Despite a 3-1 record entering this week in Greater Spokane League baseball, Gonzaga Prep coach Brian Munhall said that the Bullpups’ hitting has been anemic.
“Our pitching has been great all year, but our bats have been slow going,” he said at Gonzaga Prep’s Higgins Field on Tuesday.
It wasn’t much better during the completion of a tie game that started Friday against Shadle Park that stretched to 12 innings. An error helped G-Prep to a marathon 10-9 win.
It forced their regularly scheduled game to start at 5:15 p.m. and end in near-darkness. The Bullpups offense proved a difference maker. A two-run first-inning home run and six-hit, five-run second inning propelled G-Prep to a 7-0 victory and sweep of the series.
“The bats are waking up,” Munhall said afterward. “It was nice that we came out swinging in the second game.”
Victories over previously unbeaten Shadle left no team perfect in the GSL and the Bullpups (5-1) in first place.
On Friday, the Highlanders (3-2) had scored seven times in the fourth inning, powered by Evan Douglas’ grand slam. But they gave five runs back in the sixth, with G-Prep ultimately creating a 9-9 tie after seven.
The teams took up where they had left off Tuesday at Prep, where the pitching of aces David Machtolf of G-Prep and Nick Bettinson of Shadle Park dominated through five extra innings, allowing a combined three hits.
“I haven’t seen Bettinson better,” Munhall said.
In the bottom of the 12th, a hit batter was followed by a dropped fly ball on Matt Miller’s tailing fly ball to left-center field with two out.
In Game 2, Miller slugged a 340-foot two-run home run in the first inning. The big second included a two-run double by Zach Bonneau and two-run single by Kale Ulrich.
Pitchers Justin Blatner, Bonneau and Max Eugenio combined for 13 strikeouts and Shadle didn’t score in its final 13 innings. Center fielder Chris Szambelan preserved the string with a diving catch of a deep drive into the dusk.
“Gonzaga was picked to win the league for a reason,” Shadle coach Ron Brooks said, while lauding the Bullpups’ pitching. “The kids could have responded better offensively, but it’s early in this thing.”
Elsewhere, Ferris (4-1) swept Rogers (0-6) 10-0 and 9-0. Wes Kopp threw a no-hitter in the second game.