Before the first inning was over, UC Irvine had made him look painfully mortal in a 12-6 victory.
The Anteaters (40-16) scored five runs in the top of the first inning, three on a home run by Jordan Leyland. Gonzalez had an 11-0 record and a 1.43 earned-run average during the regular season. He had given up only 23 runs in 15 starts. Irvine scored 10 runs -- five unearned -- before Gonzalez was pulled with two outs in the fourth inning, his shortest outing of the season.
“There were a couple times where he had to get four or five outs in innings,” Fresno State Coach Mike Batesole said. “That wasn’t him. We weren’t as neat and clean as we usually are in the field.”
Gonzalez was culpable even there. He made two of the Bulldogs’ four errors, one gave the Anteaters a 2-0 lead in the first inning. Leyland, the next batter, then homered, with the ball glancing off right fielder Dusty Robinson’s glove.
Leyland also had a two-run single in Irvine’s four-run fifth inning. The Anteaters finished with 15 hits. Ronnie Shaeffer had two hits and drove in three runs.
“We got some breaks, for which we are eternally grateful,” Irvine Coach Mike Gillespie said. “But we had 15 hits and 10 of them were hit right on the screws.”
Irvine’s Matt Summers, who throw a no-hitter against Long Beach State in his last game, went seven innings, giving up only one earned run. Summers (11-2) had a streak of 21 consecutive scoreless innings snapped in the third inning. He struck out six batters in winning his ninth consecutive game.
“The no-hitter was nice,” Summers said, “but I was really excited about this game. It was my first postseason start. The guys went out and got five runs. That made it a lot easier.”
-- Chris Foster
Photo: UC Irvine's Jordan Leyland, who had five RBIs, heads to the dugout after scoring a run in the fifth inning against Fresno State on Friday afternoon. Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea / US Presswire