FULLERTON, Calif.—I’ve been in Orange County since Tuesday, and until the last 10 minutes, I hadn’t seen the sun since Tuesday afternoon. The locals call it the "May gray," and apparently it’s followed by the "June gloom," starting tomorrow. You can go days at a time without seeing the sun this time of year, but by mid-summer you’re likely to get blue skies every day. Anyway, the sun has broken through the thick layer of clouds here at Goodwin Field, and by golly, there are actual blue skies visible over the field.
The outlook has gotten considerably sunnier for Gonzaga as well. Utah jumped on Bulldogs starter Ryan Carpenter for two runs in the top of the third, but the Zags have answered back with three in the bottom of the frame, highlighted by Tyson Van Winkle’s two-run double to left field.
This is my first look at Carpenter, a touted freshman lefthander from Arizona, and I can see why Gonzaga is so excited about him. He’s sat around 89-91 mph with his fastball, touching 93, and has pitched effectively off a 78-82 slider. He’s even mixed in a few 74-78 changeups. He’s big and physical, and his arm works well—you can really dream on him. He also showed impressive toughness in the second after giving up a leadoff triple to Devin Walker, striking out the next three batters in order on a changeup and a pair of sliders. We’ll see what Carpenter can do with a 3-2 lead against Utah’s potent offense.
I’ll be here at Goodwin Field for the rest of the day, barring a blowout for either team in the late game. Dave Perkin will provide insights from Irvine.
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