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04-12-2015, 07:16 PM
Bailey Goes the Distance as Zags Sweep Saint Mary’s



Box Score (http://www.gozags.com/fls/26400/BASEBALL/HTMLs/2015/gon36.htm?DB_OEM_ID=26400)

SPOKANE, Wash.—After coming down with strep throat and being pushed back from his typical Friday night start, Brandon Bailey wasn’t sure if he’d pitch this weekend against Saint Mary’s. The right hander felt well enough to take the mound Sunday, and his performance was as strong as his antibiotics as he threw a complete game shutout and helped Gonzaga sweep the key West Coast Conference series against the Gaels with a 1-0 win at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field.

The sophomore rested Friday and Saturday while his teammates won the first two games of the series 7-0 and 5-3, giving the Zags a chance at their first sweep of the season. On Sunday, it was Bailey’s turn to help shut down the Gaels, allowing just four hits while striking out nine batters, one off his season high. It was his first career complete game shutout but fifth time in two years that he went the distance. One of the four complete games he threw as a freshman also came against the Gaels, that coming on April 26 in Moraga, Calif.

Bailey faced the minimum through the first three innings, but each of the first two batters reached base. Catcher Joey Harris erased both of those runners, however, picking off Matt Toscano and catching Zach Kirtley attempting to steal second by a few feet. The junior backstop has now caught 24 runners trying to steal on the year – including 10 of the last 11 – and picked off two more.

Offensively, Gonzaga gave Bailey all the run support he’d need in the third inning. With one out, Taylor Jones deposited a 1-0 pitch from Saint Mary’s starter Anthony Gonsolin over the fence in left field. The solo home run was Jones’ third of the year and second of the series. In all, the first baseman went 2-for-3 on the day, also singling in the first inning and walking in the eighth.

Saint Mary’s did see a couple of quality scoring chances, loading the bases in the fourth inning and getting two on in the fifth. In the fourth, Bailey gave up a single, a double, and an intentional walk with one out, but he worked out of the jam by striking out Ian McLoughlin and Logan Steinberg. In the fifth, Saint Mary’s put runners on first and second with two out, but the GU righthander got Kirtley to pop up to shortstop Dustin Breshears and end the threat.

After the fifth, Bailey and the GU defense faced the minimum allowing just one base runner but erasing it with a double play in the sixth inning. The final 11 Gael batters went down in order as Gonzaga held on for the 1-0 win and the series sweep.

Bulldog Bites

Gonzaga’s pitchers combined to allow just three runs in the entire series, (a 1.00 ERA), all of those coming in game two on April 11. The Zags’ starters were even better, allowing just one of those runs –that coming off Hunter Wells in game two – and both Bailey and Friday night starter Andrew Sopko each threw 8.0 innings or more of scoreless ball. The entire pitching staff combined for 22 strikeouts and allowed the Gaels to hit just .193 during the series, over 100 points lower than their team batting average of .313 entering the series.

With the shutout Sunday afternoon, Gonzaga held Saint Mary’s scoreless during two games in the series. The Zags now have four shutouts on the year with the others coming March 6 at Tulane (2-0 win) and March 16 against San Francisco (7-0 win).

Gonzaga also earned its first series sweep of the season. Last year the Zags swept two series, beating San Francisco three times in San Francisco March 14-16, 2014, and winning all three games at home against Portland April 17-19.

The Zags advanced to 8-7 in conference play this season, moving into a tie for fifth place in the conference with BYU. They’re one game out of fourth place and a spot in the four-team WCC Championships, held May 21-23 in Stockton, Calif...

Next Up

The Zags (18-17, 8-7 WCC) will now head out on the road for three weeks. They start the nine-game road trip against Pacific Northwest foe Portland. The first game of that conference series will take place Friday, April 17 at 3:00 p.m. at Joe Etzel Field in Portland.

Gonzaga Article Link (http://www.gozags.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=26400&ATCLID=210018879)

Links to the Previous Two Games:

Jacobs Powers 5-3 Gonzaga Win (http://www.gozags.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=627525&SPID=90843&DB_LANG=C&ATCLID=210017768&DB_OEM_ID=26400)

Sterling Pitching, Patient Bats Push Zags over Gaels (http://www.gozags.com/ViewArticle.dbml?SPSID=627525&SPID=90843&DB_LANG=C&ATCLID=210015904&DB_OEM_ID=26400)