View Full Version : Baseball: Gonzaga Looks to Rebound Against BYU

03-19-2015, 02:18 PM
The Gonzaga University baseball team will continue its first homestand of the season by hosting BYU in a Thursday-Saturday series at Patterson Baseball Complex.

GU Looks to Rebound Against BYU

Gonzaga (10-10, 1-2 WCC) vs. BYU (9-11, 2-1 WCC)
Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field | Spokane, Wash.

Thursday, March 19; 6:00 p.m. - TBA vs. RHP Kolton Mahoney
Friday, March 20, 6:00 p.m. - RHP Brandon Bailey vs. RHP Jeff Barker
Saturday, March 21; 12:00 p.m. - RHP Andrew Sopko vs. RHP Brandon Kinser

Links to live stats and audio 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/Week6.pdf?DB_OEM_ID=26400) | BYU (http://www.gozags.com/fls/26400//BASEBALL/2015/BYU.pdf?DB_OEM_ID=26400)

• Gonzaga’s first series at home after 17 on the road to begin the year was spoiled by San Francisco last weekend as the Dons won two games during the three-game slate. The two Zag losses came by a total of three runs while GU outscored USF 10-6 during the three games combined.
• Gonzaga’s pitching continued to excel during the San Francisco series. Against the Dons, Gonzaga’s hurlers combined for a 2.00 ERA, striking out 27 batters in 27 innings of work. Both Brandon Bailey and Andrew Sopko turned in ultra quality starts as Bailey tossed seven shutout innings March 13 while Sopko threw a season-high 8.0 innings while holding the Dons to two runs a day later. They both fanned nine San Francisco batters. The bullpen, meanwhile, combined to allow one run in 9.0 innings, a 1.00 ERA.
• The Zags lead the all-time series with BYU 19-16, winning each of the last three regular season series two games to one. Last season, GU won the final two games of the series in Provo, Utah, edging the Cougars by scores of 4-3 and 6-4. Brock Slavin led the team with a .500 average and .667 on base percentage in that series while Caleb Wood brought in four RBIs against the Cougars. On the mound, Will Abram and Brandon Bailey each picked up a win.

• Overall, the Gonzaga pitching staff has posted a WCC-leading 2.97 ERA, allowing 57 earned runs (75 total) in 2015. They’ve struck out 133 opposing batters and issued walks just 53 times for a K/BB ratio of 2.51, the highest in the WCC. Sophomore Brandon Bailey (1.75 ERA, 36.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 R, 38 Ks) has the lowest ERA of the starters while two bullpen pitchers (Hunter Wells and Zach Abbruzza) have yet to allow a run this season. Closer David Bigelow leads the team with three saves and is tied for the team lead in appearances.
• Five Gonzaga starters are currently hitting above .300, headlined by senior Mitchell Gunsolus’ .370. Two more reserves are also hitting above that mark, and seven different batters currently have six or more RBIs. Justin Jacobs leads the team with 17 RBIs while Gunsolus also leads the squad with a .506 slugging percentage and .463 on base percentage.

|• The Cougars are 9-11 on the year, and seven of their wins have come in the last eight games. They most recently took two games in their WCC-opening series versus Pepperdine in Provo, winning the final two contests.
• Shortstop Hayden Nielsen leads the WCC with 32 hits and 18 RBIs and also tops the squad in batting average and stolen bases. Infielder Dillon Robinson is second with a .360 batting average, .533 slugging percentage, and 15 RBI. Overall, the Cougars are among the conference’s top three in batting average, hits, on base percentage, and other offensive categories.
• BYU’s pitching staff has a 4.89 ERA in 20 games, seventh in the WCC. They’ve fanned 131 batters, and opponents are hitting .287 and have scored 106 runs off BYU hurlers. Brandon Kinser has the lowest ERA among the starters with a mark of 2.51 in 28.2 innings. Reliever Keaton Cenatiempo has the lowest ERA on the squad with a 0.64 mark in 14.0 innings pitched, and he, Michael Rucker, and Mason Marshall lead the team with nine appearances apiece.

The Gonzaga pitching staff has been downright dangerous in the last eight games, posting a combined ERA of 2.03 and striking out 67 batters during the stretch. They’ve allowed just 16 earned runs (18 total) and held opposing hitters to just a .187 batting average since beginning the series at Tulane. Four different pitchers have not allowed a run during that stretch: starter Brandon Bailey and relievers Zach Abbruzza, Wyatt Mills, and Hunter Wells. Two others in David Bigelow and Gage Burland have allowed just one, while Calvin LeBrun also let up just two in Arkansas. Additionally, all 10 pitchers who have taken the mound since then have held opponents to a .250 batting average or lower with six of those (Bailey, Bigelow, Mills, Wells, LeBrun, and Burland) under .200.

With a 2.41 ERA, the Gonzaga bullpen has been strong all season. They’ve held opposing teams to just a .188 batting average and 15 earned runs (18 total) in 56.0 innings of work. Two members of the pen – Zach Abbruzza and Hunter Wells – have yet to allow a run all year, and David Bigelow has settled into the closer role with three saves. Bigelow also leads the WCC and is 27th in the nation with a 12.00 K/BB ratio. Over the last three weeks (12 games) Gonzaga’s relievers been even better, combining for a 1.64 ERA and .157 batting average against. Since the beginning of the Phoenix Muni Classic Feb. 26, GU relievers have allowed only six runs in 33.0 innings of work.

Thursday’s starter is yet to be determined, but a number of candidates could earn the nod. Calvin LeBrun has made four starts on the year while Sean-Luke Brija and Gage Burland also have begun games on the mound in 2015. Additionally, Eli Morgan and Wyatt Mills have thrown well out of the bullpen and could nab the starting spot as well...Friday night starter Brandon Bailey is currently riding a 16.2 inning scoreless streak, having last allowed a run with one out during his final inning Feb. 26 against Purdue. He’s taken two no-hitters into the seventh inning already this season, and he is second and third in the conference in ERA and strikeouts, respectively. His start March 6 at Tulane, perhaps the best of his two-year career, is detailed in the WCC Player of the Week section. The sophomore also made his first career relief appearance March 10 at Arkansas, throwing a scoreless 7th inning to help the Zags hold on for a 6-2 win...Saturday starter Andrew Sopko has put up solid numbers all season, not allowing more than two earned runs in each of his five starts. Most recently, March 7 versus San Francisco, he tossed a gem, going 8.0 innings strong while striking out a season-high 9 batters and allowing just two runs while suffering the loss. The junior has pitched 6.0 innings or more four times this season for four quality starts.

Gonzaga is among the top three of the West Coast Conference in a number of offensive categories. The Zags’ team batting average of .283 is third in the league and only three points behind BYU for second, while GU is second with 197 hits. They lead the conference with seven triples, and the Zags are tied for second along with the Cougars with 101 runs. Individually, Mitchell Gunsolus is among the top conference’s top five in bases on balls, batting average, hits, on base percentage, runs scored, and total bases. Justin Jacobs is also tied for second in RBIs...

Gonzaga Article Link (http://www.gozags.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=26400&ATCLID=209969405)

03-21-2015, 10:19 PM
March 19th:

Thursday: Ninth-inning Rally Falls Short (http://www.gozags.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=627525&SPID=90843&DB_LANG=C&ATCLID=209971991&DB_OEM_ID=26400)

Gonzaga scored four in the ninth inning and had the tying run in scoring position, but a furious ninth-inning rally fell just short as the Zags fell 6-5 to BYU Thursday.

03-21-2015, 10:23 PM
March 20th:

Friday: Late Rally Pushes Zags over BYU 7-6 (http://www.gozags.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=627525&SPID=90843&DB_LANG=C&ATCLID=209974295&DB_OEM_ID=26400)

Gonzaga scored five runs in the 8th inning to complete their biggest comeback in nearly six years Friday night against BYU.

03-21-2015, 10:26 PM
March 21st:

Saturday: Zags Fall to BYU in Series Finale (http://www.gozags.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=627525&SPID=90843&DB_LANG=C&ATCLID=209975906&DB_OEM_ID=26400)

Gonzaga University's baseball squad dropped Saturday's series finale against BYU by a score of 13-4, allowing BYU to take the series.

04-07-2015, 01:27 PM
I am hoping they can pull through the rest of the season and win some meaningful games. Long season to go. Keep the faith!