View Full Version : Gonzaga Baseball: Zags Host Conference Leader San Diego for Three

04-06-2017, 01:50 PM
Zags Host Conference Leader San Diego for Three

Gonzaga and the Toreros will play a big WCC series this weekend

April 6, 2017

Gonzaga Notes (http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/gonz/sports/m-basebl/auto_pdf/2016-17/release/release_20170406aaa.pdf) | San Diego Notes (http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/usd/sports/m-basebl/auto_pdf/2016-17/release/release_20170404aaa.pdf)...


Gonzaga went 2-2 during an extended weekend up and down the Pacific Coast Highway in California, going 1-2 at Pepperdine in Malibu before beating UC Santa Barbara 4-1 on Monday...the series loss to the Waves was their first of the WCC slate, but they rebounded with their first-ever win in Santa Barbara.

All four games were pitching-dominant as Zag hurlers combined for just a 1.82 ERA and nine runs at Pepperdine and UCSB, and they limited opposing batters to a .183 batting average...their opponents posted a 2.25 ERA while holding the Bulldog bats to a .203 average.


Gonzaga returns to Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field this weekend, allowing Zag fans to watch them in person at home...the Bulldogs are 6-2 at home this year.

The Zags are back on the radio this weekend as every home game from here on out will be carried by 1510 AM KGA...Tom Hudson will call play-by-play while former Zag coach Steve Hertz will provide color commentary.

Friday's contest will also be broadcast on local television by SWX...Sam Adams will be the play-by-play announcer with Michael Jackson adding commentary.


Head coach Mark Machtolf's next win will be his 400th career victory...he's at 399 after two wins in California...Mac claimed career win No. 300 Feb. 21, 2014, versus Incarnate Word, 187 games ago.

Machtolf would be the second head coach in the Bulldogs' Division I history with 400 wins...Steve Hertz is the program's all-time leader with 637...Machtolf has the second-most wins and third-best win percentage (.546) during the Division I era (since 1960).

Machtolf also has the third-highest win total among active coaches in the WCC...San Diego's Rich Hill is the winningest coach in WCC history, and San Francisco's Nino Giarratano is second with 515 victories...Machtolf is already seventh all-time in conference history in coaching wins.


The Zags' pitching staff has posted a 2.30 ERA since WCC play started three weeks ago on March 17...in those 12 games, the Bulldogs have allowed 29 earned runs - 36 total - while posting two shutouts and keeping their opponents to three or fewer runs seven times...the staff has held opposing hitters to just a .222 batting average during that time while registering over three and a half strikeouts for every walk issued.

Three starters - Eli Morgan, Justin Vernia, and Casey Legumina - have posted ERAs of 1.50 or lower during this period, and both Mac Lardner and Wyatt Mills have ERAs well under 3.00 as well.

Morgan has struck out 26 batters since WCC play started, Vernia 21, and both Legumina and Mills have fanned 17...Mills' 17 strikeouts have come in just 8.2 innings, meaning nearly two-thirds of his last 26 recorded outs have come via the strikeout.


Gonzaga's history with San Diego spans the test of time - or just the past few decades - but it has been a fairly tight series...the Toreros hold a 10-game edge at 35-45-1, but the Zags have won the last two series and haven't lost a three-game set to the Toreros in Spokane in 12 years...last season, Gonzaga won the first two games at San Diego to clinch a share of the WCC regular season title.

The Toreros are nationally ranked by numerous outlets, reaching as high as 19 by D1baseball.com...USD enters the weekend series with a 20-7 record, topping the WCC at 8-1...they had two midweek games earlier in the week, falling at No. 13 Cal State Fullerton 13-2 Tuesday before beating New Mexico 7-2 at home a day later...they also have series sweeps over Portland and San Francisco along with a win versus Santa Clara.

San Diego's lineup has combined for a .268/.367/.427 slash line and have hit a league-leading 28 home runs this season...1B Roman Garcia tops the WCC with eight four-baggers, while OF Hunter Mercado-Hood and C Riley Adams are each tied for second with seven.

The pitching staff is third in the conference with a 3.80 ERA, sitting behind the Zags and Pepperdine...Sunday starter Paul Richan leads the league with a 1.82 ERA while the other two are among the WCC's top 10...ace Nick Sprengel tops the team with 46 strikeouts, one more than Chris Murphy, and Troy Conyers is the bullpen ace, coming into the weekend with seven saves.


Friday night starter Eli Morgan is coming off his third complete game of the season, going the distance for a 2-1 win at Pepperdine April 2...during game one of the doubleheader, Morgan allowed just one run on three hits and struck out five, earning his fourth Rawlings WCC Pitcher of the Week award...the Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., leads the WCC and is seventh in the nation with 67 strikeouts on the year, and he's the active Division I leader with six career shutouts...he's tied for fourth with seven complete games...he's also unbeaten at 11-0 with a 1.10 ERA against conference foes, allowing just 15 earned runs in 122.1 innings.

RHP Justin Vernia is coming off his first loss in over a month after giving up five runs in 7.0 innings at Pepperdine April 2...most of the damage came on a grand slam in the fifth inning...the senior from Issaquah, Wash., didn't allow an earned run in his first two WCC outings, posting his first career complete game March 25 versus San Francisco at home...he's fanned 21 batters in his last three games, including a career-high nine versus Pacific...Vernia is third in the WCC with a 2.09 ERA and 1.04 WHIP and fourth by only allowing 1.52 walks per inning...he hasn't walked more than two batters in any appearance this season.

Sunday's starter has been announced yet, but there are plenty of candidates...four other pitchers have started at least one game this season: RHP Casey Legumina (5), RHP Daniel Bies (4), LHP Mac Lardner (4), and LHP Calvin LeBrun (1)..Legumina started at Pepperdine last Sunday and set career highs in innings pitched (7.0) and strikeouts (8), while Lardner tossed 5.0 innings in a start at UC Santa Barbara Monday...the lefty did not allow an earned run but did pick up his third win of the season...

Gonzaga Article Link (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/040617aaa.html)

04-07-2017, 08:42 PM
In the important opening game to this weekend's 3 game series, Gonzaga pounds San Diego 9-2...

Daniel Frederickson led the Zags hitting by going 4 for 4 and scoring 2 runs...

Gonzaga's Eli Morgan went 5 innings and gave up only 1 run and got the win...



04-07-2017, 10:10 PM
Machtolf Earns 400th Career Win vs. San Diego

Zags down 19th-ranked Toreros 9-2 to open series

April 7, 2017

Box Score (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/stats/2016-2017/gon29.html)

SPOKANE, Wash.--Gonzaga baseball head coach Mark Machtolf tallied the 400th win of his career Friday night as the Bulldogs downed No. 19/20 San Diego 9-2 at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field.

Both teams scored in the first inning. For the Toreros, Riley Adams hit a double to the gap in right center to drive in a run in the top of the frame. Gonzaga outfielder Sam Brown then led off the bottom of the first with a triple down the first base line and scored when Daniel Fredrickson bounced a single through the left side of the infield.

The Zags took a permanent lead in the third using a two-out rally. After the first two batters made outs, Fredrickson and Tyler Frost sent singles back up the middle, giving Justin Jacobs two on with two out. The senior hit a grounder to San Diego shortstop Jeff Houghtby but forced a high throw by speeding down the line. Fredrickson was able to score from second on the error, giving Gonzaga a 2-1 advantage.

In the fourth, Nick Brooks added to the Zags' lead with a solo home run. The redshirt junior sent a hanging 0-2 pitch from San Diego starter Nick Sprengel well over the fence in left field for his first four-bagger of the year. The blast gave the Zags a 3-1 advantage.

Gonzaga tacked on two more and chased Sprengel in the fifth. They got the first run with small ball as Brown drew a leadoff walk and came home with a sacrifice bunt, a single, and another sacrifice bunt. With a runner on second, Sprengel then lost his control, walking three straight Bulldog batters -- one of which drove in a run -- and throwing 13 consecutive balls before being replaced for CJ Burdick. With the bases loaded, Brooks hit a hard fly out to right field off the reliever, but it fell a few feet short of the warning track to end the frame.

San Diego got one back in the top of the sixth, but the Zags countered with another in the seventh and three more in the eighth, putting the game out of reach at 9-2.

On the mound, Eli Morgan and Calvin LeBrun combined to strand 15 batters in nine innings of work. Morgan, the starter, allowed one run and struck out five in five innings of work while LeBrun held San Diego to one run in four innings of relief. Morgan earned the win, his fifth of the year, while Sprengel suffered his first loss. LeBrun picked up a save with the effective relief outing.

Bulldog Bites:

Machtolf is now the second Gonzaga head coach to reach 400 wins. Those 400 victories are second-most in the program's Division I history. He's also the third-winningest coach among active managers in the West Coast Conference.

Fredrickson went 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored on the day, the first Bulldog to collect four hits in a game this season. The redshirt sophomore leads the team with a .467 average and 14 hits in nine games at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field.

Gonzaga picked up its third win of the season against a ranked foe as the Toreros entered the game ranked No. 19 in the nation. The Bulldogs also beat then-No. 7/11 Cal State Fullerton and then-No. 22 Washington in March.

San Diego and Gonzaga were selected to finish first and second in the WCC standings by the conference coaches. The Toreros entered the game atop the conference standings and the Zags were third...

Next Up:

The Bulldogs (16-13, 7-3 WCC) and Toreros (20-8, 8-2 WCC) continue the series with a 3:00 p.m. contest on Saturday, April 8. RHP Justin Vernia will take the mound for Gonzaga, and LHP Chris Murphy is slated to pitch for San Diego.

Gonzaga Article Link (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/recaps/040717aaa.html)

04-08-2017, 04:42 PM
In the Saturday afternoon game, Gonzaga shut out San Diego 3-0 and are now tied for 1st place
in the WCC...

The Zags' Jake Vieth homered to open the bottom of the 8th inning...

Justin Vernia, who went 8 innings and gave up 6 hits and no runs, was the winning pitcher.

Wyatt Mills came in and shut down the Toreros in the 9th inning for the save...



04-08-2017, 07:03 PM
Pitching, Defense Star in Shutout of San Diego

Zags turn four doubles plays in 3-0 win over Toreros

April 8, 2017

Box Score (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/stats/2016-2017/gon30.html)

SPOKANE, Wash.--The Gonzaga baseball team picked up its fourth shutout of the season Saturday afternoon, stifling No. 19 San Diego for a 3-0 win at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field.

Starting pitcher Justin Vernia saw a strong outing, pitching eight scoreless innings and using his defense to great effect Saturday. Behind him, the Bulldogs turned three double plays and threw one runner out at home. In the first, Justin Jacobs gunned down Hunter Mercado-Hood at the plate when the USD right fielder attempted to score on an infield grounder. In the next inning, the Zags erased a leadoff walk with a double play, a feat which they did again in the fourth and the seventh innings for Vernia and once more in the ninth behind closer Wyatt Mills.

The Zags opened the scoring account in the fifth. Left fielder Sam Brown was hit with a 1-0 pitch by San Diego starter Chris Murphy, and he moved to third on a Daniel Fredrickson single to right center. After a foul out, Jacobs found space in right field for a single, allowing Brown to scamper home for the game's first run.

Gonzaga added another in the sixth with more small ball. First baseman Jake Vieth led the frame off with a walk, and he advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Two batters later, Jake Roberts singled up the middle, driving in Vieth for the Zags' second score of the game.

San Diego also saw a scoring opportunity in the sixth, but the Zags were able to quash it. Facing two runners in scoring position with the hard-hitting Riley Adams at the plate, Vernia ended the threat with a timely strikeout, his only one of the night.

In the eighth, Vieth gave the Bulldogs an insurance run when he sent a 2-2 pitch from San Diego reliever Jonathan Teaney over the fence in center field for a solo home run.

To begin the top of the ninth, Mills allowed a leadoff single to Jay Schuyler, but the Zag defense turned in one more gem. They went around the horn to double-up Schuyler and Roman Garcia for the first two outs of the inning. The senior then got Adams to ground out to Jacobs at second to clinch the win, Vernia's fifth victory, and Mills' fifth save of the season.

Bulldog Bites:

With the win, the Zags moved into a tie for second place in the West Coast Conference with these same Toreros. Both teams are now 8-3 in WCC play. BYU leads the league with 6-2 (.750) conference mark. The Zags have also won the last five series between San Diego and Gonzaga played in Spokane.

Gonzaga now has four shutout victories this season: two when Vernia's started the game and two when Eli Morgan got the nod. The Bulldogs are 11-5 when one of those two starters is on the mound, and the pair have not lost games on the same weekend this season.

Gonzaga's four double plays turned is a season high, surpassing their previous high of two, which they reached four times. Jacob was involved in all four double-ups Saturday, and shortstop Gunnar Schubert had a hand in two. The Zags last turned four double plays in a game Feb. 28, 2016, versus Notre Dame.

Three more Zags saw multi-hit games as Roberts topped all batters with three while both Fredrickson and Jacobs added two. Vieth also scored multiple runs, one coming on Roberts' RBI single in the sixth and the other on his homer in the eighth...

Next Up:

The Zags (17-13, 8-3 WCC) and Toreros (20-9, 8-3 WCC) will wrap up the series on Sunday, April 9. That contest will begin at Noon, again at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field. Right-handed pitcher Casey Legumina will start for the Bulldogs while San Diego will send fellow righty Paul Richan to the mound.

Gonzaga Article Link (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/recaps/040817aaa.html)

04-09-2017, 02:04 PM
San Diego takes the final game of the weekend series 4-1...

A 2 run home run at the top of the 5th was the big hit for the Toreros...

Zags left 10 runners on base today...



04-09-2017, 04:20 PM
Zags Miss Sweep of No. 19 San Diego

Gonzaga outhit the Toreros 9-7, but the visitors won 4-1

April 9, 2017

Box Score (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/stats/2016-2017/gon31.html)

SPOKANE, Wash.—The Gonzaga baseball team saw some hard hits Sunday, but luck was not on the Bulldogs’ side as visiting San Diego took the series finale 4-1 and avoided a sweep at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field.

Like the first game of the series, both teams scored in the first inning. The Toreros got an RBI single from catcher Riley Adams, but Zag second baseman Justin Jacobs leveled the score with an RBI knock of his own. His single up the middle plated left fielder Sam Brown, who led the home half of the frame off with a single.

The Bulldogs put men on base in each of the next five innings, but it was San Diego who scored the game’s next runs. After an infield single from second baseman Paul Kunst in the fifth, right fielder Hunter Mercado-Hood brought him home with a home run. Mercado-Hood’s homer originally looked like a fly ball, but the wind, blowing out to left field at the time, pushed the ball just past Brown’s glove and over the fence for two runs.

San Diego added another unearned tally in the seventh, disrupting what could have been another quality start for Gonzaga freshman Casey Legumina. The right-hander from Chandler, Ariz., outlasted two San Diego pitchers, finishing the seventh inning. He struck out six batters on the day, including two big punchouts to strand runners in the first and the fifth.

The Toreros sent closer Troy Conyers out in the bottom of the seventh with a 4-1 lead. After a hitless seventh, Jeff Bohling led the eighth off with a single to right – his third of the game – but Conyers struck out the next three Bulldog batters. In the ninth, Daniel Fredrickson ripped a two-out single to left field for another baserunner, but Tyler Frost bounced into a fielder’s choice to end the game.

Legumina took the loss, his fourth of the year, while San Diego reliever Sean Barry picked up the win. Conyers earned the save, his eighth of the season, after allowing two hits and striking out five Zags in three innings of work.

Bulldog Bites:

Legumina equaled his career long by pitching through the seventh inning Sunday. Since West Coast Conference play started on March 18, he’s posted a 2.16 ERA with 23 strikeouts in 25.0 innings. Today’s loss was his first during that stretch.

Bohling saw his fourth three-hit game of the season, the only Zag with multiple knocks on Sunday. In all, however, seven Bulldog starters registered hits, and Gonzaga out-hit San Diego 9-7 despite suffering the loss. The Bulldogs also saw numerous hard-hit balls find San Diego gloves with eight fly balls to Torero outfielders, including two from Brown that were hit into the wind in right field and fell near the warning track.

After the three-game series against No. 19/20 San Diego, the Bulldogs are 4-4 against ranked foes this season, getting two against the Toreros and one each versus Cal State Fullerton and Washington. This is the Zags’ first three-game series win over a ranked team since they took two of three at Tulane during the 2015 season.

Both teams entered the game tied for second in the WCC standings at 8-3 along with Loyola Marymount. The Toreros were voted to win the WCC title by the conference’s coaches, and the Zags were picked second...

Next Up:

Gonzaga (17-14, 8-4 WCC) returns to the road for four games starting on Tuesday, April 11. They’ll play a single game at No. 1 Oregon State on Tuesday before flying to Santa Clara for three conference games against the Broncos Thursday, April 13 to Saturday, April 15.

Gonzaga Article Link (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/recaps/040917aaa.html)