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TerpZag
03-14-2015, 08:07 AM
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Timely hits and strong pitching led Gonzaga to a 7-0 win over San Francisco Friday night to open both WCC play and the Zags' home schedule.


Zags Shut Out Dons to Open Home, WCC Slates

Box Score (http://www.gozags.com/fls/26400/BASEBALL/HTMLs/2015/gon18.htm?DB_OEM_ID=26400) | Highlights (https://www.youtube.com/watch?DB_OEM_ID=26400&v=hKmWJPnDURQ&feature=youtu.be)

SPOKANE, Wash.—After 17 games on the road to begin the 2015 season, the Gonzaga baseball squad was excited to play at their home park of Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field Friday night, and they showed it by shutting out San Francisco 7-0 in both team’s West Coast Conference opener.

The Zags bats knocked around San Francisco’s pitching staff for 14 hits, getting hits in six of their eight innings at the plate. They first broke onto the scoresheet in the fourth, scoring three runs on three hits. Four of the first five batters reached base safely in the frame, and first baseman Cory LeBrun picked up the first RBI of the night with a double down the right field line that scored Justin Jacobs. Caleb Wood moved to third base on the play, and came home in the next at when Tyler Frost ripped an RBI single as well. In the next at bat, LeBrun came home on an RBI fielder’s choice from Joey Harris.

Gonzaga picked up three more runs in the sixth inning, again spurred on by LeBrun. He led the frame off with a single through the right side, and Frost followed suit with an infield base knock. Harris then laid down a sacrifice bunt to advance the runners, reaching himself on an error from USF catcher Dominic Miroglio. Next up, Mitchell Gunsolus brought in the two lead runners with a hard-hit single up the middle. The senior third baseman came around to score later on when designated hitter Jimmy Sinatro singled into right field.

The hosts added one more run in eighth inning. Harris led the Zags’ half of the inning with a single into left center. A throwing error on a fielder’s choice moved Harris to second base, and the catcher took third on a single from Sam Brown. Next, Sinatro hit a deep fly to right field for a sacrifice fly to plate Harris for the Zags’ seventh run of the game.

The Bulldog pitchers were equally as impressive on the night. Starter Brandon Bailey turned in his second shutout performance in a row, holding the Dons scoreless on seven hits while fanning nine. A sophomore, the Gonzaga ace got San Francisco to strand two runners on base in the first, fourth, and seventh innings. He only allowed one USF runner to reach third base, that coming with two down in the second inning. With Manny Ramirez, Jr., 90 feet away from home, Bailey struck out Michael Eaton to end the frame.

Hunter Wells and David Bigelow also pitched shutout innings, coming on in the eighth and ninth innings, respectively. They each allowed just one base runner, with Wells’ coming on a walk and Bigelow’s on an error. Bigelow, a redshirt senior, has not allowed a base hit in his last five appearances and 6.0 innings pitched.

Bulldog Bites

Friday night’s shutout was the Zags’ second of the season. Their first also came when Bailey started on the mound, that coming one week earlier on March 6 at Tulane. The sophomore went 8.0 scoreless innings in that contest, meaning Bailey is working on a 16.2 inning scoreless streak stretching back to the final two outs of the seventh inning Feb. 26 versus Purdue.

The Zags combined for 14 hits, the third-most of the season and most since Feb. 26 (eight games). They already have double-digit hits in 10 games (18 played) this season. Last year, they needed 24 games to reach that mark. Gonzaga entered the series with the second-most hits in the conference.

Gonzaga’s pitchers have stepped up their flame in the last week. They’ve combined for double-digit strikeouts three times this season, and each of those three instances have come since March 6 at Tulane. Against the Green Wave, the fanned a season-high 12 batters, and they matched that feat two days later on March 10. Bailey’s been a big part of those numbers as well, combining for 20 in three appearances during that span. Before tonight’s game, he was tied for second in the WCC in the category.

Entering tonight’s game, Gonzaga had two big streaks going offensively as Breshears had reached base in all 17 games of the season and Jacobs had tallied at least one hit in the 13 previous games. Both of those streaks were extended as well; Breshears reached base with a single in the sixth inning while Jacobs’ first of two hits on the night came in the fourth. Additionally, both Gunsolus and Sinatro tied season highs with 2 RBIs against San Francisco. Both LeBrun and Harris also equaled season bests with two base hits Friday...


Next Up

Gonzaga (10-8) continues the first home series of the year with another game Saturday, March 14, against San Francisco. First pitch for that contest is scheduled for 6:00 p.m., again at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field. Gonzaga will send RHP Andrew Sopko to the mound while LHP Christian Cecilio will get the nod for the Dons.


Gonzaga Article Link (http://www.gozags.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=26400&ATCLID=209959012)