Ever since the first game of the 2021 season, the Washington baseball team has sported a losing record.
Entering Tuesday afternoon’s game against Gonzaga, the UW was on a hot stretch, winning five in a row and looking to reach the ever-elusive .500 winning percentage for the first time since the season opener.
A winning record will have to wait a few weeks longer, as the Huskies fell flat, unable to get the ball out of the infield and slapping just one hit in a 3-0 loss to the Bulldogs at Husky Ballpark.
Following the game, Washington head coach Lindsay Meggs was candid: his squad could not figure out Gonzaga starting pitcher Alec Gomez (4-1).
“We weren’t very tough,” Meggs said. “We just got dominated on fastballs at the end, and [Gomez] dominated us with his plan, we weren’t able to stick to our approach.”
Quiet bats have been a familiar theme for the Huskies (15-17, 3-9 Pac-12) this season. Coming into Tuesday’s game, the UW’s .239 batting average was dead last in the Pac-12.
Tuesday also marked the third time Washington has been shut out this season, the most recent occurrence coming against Oregon State on March 26.
“We looked tired, we made bad choices, and that’s what happens when you’re playing a good team,” Meggs said.
While the bats were unable to produce, four Washington pitchers put up an impressive collective performance, allowing five hits and one earned run. Junior Gabe Smith (1-2) made his second start of the season and was able to hold the Bulldogs (23-13, 11-4 WCC) scoreless for the first two innings of the game.
The junior looked sharp again in the third inning, getting two flyouts on just seven pitches, but then the UW defense plagued Smith by committing two consecutive errors. The first was a fielding error by third baseman Christian Dicochea which put two on after Smith walked a batter in the previous plate appearance. Then, another error came on a high throw to first from shortstop Ramon Bramasco that allowed both baserunners to score, putting Gonzaga ahead at 2-0.
A fourth inning solo home run from Gabriel Hughes pushed GU’s the lead to 3-0 before Smith was pulled later in the inning following a single.
Despite trailing after Smith was pulled, Meggs was happy with the Bonney Lake native’s performance.
“I thought he was good, we did everything we wanted him to do,” Meggs said. “We weren’t very good on the left side of the infield, that cost him two runs. The home run was the only earned run. I thought he was good in my mind.”
While relievers Dylan Lamb, Stu Flesland, and Stefan Raeth combined for 5 2/3 innings of scoreless ball after Smith exited, Washington’s offense was unable to create a threat against Gomez or any of the Gonzaga relievers. Only one base runner reached third base all game.
Uncertainty lies ahead for Washington, as its upcoming weekend series against Stanford was canceled due to COVID-19 issues within the Cardinal program. The next game on the UW schedule is now Friday, April 30 at home against California, where the team will look to get back to its winning formula.
Reach Co-Sports Editor Anthony Edwards at email@example.com. Twitter: @edwardsanthonyb
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