Feb. 13, 2004
SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Propelled by a seven-run sixth inning and a solid starting pitching performance from Eric Dworkis, the Gonzaga Bulldogs opened its season with a 15-5 victory over Oklahoma in the second game of the second annual Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic at Surprise Stadium.
Oregon State beat Utah 8-6 in the first game of the nine-game tournament that is played at the spring training home of the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers. Gonzaga improved to 1-0 on the season in the head coaching debut of Mark Machtolf. Oklahoma lost a season opener for the first time in head coach Larry Cochell's 14-year career at the helm of the Sooners.
Dworkis worked five and a third strong innings, limiting the Sooners to five unearned runs and only five hits. The hard-throwing right-hander walked three and struck out five in his 2004 debut.
Oklahoma starter Mark Roberts fell to 0-1 in his season debut with a slew of Sooner errors working against him. Roberts allowed five runs (2 ER) and five hits in five innings. He struck out five and walked one in his outing. Four OU relievers
The Bulldogs scored three in the first inning behind three fielding errors from the Sooner defense. Oklahoma returned the favor with two runs in the second and two more third on a Bulldog error to take a 4-3 lead.
After a single tally in the fourth to tie the game at 4-4 and a run in the fifth to take the lead, Gonzaga exploded for a seven-run sixth inning to take a 12-4 lead. The Bulldogs sent 12 batters to the plate in the inning off Sooner relievers Mike Swindell and Charlie House. Right fielder Jeff Culpepper and catcher Kiel Thibault each had run scoring singles and catcher Aaron McGuiness plated two with a single to the left field gap.
Gonzaga added three more runs in the top of the ninth off OU freshman reliever Charles Benoit to bring the game to the final score of 15-5.
Gonzaga was led at the plate by a three-hit game from catcher Kiel Thibault and multi-hit games from designated hitter Matt Redding (2-for-5, 2 R, RBI), right fielder Jeff Culpepper (2-for-6, 3 R, RBI) and center fielder Chris Sinner (2-for-5, 2 RBI.
Oklahoma recorded only six hits in the game, led by the 2-for-3 performance from center fielder Jeff Scuderi.