View Full Version : Gonzaga Baseball: Zags Continue South for Santa Clara Series

04-12-2017, 04:38 PM
Zags Continue South for Santa Clara Series

Three-game WCC set begins Thursday, April 13

April 12, 2017

Gonzaga Notes (http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/gonz/sports/m-basebl/auto_pdf/2016-17/release/release_20170412aaa.pdf) | Santa Clara Notes (http://www.santaclarabroncos.com/sports/m-basebl/2016-17/releases/20170412mp90p4)...


Gonzaga was in Corvallis, Ore., for a scheduled game at No. 1 Oregon State Tuesday, but the game was rained out...it was the second time this season a scheduled contest between the former Pac-10 North foes was cancelled due to rain...they were originally scheduled to play each other at the season-opening Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic, but rain forced a schedule change and the two clubs missed each other.

Last weekend, the Zags claimed a big series win against No. 19/20 San Diego, winning the first two games and out-hitting the Toreros in the finale but falling 4-1...the series win was the Zags’ first against a ranked squad in two years.

Gonzaga’s pitching staff was once again excellent, posting a 1.67 ERA and allowing six runs in 27.0 innings against San Diego...OF Daniel Fredrickson led the offensive attack with seven hits and a .538 average while INF Justin Jacobs drove in three runs, including the game-winning RBIs on Friday and Saturday.


Gonzaga and Santa Clara have met 89 times in program history with the Zags holding a 47-42 edge in the series...under Coach Machtolf, Gonzaga is 24-17 against Santa Clara...last season the Zags won two out of three games against the Broncos in Spokane, and they’ve lost only one series (2015) to Santa Clara since 2011.

The Zags and Broncos shared two non-conference opponents this year, Washington and Cal Poly...GU split a two-game series with the Huskies while Santa Clara lost two out of three against UW...Cal Poly beat both squads: Santa Clara lost twice to the Mustangs (11-7 and 15-0) while the Zags dropped a 6-1 decision in San Luis Obispo.

Santa Clara enters the weekend 7-25 and in search of their first series win of the season...the Broncos have lost their last three games, including a 15-0 shutout at the hands of Cal Poly the last time out, and have won just three of their last 16 games.

Sophomore shortstop John Cresto has been a bright spot for Santa Clara, hitting a team-best .312 on the season while leading the Broncos in runs scored and home runs...Cresto has also collected a team-high 17 extra base hits and 69 total bases.

On the mound, the Broncos have kept the ball in the yard, allowing only 14 home runs on the season...freshman right-hander Brandon Buckley has appeared in 14 games for Santa Clara and has held opposing batters to a team-best .202 batting average on his way to a team-low 2.22 ERA...redshirt senior Jacob Steffens and redshirt sophomore Eric Lex shoulder much of the pitching load for the Broncos, accounting for more than a third of the Broncos’ innings pitched.


The Zags’ pitching staff has posted a 2.18 ERA since WCC play started four weeks ago on March 17...in those 15 games, the Bulldogs have allowed 34 earned runs - 42 total - while posting three shutouts and keeping their opponents to three or fewer runs nine times...the staff has held opposing hitters to just a .229 batting average during that time while registering well over three strikeouts for every walk issued.

Two starters - Eli Morgan and Justin Vernia - have posted ERAs of 1.50 or lower during this period, and Casey Legumina, Mac Lardner and Wyatt Mills have ERAs well under 3.00 as well. Morgan has struck out 31 batters since WCC play started, Legumina 23, Vernia 22, and Mills 17...Mills’ 17 strikeouts have come in just 9.2 innings, meaning more than half of his last 29 recorded outs have come via the strikeout.

Mills, Hellinger, and Calvin LeBrun have been mainstays out of the bullpen this season...Mills is the team’s closer and has saved five games, third-most in the conference...LeBrun and Hellinger both lead the squad with 14 appearances...all of those have been relief spots for Hellinger while LeBrun did start one game against Pacific...66.2 innings of the Zags’ 92.2 in relief have come from these three upperclassmen.

Morgan was named to USA Baseball’s Golden Spikes Award Midseason watch list on Wednesday...he’s the lone WCC representative up for the award, given to the top amateur baseball player in the nation.


Thursday night starter Eli Morgan is coming off another ranked win after the Zags downed San Diego 9-2 last Friday...Morgan went just 5.0 innings and struck out only five batters - both season lows - but he stranded nine runners on base and held the Toreros to just one run...the Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., leads the WCC and is ninth in the nation with 72 strikeouts on the year...he’s the active Division I leader with six career shutouts, and he’s tied for fourth with seven complete games...he’s also unbeaten at 12-0 with a 1.13 ERA against conference foes, allowing just 16 earned runs in 127.1 innings.

RHP Justin Vernia returned to the win column last week against the Toreros, pitching eight shutout innings and scattering six hits for the W...his 1.79 ERA leads the league, he is second with five wins, and third with a 1.01 WHIP...the senior from Issaquah, Wash., has been stellar for the last month, going 3-1 with a 1.18 ERA since March 11 at CSU Fullerton...opposing batters have hit just .206 off Vernia since that start versus the Titans, and he’s allowed multiple runs just once in his last five outings...he’s 3-1 in WCC play and pitched his first career complete game versus San Francisco March 25, allowing just one unearned run...a week earlier versus Pacific, the senior struck out a career-high nine batters while allowing only three hits in eight innings...he hasn’t walked more than two batters during a game this season.

Freshman RHP Casey Legumina has turned a corner since starting conference play, striking out 23 batters in 25 innings of work while only walking four...his three walks allowed are best amongst Zag starting pitchers in WCC play...the freshman from Chandler, Ariz. has kept the ball in the park for Gonzaga, allowing only three extra base hits in 103 batters faced...in his last appearance, against the #19/20 Toreros, Legumina allowed four runs - three earned - in seven innings, although two runs came from a wind-aided home run...he struck out seven batters and equaled his season-long performance by completing the seventh inning...since beginning conference play, the righty has forced opponents to strand 17 runners on base...against Washington, Legumina allowed just one run in six innings of work, while the Huskies left eight runners on base...

Gonzaga Article Link (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/041217aaf.html)

04-13-2017, 08:31 PM
Gonzaga comes from behind and defeats Santa Clara 7-6 this evening...

In the top of the 8th and with 1 out, Daniel Frederickson singled to center to drive in 2 runs...

Eli Morgan got the win for the Zags and improves to 6-1 on the season...



04-14-2017, 05:17 PM
Zags Begin Series with Teeter-Totter Victory

Gonzaga came from behind twice for 7-6 win at Santa Clara

April 13, 2017

Box Score (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/stats/2016-2017/gon32.html)

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--The Gonzaga baseball team eliminated two deficits Thursday night, ultimately prevailing in a competitive 7-6 ballgame at Santa Clara's Stephen Schott Stadium.

Santa Clara took the game's first lead on a first-inning two-run shot from Niko Holm, but the Zags countered immediately, getting two of their own in the second. Jeff Bohling and Jake Vieth drew back-to-back walks with one out, and Jace VanDeBrake plated both of them a batter later with a double to left field.

In the fourth, Gonzaga took its first lead of the night, scoring three runs on four straight two-out hits. After the first two batters of the frame made outs, the bottom third of the lineup connected for two singles and a double, with catcher Jake Roberts tallying a two-RBI two-bagger. Roberts advanced to third on a SCU throwing error, and the senior came home when Sam Brown knocked the first pitch he saw up the middle for an RBI single.

The Broncos got one of those runs back in the bottom of the frame with a solo home run from Evan Haberle, their second of the night. An inning later, the home team re-tied the game at 5-5 with four singles from the first five batters. Haberle once again delivered the key hit, sending a 2-2 pitch from Gonzaga starter Eli Morgan into center field and driving in two runs.

The home team once again took a lead in the seventh. After the first two batters reached base, the Zags issued a one-out intentional walk to load the bases. Ryan McCarthy then lifted a fly ball out to right, allowing Holm to score from third on the sacrifice. Morgan escaped further damage, however, by getting a groundout to end the inning.

Gonzaga returned the favor in the top of the eighth, loading the bases with a pair of singles and a one-out walk. After the Broncos sent Jacob Steffens out to the mound in place of reliever Eric Lex, Zag right fielder Daniel Fredrickson sent Steffens' first pitch of the night into center field, allowing Gunnar Schubert and VanDeBrake to score. That two-RBI base knock put Zags ahead 8-7.

Before the bottom of the eighth, Zag closer Wyatt Mills entered the game in place of Morgan. Santa Clara's first batter reached base on a GU fielding error and quickly advanced to second on a wild pitch, but Mills retired the next three batters to end the threat.

After the Zags went down in order in the top of the ninth, Mills returned the favor in the bottom of the inning, getting a leadoff groundout before striking out the game's final two batters. The two-inning outing earned Mills the save, his sixth of the season, and Morgan the win. Lex took the loss.

Bulldog Bites:

Gonzaga's bottom third of the lineup -- Schubert, VanDeBrake, and Roberts -- combined for eight of the Zags' 11 hits along with five runs and four RBIs. Both Schubert and VanDeBrake set or tied season highs with three hits, and VanDeBrake and Roberts each equaled their yearly bests with two RBIs apiece.

Mills earned his sixth save of the season in strong fashion, striking out four batters without a hit allowed in two innings of work. He's third in the West Coast Conference in saved games. Additionally, the Spokane native has posted 21 strikeouts in his last seven appearances and 12.2 innings pitched. That's an average of 14.92 strikeouts every nine innings.

Morgan pitched through the seventh inning Thursday night, allowing all six runs and 13 hits from Santa Clara. The junior from Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., did strike out eight batters, however, advancing to 80 on the season. He entered the game atop the WCC and ninth in the nation in total strikeouts...

Next Up:

The Bulldogs (18-14, 9-4 WCC) and Broncos (7-26, 3-7 WCC) continue the series on Friday, April 14, with another 6:00 p.m. game at Stephen Schott Stadium. Senior righty Justin Vernia will toe the rubber for Gonzaga, while Santa Clara will turn to fellow right-hander Grant Nechak.

Gonzaga Article Link (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/recaps/041317aaa.html)

04-14-2017, 08:47 PM
Unusual game tonight...

After 1 complete inning, Santa Clara led Gonzaga 5-0...

Zags then proceeded to score 4 runs in the 4th, 5 runs in the 7th and then 4 more runs in the 9th...

Gonzaga defeats Santa Clara 13-7...

Zags collected 16 hits, 5 bases on balls and had 4 batters hit by the pitch...

Brown, Frost, Schubert and Roberts all collected 3 hits this evening to lead the Zags hitting parade...

Gonzaga's Calvin LeBrun was the winning pitcher and Sam Hellinger picked up the save...



04-14-2017, 08:51 PM
WarrenNolan.com ~ West Coast Conference (http://warrennolan.com/baseball/2017/conference/West-Coast)

04-14-2017, 10:09 PM
Three Big Innings Lead to Big Comeback for Zags

Gonzaga wins 13-7 despite surrendering five first-inning runs

April 14, 2017

Box Score (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/stats/2016-2017/gon33.html)

SANTA CLARA, Calif.--Down by five early, the Gonzaga baseball team used its biggest offensive output of the season to storm out to a 13-7 victory over Santa Clara Friday night at Stephen Schott Stadium in Santa Clara.

The host Broncos took their early advantage with five runs in the first inning, plating all of them off GU starter Justin Vernia. They tallied five hits on the frame through just one out, but Vernia ended the inning with a double play, setting himself up for shutout innings in the second and the third.

In the fourth, Gonzaga crawled back within one after scoring four runs, their first of three big innings on the night. Designated hitter Jace VanDeBrake got things going with a one-out walk, and then the Zags posted four straight hits, getting a two-RBI double from Jake Roberts, an RBI triple from Sam Brown, and another base knock to drive in a run from Daniel Fredrickson.

Santa Clara then extended its lead back out to three, getting one run in the fourth on a solo home run and another in the sixth on an RBI double.

Down 7-4 entering the seventh, the Bulldogs preceded to bat around twice in the final three innings, storming ahead for the win. They put up their own five-spot in the seventh, loading the bases with the first three batters. With the bags juiced, VanDeBrake then drew four balls for the first RBI, and Gunnar Schubert tacked one on with a sacrifice fly. Two batters later, Fredrickson ripped a 3-1 pitch through the left side of the infield to drive in two runs, and Tyler Frost capped off the frame with a single to right field for Gonzaga's fifth run of the period.

Gonzaga tacked on four more in the ninth, sending 10 men to the plate once again. They needed just two hits to achieve the feat, taking advantage of a walk, a Bronco error, and three hit batsmen in the frame. Brown drove in the first RBI with a single up the middle, and Fredrickson added another with a sacrifice fly. Two batters later, Brown came in to score on a passed ball, and pinch hitter Troy Johnston drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in the final run of the game.

Reliever Calvin LeBrun earned the win, his first of the year, after two innings of solid work. The junior allowed just one unearned run after entering in the sixth inning. Senior Sam Hellinger picked up the save after another two-inning outing, shutting down the Broncos in the eighth and the ninth.

Bulldog Bites:

Gonzaga's 16 hits and 13 runs both set season highs. The Bulldogs added five bases on balls and four hit by pitches for a .390 hitting percentage (16x41) and a .481 on-base percentage (25x52) in the game.

Fredrickson led the way with four RBIs, tying the most by a Zag this season. Seven Gonzaga hitters drove in at least one run Friday night. Seven different batters tallied a hit as well, with three - Brown, Frost, Schubert, and Roberts - collecting three each.

The comeback from a five-run deficit was the Zags' biggest in over two years. They last won a game after trailing by five runs March 20, 2015, when they turned a 1-6 deficit into a 7-6 victory against BYU in Spokane.

GU batted around twice Friday night. The Bulldogs sent 10 men to the plate in the seventh, scoring five runs and leaving two on base. In the ninth, they again saw 10 plate appearances, scoring four runs and leaving the bases loaded. They entered the game having batted around in an inning just once this season: in the second inning March 18 versus Pacific (9 Rs, 12 PAs)...

Next Up:

The Bulldogs (19-14, 10-4 WCC) and Broncos (7-27, 3-8 WCC) will wrap up the series on Saturday, April 15. The finale will begin at 1:00 p.m., again at Stephen Schott Stadium in Santa Clara.

Gonzaga Article Link (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/recaps/041417aaa.html)

04-15-2017, 03:38 PM
The Zags sweep the Broncos...

Gonzaga comes from behind again and wins 9-8 this afternoon...

Zags originally fell behind 6-0 after the 1st inning today...

In the top half of the 6th inning, the Zags score 6 runs to take a brief 7-6 lead...

In the bottom of the 6th inning, Santa Clara scores 2 runs to retake the lead 8-7...

Then in the top of the 9th with a runner on 1st, Gonzaga's Troy Johnston hits a 2 run pinch hit home run to win the game...

Sam Hellinger gets the win for the Zags and Wyatt Mills gets the save...



04-15-2017, 06:40 PM
Johnston’s Pinch-Hit Homer Clinches Comeback, Sweep

Zags rally from six-run deficit for 9-8 win at Santa Clara

April 15, 2017

Box Score (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/stats/2016-2017/gon34.html)

SANTA CLARA, Calif.—Once again the Gonzaga baseball team eliminated a big opening deficit Saturday afternoon, downing Santa Clara 9-8 and sweeping the three-game series at Stephen Schott Stadium in Santa Clara.

The Bulldogs got the go-ahead runs in the top of the ninth. After Jeff Bohling drew a one-out walk, freshman Troy Johnston was called upon to pinch-hit. He took his first pitch from Santa Clara reliever Brandon Buckley for a ball, but the Puyallup, Wash., native sent the next one over the fence in right field for a two-run home run, putting the Zags up 9-8. The blast was his first collegiate homer.

Johnston’s two-run shot put the Bulldogs back on top after Santa Clara took the lead in the bottom of the sixth. Gonzaga starter Mac Lardner retired the first batter he faced in the frame, but John Cresto and Andre Nnebe combined for back-to-back doubles, scoring one run and chasing Lardner from the game. Sam Hellinger came on in relief, allowing Niko Holm to hit a sacrifice fly before ending the rally.

In the half-inning previous, the Bulldogs erupted for six runs to take a 7-6 lead. Those six runs came on seven hits, all singles. The first five batters all reached via a base knock, with Justin Jacobs beginning the scoring with a single to center. After another RBI single and a strikeout for the first out, Jace VanDeBrake drew a walk to score a run, and both Gunnar Schubert and Jake Roberts followed up with tallies of their own. Left fielder Sam Brown, who led off the inning, then flied out to left, allowing VanDeBrake to score on the sacrifice.

That six-run outburst cancelled out Santa Clara’s six-run first inning. The Broncos sent 11 men up to the dish in the first, doing their damage on six hits and three costly Gonzaga errors. Only one of those runs was earned.

The Bulldogs answered with a run of their own in the top of the second when VanDeBrake singled up the middle, allowing Bohling to score from second base.

Hellinger drew the win, his third of the year, after 2.2 innings of one-hit relief. Closer Wyatt Mills picked up his seventh save of the year after pitching the bottom of the ninth.

Bulldog Bites:

Johnston’s game-winning home run is already his third game-winning hit of the year. He drove in the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th Feb. 24 at UCLA, and he also delivered a walkoff single March 22 against Washington. Also, it was the first pinch-hit home run by a Bulldog since April 27, 2010.

The bottom of the order once again had a strong day as VanDeBrake went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run scored, Schubert drove in a run on two hits, and Roberts added an RBI and a hit of his own on Sunday. Those three led the way offensively for the Bulldogs all series, combining for a .542 batting average (19x35) with 13 runs scored and 12 RBIs. They also added five walks, four sacrifice hits, and a hit by pitch for a .556 on-base percentage. Individually, Schubert led the Zags with eight hits and a .571 average in the three games at Santa Clara while VanDeBrake reached base nine times (five hits, four walks) for a .643 on-base mark.

The sweep was Gonzaga’s second of the year and second in West Coast Conference action. They also took all three games against Pacific to begin the WCC slate March 17-19. The Bulldogs have now won six of the last seven regular-season series against the Broncos, four of which have been three-game sweeps.

Gonzaga remains tied with Loyola Marymount for third in the conference standings at 11-4. Both clubs are just a game back of leader San Diego, who’s 12-3. BYU is second at 9-3 but has played one less series than all three clubs...

Next Up:

Gonzaga (20-14, 11-4 WCC) will now return home for two non-conference games against in-state foes. The Bulldogs will meet local rival Washington State for the first of three times this season on Monday, April 17, for a 6:05 p.m. contest that will be broadcast regionally on SWX. The next day, the Zags will face fellow Jesuit institution Seattle U for the first time since the Redhawks reinstated their program in 2010. Both games will take place at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field in Spokane.

Gonzaga Article Link (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/recaps/041517aaa.html)

04-15-2017, 10:47 PM
Pitcher's got beat up 3x, but the hitter's sure came alive!