View Full Version : Baseball: Home at Last! Zags Open Home, Conference Slates vs. USF

03-12-2015, 07:04 PM
Home at Last! Zags Open Home, Conference Slates vs. USF
After 17 games and 11,551 miles, the Gonzaga baseball team will finally play a home game when they host WCC foe San Francisco this Friday.

Gonzaga (9-8) vs. San Francisco (5-12)
Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field | Spokane, Wash.

Friday, March 13; 6:00 p.m. - RHP Brandon Bailey vs. RHP Anthony Shew
Saturday, March 14, 6:00 p.m. - RHP Andrew Sopko vs. LHP Christian Cecilio
Sunday, March 15; 12:00 p.m. - LHP Calvin LeBrun vs. LHP Jeider Rincon

Links to live stats and video may be found on the baseball schedule page of GoZags.com (http://www.gozags.com/SportSelect.dbml?&&DB_OEM_ID=26400&SPID=90843&SPSID=627521)

Game Notes: Gonzaga (http://www.gozags.com/fls/26400//BASEBALL/2015/Week5_2.pdf?DB_OEM_ID=26400) | San Francisco (http://www.gozags.com/fls/26400//BASEBALL/2015/USF.pdf?DB_OEM_ID=26400)

• After starting the season with 17 consecutive road games to start the year, traveling 11,551 miles (according to Google Maps) to four different states, the Gonzaga Bulldogs will finally play at their home field of Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field. The home opener against San Francisco kicks off an eight-game homestand and a stretch during which they’ll play 16 of the next 19 games in eastern Washington
• The Zags are entering the homestand and WCC play with momentum after going 4-1 during their five-game swing in the Central time zone. They picked up their first two wins against a ranked team by winning a series at Tulane two games to one, and they swept an SEC school for the first time by winning both games at Arkansas during the week.
• San Francisco leads the all-time series between the two clubs 39-37, bug Gonzaga earned a sweep of the Dons last season in San Francisco. In the last two years, GU is 5-2 against USF, winning a 2013 home series 2-1 and losing to the Dons once in the WCC Tournament that year.

• Gonzaga is 9-8 on the year and coming off a 4-1 Central road swing with two wins each over Tulane and Arkansas. The Gonzaga pitching staff was lights out during the trip, posting a 2.05 ERA with 40 punchouts in 44.0 innings pitched. The Zags only allowed 12 runs in those five games, and just 10 of those were earned runs. Offensively, Gonzaga’s bats cooled as they only hit .219 over those six days, but they reached base at a .351 clip, scoring 30 runs. Half of those scores came March 11 in a 15-5 win at Arkansas to sweep the series against the Razorbacks.
• Overall, the Gonzaga pitching staff has posted a WCC-leading 3.14 ERA, allowing 51 earned runs (69 total) in 2015. They’ve struck out 106 opposing batters and issued walks just 48 times for a K/BB ratio of 2.21, the second highest in the WCC. Junior Andrew Sopko (1.96 ERA, 23.0 IP, 5 ER, 10 R, 17 Ks) has the lowest ERA of the starters while three bullpen pitchers (Hunter Wells, David Bigelow, and Zach Abbruzza) have yet to allow a run this season. Bigelow also leads the team with three saves.
• Five Gonzaga starters are currently hitting above .300, headlined by senior Mitchell Gunsolus’ .386. Two more reserves are also hitting above that mark, and nine different batters currently have five or more RBIs.

• The Dons are 5-12 on the year but are coming off a series sweep at #8 Oregon during the week and have also won four of their last five games. They beat the Ducks 4-1 March 10 and 8-2 March 11.
• Dominic Miroglio leads the team with a .426 batting average, adding slugging and on-base percentages of .607 and .500, respectively. He leads or is tied for the team lead in hits, triples, home runs, RBIs, and total bases. Derek Atkinson leads the squad with 14 runs scored and has started every game for the Dons, while Connor Hofmann leads the team with six stolen bases. As a team, the Dons are hitting a WCC-worst .246, but they’re sixth in the conference with 78 runs.
• San Francisco’s pitching staff has a 5.40 ERA in 17 games, eighth in the WCC. They’ve fanned 116 batters, and opponents are hitting .257 and have scored 100 runs off USF hurlers. Friday night starter Anthony Shew is has the lowest ERA among the starters with a mark of 3.03 in 29.2 innings. Reliever Matt Narahara leads the team with eight appearances, allowing 11 runs in 14.0 innings of work.

Two Bulldogs have earned West Coast Conference Player of the Week honors this year with RHP Brandon Bailey getting the award after a standout performance March 6 at Tulane. The GU ace threw 8.0 innings of shutout ball, fanning a career high 10 batters and holding the Green Wave to three hits, also a career best for the sophomore. Freshman OF/RHP Tyler Frost earned WCC Player of the Week honors March 2 after hitting .564 and slugging .813 slugging at the Phoenix Muni Classic. His 9-for-16 weekend at the plate included four runs scored, three RBIs, a double, his first career home run, and his first start on the mound...

With a 2.68 ERA, the Gonzaga bullpen has been strong all season. They’ve held opposing teams to just a .198 batting average and 14 earned runs (17 total) in 47.0 innings of work. Three members of the pen – Zach Abbruzza, David Bigelow, and Hunter Wells – have yet to allow a run all year, and Bigelow has settled into the closer role with three saves. Over the last two weeks (nine games) they’ve been even better, combining for a 1.88 ERA and .165 batting average against. Since the beginning of the Phoenix Muni Classic Feb. 26, GU relievers have allowed only five runs in 24.0 innings of work.

The Bulldog batters combined to draw 13 walks March 11 at Arkansas, the most the club has seen since at least 2008. Seven of the Zags’ nine starting hitters walked at least once during the game. When combining their 13 bases on balls Wednesday with the six free passes they were issued March 10, the Zags increased their season walk total by 50% while in Fayetteville. They entered the two-game series having drawn 38 walks on the season, and they now have 57 bases on balls, which ranks third in the West Coast Conference. GU entered the series last in the conference in the statistic.

Outfielder Justin Jacobs has given the Zags a tremendous offensive boost so far this season. The sophomore transfer is leading the team with three home runs and 17 RBIs while second with a .333 batting average and .500 slugging percentage. Jacobs has hit safely in each of the last 13 games, dating back to Feb. 20 in the series opener at UC Davis. During the streak specifically, he’s hitting .380 with 15 of his RBI and all three of his home runs. The transfer from Lower Columbia College was a JUCO All-American in 2014.

The GU pitching staff has been lights out after they record the second out of an inning. Gonzaga’s hurlers have held opponents to just a .222 batting average (39x176) after getting two batters out. Relievers David Bigelow and Hunter Wells have yet to allow a two-out hit this season, and starter Brandon Bailey has allowed just three hits in 30 such at-bats for a .100 average against in that situation. Two other GU pitchers – Gage Burland and Wyatt Mills – are holding batters to a sub-.200 batting average with two down. Most importantly, opponents have only put up 11 2-out RBIs against Gonzaga this season...

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