View Full Version : Gonzaga Baseball: Zags Host BYU with Postseason Berth in Sight

05-19-2017, 06:14 PM
Zags Host BYU with Postseason Berth in Sight

One win clinches WCC Championships berth, three WCC title

May 17, 2017

Gonzaga Notes (http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/gonz/sports/m-basebl/auto_pdf/2016-17/release/release_20170517aaa.pdf) | BYU Notes (http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/gonz/sports/m-basebl/auto_pdf/2016-17/release/release_20170517aaa_byu.pdf)


Gonzaga was scheduled to take on local rival Washington State on Tuesday, but the contest was rained out and will not be rescheduled...the Bulldogs still took the season series against the Cougars with wins April 17 and 25.


This conference finale has huge postseason ramifications...GU is tied for second with LMU at 17-7, three games behind BYU...a sweep gives the Zags a share of the title and the top seed in the WCC Championship.

In the chase for a WCC Championship berth, Gonzaga and LMU are two games ahead of San Diego and Saint Mary’s, who are tied for the fourth and final spot in the tournament...the Zags hold tiebreakers over San Diego and LMU by way of series victories, but the Gaels own the ‘breaker with GU...regardless, the Zags need just one win to book their tickets to Stockton...San Diego hosts Pepperdine in the final weekend of WCC play, Saint Mary’s hosts Santa Clara, and Loyola Marymount is at Portland.


Thursday’s game will be broadcast regionally on SWX with Sam Adams and Michael Jackson once again on the call...this is the Zags’ sixth televised game of the season, and the Zags are 4-1 in such games.

The series finale will be broadcast nationally May 20 by ESPNU...that game is both teams’ WCC finale and a game that could decide the league title, WCC tournament placing, or a WCC tournament berth...Roxy Bernstein and Wes Clements will call the game.

Additionally, the May 19 contest between the two clubs will be an enhanced broadcast on theW.tv...George Devine and Alex Jensen will broadcast that web stream.


GU is 12-6 at home this season, with 15 of those 18 games coming in WCC play...the Zags have now reached double-digit home wins in nine of Patterson Baseball Complex’s 11 seasons, and they’ve clinched a .500 season for the 10th time in 11 tries...season bests inside their home since the 2007 season include 19 wins (2009) and a .800 win percentage (2016).

Since the Zags’ home season started March 17, the Bulldogs have gone 21-8 in all games, a majority of which have come in Spokane...they’ve lost just two conference series during that time.


Gonzaga holds a slim 22-20 lead in the all-time series against BYU...head coach Mark Machtolf is 15-13 against the Cougars, including a 7-5 mark in Spokane...BYU won the season series last year in Provo two games to one, but the Zags exacted revenge to open the WCC Championships, downing the second-seeded Cougars 5-3 to advance in the winner’s bracket...RHP Brandon Bailey went the distance in that game, striking out a school-record 17 batters while allowing three runs...OF Sam Brown and INF Jeff Bohling drove in all five Gonzaga tallies on two hits apiece.

The Cougars enter this series ranked No. 18 by Collegiate Baseball and with a 33-15 record...they most recently swept Portland last weekend and won a tight 7-6 midweek game against Utah Valley...BYU enters this series as the top offense in the conference, combining for a .328/.404/.506 slash line and averaging 8.73 runs per game...seven Cougars who’ve played in half of BYU’s games have a .300 average or better, and two more off the bench are hitting above that mark as well...OF Brock Hale leads the way with a .381/.467/.665 slash, and he’s one of three who’ve driven in 40 runs and one of five who’ve scored 40.

The pitching staff, meanwhile, has tallied a 4.47 ERA and allows opponents a .285 batting average...LHP Hayden Rogers leads the starters with a 3.46 ERA and 7-1 record...in the bullpen, RHP Mason Marshall has seen the most action, appearing in 24 games and pitching 36.2 innings...he’s posted a 1.47 ERA, a mark that is only bested by LHPa Riley Gates (1.44 ERA in 25.0 innings).


The Bulldogs have outscored opponents 87-47 in the seventh inning or later this year...they have come back to win eight games despite trailing upon entering the seventh...GU has also won three games when tied heading into the seventh, meaning the Zags have rallied for 11 late-game wins...that’s nearly 40 percent of their victories (11 of 28).

All three games this series will take place at night, which benefits the Zags, who are 16-4 this year under the lights...they’re 6-2 in home night games and 8-1 at night in conference play.

Before Saturday’s game, seven Bulldogs will be honored for their hard work and dedication to Gonzaga baseball...seniors Jeff Bohling, Sam Brown, Sam Hellinger, Justin Jacobs, Wyatt Mills, Jake Roberts, and Justin Vernia will all be seeing their final collegiate game at Patterson Baseball Complex.


Junior RHP Eli Morgan had a bounce-back outing last Friday, allowing three runs in 7.2 innings in a win over Loyola Marymount...the WCC leader in strikeouts, he added 11 more to his tally, his sixth game of double-digit Ks this season...at 118 strikeouts on the year, he moved into No. 6 on the Zags’ single season list and is four Ks away from a tie for fourth and 10 away from second place...he’s also seventh on the program’s career strikeouts list with 261...earlier in the year, Morgan also had a 26.1-inning scoreless stretch from March 3 to March 25...eight of his 12 starts have been quality starts, and five have been ultra-quality starts.

In his last time out, senior RHP Justin Vernia went toe-to-toe with LMU ace Cory Abbott...in that pitchers’ duel last Saturday, Vernia allowed just one run in seven innings of work, striking out five and stranding seven runners on base...it was his eighth quality start of the season and fifth in WCC play...from March 11 to April 1, Vernia went 23.0 innings without allowing an earned run...his strong senior season is coming on the heels of a standout summer last year in the Alaska Baseball League, where he posted a 0.58 ERA in 46.1 innings, pitching the Mat-Su Miners to a Top of the World Series championship.

Redshirt sophomore RHP Daniel Bies is coming off his second-ever conference start, allowing two runs in three innings against LMU last Sunday...the Woodinville, Wash., native allowed four hits, struck out four batters, and issued four bases on balls...he escaped a bases-loaded, one-out situation with minimal damage in the second against the Lions, getting a double play ball to end the frame...before that start, Bies had been strong his previous three outings: two six-inning starts against Washington State and a scoreless five-inning relief spot against Saint Mary’s April 30...during that eight-game stretch, Bies led the team with a 1.59 ERA, allowing three runs in 17.0 innings and winning all three appearances...

Gonzaga Article Link (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/051717aaa.html)

05-19-2017, 06:27 PM
Big Win Punches Zags' Ticket to Stockton

Bats erupt early for 10-2 win, WCC Championship berth

May 18, 2017

Box Score (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/stats/2016-2017/gon46.html) | Photo Gallery (http://www.gozags.com/view.gal?id=206120)

SPOKANE, Wash.--Needing one win entering a three-game series against No. 18 BYU, the Gonzaga baseball team wasted little time in clinching a berth to the West Coast Conference Championships, taking a big lead early en route to a 10-2 win Thursday night at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field.

The Gonzaga offense jumped out on BYU starter Maverik Buffo quickly, tagging him for three runs in the bottom of the first. Left fielder Sam Brown led off with a single, and he quickly moved to third on a wild pitch and a ground ball. Center fielder Tyler Frost drove the senior in with a single to right center, and he himself came home when Justin Jacobs found the gap in left center for a double. The hit parade continued with Jeff Bohling, who ripped a shot through the right side. Jacobs steamed home on the play, beating the throw from BYU right fielder Brock Hale for the score.

In the third, the Bulldogs blew the game wide open by just passing the torch. The inning's first nine batters reached base, all nine Zags either hitting a single or drawing a walk. Gonzaga scored six runs before Buffo could register an out in the frame. In all, the Zags sent 11 men to the plate in the third inning. Buffo ended the frame with a strikeout and a double play, but the outburst gave the Zags a 9-0 lead, one that was more than enough for Gonzaga starter Eli Morgan.

BYU pulled one back immediately as Hale led the fourth off with a solo blast to left, but the Zags got that run back in the bottom of the frame. Roberts drew a one-out walk for a base runner and moved to second when the Cougar defense couldn't turn a double play on a
grounder. In the next at-bat, Jake Vieth doubled to right field, allowing the GU catcher to score from first for a 10-1 lead.

Hale scored the game's final run, another solo homer to lead off the eighth inning. That was all Morgan would allow, however, as he largely stymied the hot-hitting BYU lineup. He scattered eight hits with the only two BYU runs coming off Hale's four-baggers. The Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., native struck out 10 Cougar batters on the night, fanning at least one in seven of the 7.2 innings he pitched. The ultra-quality start gave Morgan the win, his ninth of the season.

Bulldog Bites:

With the win, the Bulldogs guaranteed themselves a top-four finish in the WCC's regular season standings and a berth in the conference's tournament that will run May 25-27 in Stockton, Calif. The winner of that double-elimination tournament will receive the WCC's automatic berth to the NCAA Regionals. Every game of that tournament will be played at Banner Island Ballpark, home of the Stockton Ports, the Single A affiliate of the Oakland Athletics.

The Zags also stayed alive in the quest for a WCC regular season title. BYU remains the conference leader at 20-5, two games ahead of 18-7 Gonzaga and 2.5 over 17-7 Loyola Marymount. If the Zags win the next two games of the series, they will join the Cougars as co-champions and take the No. 1 overall seed at the WCC Championships. BYU needs one win during the final two contests to take the title outright; the Cougars have already clinched a share of it.

Morgan's 10 strikeouts lifted him to 128 on the season, the second-most by a Bulldog pitcher during a single year. The junior entered the game in sixth and leaped past Mike Davey, Clayton Mortenson, Brandon Bailey, and Billy Walker as the night progressed. He's also tied for eighth after fanning 107 batters last year, joining Davey as the only Bulldog on the season top 10 list twice.

All nine starters drove in at least one run on the night, with Vieth bringing home two on three hits. The three-hit night tied a career record at Gonzaga that he set Feb. 25 and equaled March 18. The first baseman also scored one run himself and made a nice running grab in foul territory to retire Keaton Kringlen and end the seventh inning.

With his third-inning single, Roberts extended his on-base streak to 17 games, a career high and the longest by a Bulldog entirely in the 2017 season. During that stretch, he's hit .424 with 25 hits -- eight for extra bases -- 19 runs, 20 RBIs, and eight walks...

Next Up:

The final WCC series continues Friday, May 19, as the Zags (29-17, 18-7 WCC) and Cougars (33-16, 20-5 WCC) resume play at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Park. Game two of the three-game set will begin at 6:05 p.m. RHP Justin Vernia will start for Gonzaga while BYU will turn to RHP Brady Corless.

Gonzaga Article Link (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/recaps/051817aaa.html#)

05-19-2017, 08:01 PM
Friday evening, Gonzaga defeats BYU 10-4 and sets up big show down tomorrow evening on national TV...

A Zag win tomorrow will give Gonzaga a share of the WCC title and the top seed in the WCC Tournament Championship...



05-19-2017, 08:49 PM
Should be plenty of excitement tomorrow. Hope it's well attended!

05-20-2017, 07:57 AM
Big Fifth Inning Sets Up Title Showdown

Zags score eight runs in the fifth en route to 10-4 victory

May 19, 2017

Box Score (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/stats/2016-2017/gon47.html)

SPOKANE, Wash.--The Gonzaga baseball team set itself up for a potential West Coast Conference title after erupting for eight runs in the fifth and cruising to a 10-4 win against No. 18 BYU Friday night at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field.

Gonzaga's bats exploded in the fifth inning, scoring eight runs on four hits and five walks. The Zags put their first eight batters on base, the first three of which all drew walks to load the bases. Jeff Bohling then ripped a double down the left field line for a pair of RBIs and to tie the game at 4-4. Two batters later, Branson Trube singled in a run for the lead, and then both Jake Vieth and Gunnar Schubert drew bases-loaded walks for RBIs. Sam Brown traded an out for a run with a sacrifice fly, and Tyler Frost drove in two more with a single to left. Three BYU pitchers took the mound in the frame, and by the time all was said and done, the Zags led 10-4 after trailing by two to begin the frame.

BYU scored the game's first four runs, plating three in the second and one more in the third. After a sacrifice fly from Bronson Larsen opened the scoring accord, Nate Favero hit a two-run homer out to right for a 3-0 Cougar lead. The visitors got another tally in the fourth with an RBI single from Keaton Kringlen, going up four runs at 4-0.

In the bottom of the third, the Zags pulled one back after Brown led off with a double to center field. He moved up to third on a wild pitch from BYU starter Brady Corless and then came home when Troy Johnston singled through the left side.

One inning later, the Zags cut the deficit to two at 4-2 after Trube scored on an RBI double from Brown.

Gonzaga starter Justin Vernia picked up the win, settling down after allowing the third-inning run. He ended his outing by retiring seven of his final eight batters faced. Reliever Casey Legumina took over for Vernia to begin the sixth inning and shut the Cougars down for the rest of the game. The freshman earned a save -- the first of his career -- after allowing just three hits in his four innings of relief work.

Bulldog Bites:

With the win, the Zags sit just one game away from their second consecutive WCC title. At 19-7 in conference play, they're one game back of league-leading BYU (20-6) with one final game against the Cougars tomorrow. With a win, the Bulldogs would be co-champs with BYU and take the No. 1 seed in the WCC Championships next weekend. BYU would win the league title outright and No. 1 seed at the tournament with a victory in Saturday's game.

Two Zags reached base in all five plate appearances Friday night: Vieth and Johnston. Vieth went 1-for-1 after drawing four walks, equaling his career and season high set March 4 at California. Johnston, meanwhile, was not retired all night, going 4-for-4 with a walk, three singles, a double, an RBI, and two runs scored. He's the first GU freshman with four hits in a game since Jace VanDeBrake also collected four knocks April 16, 2016 at San Francisco.

After sending 12 men to the plate in the fifth (eight runs, one runner stranded), the Zags batted around in an inning for the second time this series. In Friday's game, Gonzaga scored six runs and sent 11 men to the dish in the third inning en route to a 10-2 win.

The first three Gonzaga batters -- Brown, Johnston, and Frost -- combined to go 9-for-13 (.692) Friday night with four runs scored, five RBIs, two walks, and three doubles.

This is the first time in program history the Zags have won 19 games in WCC play (they joined the WCC in 1996). Their previous best was 18 wins, which they reached both in 2013 and 2016. They also reached the 30 overall win mark for the second season in a row. Gonzaga has now won at least 30 games in eight of the last 11 seasons, including three consecutive 30-win years from 2007-09 and 2011-13...

Next Up:

Gonzaga (30-17, 19-7 WCC) and No. 18 BYU (33-17, 20-6 WCC) will wrap up the WCC season Saturday, May 20, with one final game at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field. First pitch will come at 7:32 p.m. as the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU. Prior to that game, the Bulldogs' seven seniors -- Vernia, Brown, Bohling, Jake Roberts, Justin Jacobs, Sam Hellinger, and Wyatt Mills -- will be honored for their hard work and dedication to the Gonzaga baseball program.

Gonzaga Article Link (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/recaps/051917aaa.html)

05-20-2017, 09:46 PM
SWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

05-20-2017, 10:45 PM
The 'ol "not enough drugs" gambit:


05-21-2017, 04:52 AM
I like that " Good thing Gonzaga doesn't have a football team " post.......who's your daddy....

Epic Senior Night...:cheers:

05-21-2017, 07:47 AM
Zags Claim Share of Second Consecutive WCC Title

Gonzaga beats BYU 6-2 for share of title, No. 1 seed at WCC Championships

May 21, 2017

Box Score (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/stats/2016-2017/gon48.html)

SPOKANE, Wash.--Entering the weekend, the Gonzaga baseball team needed a historic sweep of No. 18 BYU in a home series against the Cougars. Saturday night, the Zags finished off the sweep with a 6-2 win over the Cougars, earning a share of the title and the No. 1 seed at next weekend's West Coast Conference Championships.

Gonzaga dominated the opening frames, scoring the game's first five runs. In the first, Jeff Bohling gave the Zags an early lead, singling to third base and allowing Sam Brown to score, putting the Zags up 1-0. Two innings later, the Bulldogs extended that lead in the third on a monstrous swing from Tyler Frost. He blasted the first pitch he saw from BYU starter Hayden Rogers well over the fence in right field, bringing home Troy Johnston for two more runs.

In the fourth, Gonzaga added two more, chasing Rogers from the game in the process. Jake Vieth led off with a single to center, and he moved over on a sacrifice bunt and a single from Brown. Johnston drove the junior home with a sacrifice fly out to left. Brown then moved up to third on a single from Frost, and Jacobs picked Brown up with a knock to left center for a 5-0 advantage.

Defensively, meanwhile, GU starter Daniel Bies shut down the vaunted Cougar offense for the first five innings. The Cougars got to him in the sixth for three hits with Keaton Kringlen knocking the GU sophomore out of the game with an RBI double. Reliever Wyatt Mills came on with one down, allowing a pair of hits - including an RBI bloop single to Colton Shaver - before getting the final two outs and preventing further damage.

A senior righty from Spokane, Mills got stronger as the game progressed. He stranded runners on second and third in the seventh, foiling BYU's last major attempt at a rally. Mills retired the side in order in the eighth, and Jacobs added one more to the Zags' tally with an RBI single in the bottom of the frame. After two quick outs in the top of the ninth, Mills allowed just a two-out single before retiring Daniel Schneemann and capping off the 6-2 victory.

Bies earned the win after allowing just two runs and striking out five in 5.1 innings of work. Mills earned the save, his 11th of the season, with 3.2 scoreless innings, fanning five Cougar batters.

Bulldog Bites:

Gonzaga clinched its second consecutive regular season victory Saturday night as they also tied for the conference title last season. It's the first time the Bulldogs have won back-to-back titles since 1980-81 when they did so as members of the NorPac conference. In all, Gonzaga has won four WCC regular season championships since joining the conference before the 1996 season.

With the win, the Bulldogs also clinched the top seed in the WCC Championships. That tournament will run May 25-27 at Stockton, Calif.'s Banner Island Ballpark, and decide the conference's automatic qualifier to the NCAA Tournament. As the top seed, the Bulldogs will face either Saint Mary's or San Diego at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 25.

Also, the Bulldogs picked up their first-ever sweep of BYU, who came into the weekend ranked No. 18 by Collegiate Baseball and averaging 8.73 runs a game. The Zags held BYU to eight runs total during the series for a 2.67 team ERA while scoring 26 runs and hitting .398 themselves. With the sweep, Gonzaga is now 9-5 against ranked teams and has won its last three series against ranked foes.
Prior to the game, the Bulldogs' seven seniors -Bohling, Brown, Jacobs, Mills, Sam Hellinger, Jake Roberts, and Justin Vernia - were honored as tonight was their final collegiate game at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field. The seven combined for eight hits - three doubles - two runs, and three RBIs, as well as Mills' 3.2-inning, five-strikeout save.

Bies matched his career high with five strikeouts, a mark he's reached three times already this season. He didn't walk any batters, and he allowed just the two sixth-inning runs.

Zag Speak:

Gonzaga head coach Mark Machtolf

"I don't think I've ever been more proud of a group than this. Obviously last year, and we've won championships before, but in this fashion? This year, to get the top two teams in here knowing that we had to have at least two against Loyola and had to sweep BYU, and we accomplished that. I couldn't be more proud of and happy for all our guys, but especially our seniors."
Gonzaga senior Justin Jacobs

"It feels awesome. That was a great series to be a part of. Huge Zag effort all the way around: pitching, hitting, coaching. Everyone came together as a team right there and did what we had to do. Now we have a lot ahead of us and a lot more goals for the rest of the year."

Gonzaga senior Wyatt Mills

"That's what I came back for. That's exactly what I wanted, to get another championship here, and do it in front of my city and my school. I couldn't be happier."

Next Up:

The Zags (31-17, 20-7 WCC) will wrap up the regular season on Monday, May 22, with a game at Fresno State. First pitch for their final WCC Championships tune-up will begin at 6:05 p.m. at Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium in Fresno, Calif.

Gonzaga Article Link (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/recaps/052117aaa.html)

05-21-2017, 09:09 AM
WarrenNolan.com ~ West Coast Conference (http://warrennolan.com/baseball/2017/conference/West-Coast)

05-21-2017, 09:10 AM
2017 WEST COAST CONFERENCE BASEBALL CHAMPIONSHIP CENTRAL (http://www.wccsports.com/page/2017-wcc-baseball-championship)

05-21-2017, 05:01 PM

05-21-2017, 05:08 PM