) scored three runs in the sixth inning to tie the first game but WVC bounced back with four runs in the following inning.

Spokane’s Colin Peterson had three hits, including a double, in the second game and finished with four for the day. Donnie Santos and Trevor LaHonta had three apiece over the two games.