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TerpZag
05-22-2017, 03:36 PM
Regular Season Ends in Bulldog vs. Bulldog Showdown

Gonzaga and Fresno State will meet for first time since 2011 Monday


May 21, 2017

Gonzaga Notes (http://grfx.cstv.com/photos/schools/gonz/sports/m-basebl/auto_pdf/2016-17/release/release_20170522aaa.pdf) | Fresno State Notes (http://www.gobulldogs.com/news/2017/5/20/bulldog-baseball-wraps-up-regular-season-on-monday-hosting-gonzaga.aspx?path=baseball)


HOW THE WEST COAST CONFERENCE WAS WON:

The Bulldogs claimed a share of their second consecutive West Coast Conference regular season title Saturday, completing a three-game home sweep of No. 18 BYU...it was Gonzaga's first-ever series sweep of BYU...the Zags held the vaunted Cougar offense in check all series, allowing just eight runs in three games despite the Cougars averaging over eight a game entering the series...the GU bullpen pitched nine innings of scoreless ball over all three games.

Offensively, the Zags themselves put up 26 in three games on BYU, including 10-spots in each of the first two games...they combined to hit .398 and reach at a .516 clip, tallying 26 hits and drawing 21 walks...junior Jake Vieth led the way with a .667 average while he and three others tallied six hits...junior Tyler Frost was one of those, driving in five runs and scoring four himself on five singles, three walks, and a home run.

WE'RE NO. 1 (AT THE CONFERENCE TOURNAMENT):

Even though the Zags are tied with BYU and Loyola Marymount for the WCC regular season title, the Bulldogs are the top seed at the WCC Championships, which will run Thursday, May 25-Saturday, May 27 at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, Calif...Gonzaga earned the top seed by going 5-1 against both clubs...LMU went 3-3 against BYU and the Zags, while the Cougars were 1-5 against their fellow champions.

The Bulldogs will open WCC Championships action at 3:00 p.m. on Thursday against Saint Mary's...the fourth-seeded Gaels clinched their berth Sunday with a win against Santa Clara.

This is the second time the Zags have been the championship's top seed, also taking No. 1 in the very first tournament in 2013...Gonzaga has reached Banner Island Ballpark four times in the competition's five-year history...Gonzaga and BYU are the only two schools to qualify for four WCC tournaments.

BACK TO BACK:

After also winning a share of the WCC regular season title last season (with BYU and Saint Mary's), the Bulldogs have won back-to-back conference titles for the first time since 1980-81...that was when Gonzaga was part of the NorPac Conference.

Also, their 20 conference wins (20-7 WCC record) are the program's most since winning 25 in NorPac games in 1981.

Gonzaga has now won four WCC regular season titles (2009, 2013, 2016, 2017)...in 2001, they also finished atop the WCC Coast Division standings, but two teams in the West Division held better records in conference play.

PEAKING AT THE RIGHT TIME:

Gonzaga finished the WCC schedule with two ranked opponents, hosting then-No. 23 Loyola Marymount for three games and then No. 18 BYU for three more...both of those rankings came from Collegiate Baseball...the Zags went 5-1 in those three games (two wins vs. LMU, three vs. BYU) and hit .328 during that stretch...INF Justin Jacobs leads the team with a .500/.643/.650 slash during that stretch, and he's tied with OF Tyler Frost with five RBIs as well.

The pitching staff has posted a 3.17 ERA over the last two series, allowing 20 runs in 54 innings...RHP Wyatt Mills leads the team with a 1.12 ERA, saving three games and striking out 13 batters while not walking anyone...starter Eli Morgan is 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA in 15.1 innings against the other top teams in the WCC, striking out 21 batters.

Since the Zags' home season started March 17, the Bulldogs have gone 24-8 in all games, a majority of which (21) have come in Spokane...they've lost just two conference series during that time.

BULLDOGS VS. BULLDOGS:

The Bulldogs of Gonzaga have played 26 games against those of Fresno State, winning just four games...the two clubs have only played five times since 2000 all Fresno State victories and haven't met since 2011...that was a 10-4 Fresno State victory.

Fresno State is 30-23 on the year and 11-2 in its last 13 games, coming off a series victory at San Diego State...the Bulldogs are the three-seed in the Mountain West Conference tournament, which will begin Thursday, May 25, in Albuquerque, N.M.

As a team, Fresno State is hitting .311 and slugging .481, averaging 7.31 runs per game...INF Aaron Arruda leads the team with a .388/.458/.671 slash line with 85 hits, 15 home runs, and 64 RBIs...the only other Bulldog to start all 54 games is INF Jesse Medrano, who's second with 74 total hits, 28 of which have been for extra bases...three other Bulldogs OF Jake Stone, INF Scott Silva, and OF Austin Guibor have also played in every game this season.

The pitching staff has posted a 5.59 ERA...scheduled starter LHP J.J. Santa Cruz is 3-1 with a 7.01 mark...he's started eight games and made 16 appearances out of the bullpen...opponents are hitting .301 off Santa Cruz, with a 30/16 strikeout/walk ratio...LHP Fred Schlichtholz leads the team with 29 appearances, all but two in relief, and RHP Edgar Gonzalez tops the pen with 65.2 innings pitched.

OFF-THE-WALL SINGLES:

The Bulldogs have outscored opponents 88-48 in the seventh inning or later this year, including a 34-10 tally in the eighth inning...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 over one third of their victories (11 of 31).

The 6:05 start time will benefit the Zags as they're 19-4 this year under the lights.

PITCHING LINE:

Redshirt sophomore Justin Blatner will be making his third appearance and first start of the season Monday...he last took the mound March 5 at California, striking out two and allowing one run in one inning of work...his other appearance came Feb. 17 against Indiana, where he allowed two runs and fanned two in two innings...Blatner was also set to start last Tuesday against Washington State, but that game was rained out...the Spokane native has made two starts in his career, as he earned the nod for two of the three contests against Washington State last season...in those two games, he went 1-0 with a 2.45 ERA, pitching 7.1 innings and allowing just two runs while striking out six...the better of those two starts came at home on April 5, 2016, when he pitched 5.0 shutout innings, striking out five batters and allowing just four hits en route to an 8-0 win...he got the win that day for his only career decision and set career highs in innings pitched and strikeouts...


Gonzaga Article Link (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/052117aab.html)

TerpZag
05-22-2017, 08:26 PM
Fresno State defeats Gonzaga 9-2...

http://www.sidearmstats.com/fresnostate/baseball/

TerpZag
05-23-2017, 08:16 PM
Gonzaga Drops Final WCC Tune-up

Zags fall 9-2 to Fresno State; postseason play begins Thursday


May 22, 2017

Box Score (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/stats/2016-2017/gon49.html)


FRESNO, Calif.--The Gonzaga baseball team played one final regular season game Monday night, falling 9-2 to Fresno State at Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium in Fresno.

The Fresno State Bulldogs (32-23, 18-12 Mountain West) took an early lead, scoring two in the first inning after loading the bases. After allowing an RBI groundout to Jared Akins, GU starting pitcher Justin Blatner fanned Nick Warren to end the frame.

The Gonzaga Bulldog offense quickly cut the lead in half, scoring in the top of the second. After Jake Roberts doubled to left field, Branson Trube advanced the catcher with a single of his own. First baseman Jake Vieth then hit a sacrifice fly to left field, allowing Roberts to score.

That 2-1 Fresno State lead held until the fourth when Korby Batesole hit a sacrifice fly of his own to add one for FSU. After an inning and a half, however, the Zags got that run back after Vieth led off the sixth with a walk, moved to third base on a wild pitch and a single from Gunnar Schubert, and came home when Sam Brown hit an RBI single to right center.

Fresno State countered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth, three of them coming on a three-run home run from Jeremiah Burks. The home team added two more in the seventh with a two-run shot from Jesse Medrano.

In the eighth, Gonzaga reserves gave the Zags a scoring opportunity as Jace VanDeBrake doubled to right center and Nick Brooks was hit by a pitch from Adam Medrano. The next three batters made outs, however, ending the frame. Neither team scored in their final trip to the plate, confirming the 9-2 score.

Bulldog Bites:

Blatner earned his first start of the season, allowing three runs in 3.1 innings and striking out four batters. It was his third appearance of the season and first since March 5 at California. The redshirt sophomore has now started three games in his career, two against Washington State last season and now this one against Fresno State.

The Bulldog offense produced 10 hits for the fourth game in a row, their second-longest such streak of the year. The Zags have reached the milestone in 25 games this season, more than 50 percent of their games played.

Reliever Mac Lardner also saw his first appearance in a while as he last pitched April 30 when starting against Saint Mary's. The freshman pitched 2.2 innings, allowing four tough-luck runs. In the sixth inning, he actually got a strikeout for what would have been the third out with no runs in, but Batesole reached first on a pitch that backup catcher Haydan Hastings was unable to come up with. Those runs were unearned, however, due to the passed ball.

This is the third consecutive season the Zags have lost their regular season finale. Last year, the Bulldogs fell 6-5 to UCSB in Santa Barbara before continuing onto the West Coast Conference Championships in Stockton, Calif. The speed bump didn't seem to affect the Zags last season, however, as they won their opening-round matchup against BYU and eventually made their first WCC Championships finale...


Next Up:

The Zags (31-18, 20-7 WCC) now turn to the postseason and the 2017 edition of the WCC Championships. They begin the conference tournament as the competition's No. 1 seed and will face fourth-seeded Saint Mary's on Thursday, May 25, at 3:00 p.m. Every game of the WCC Championships will take place at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton.


Gonzaga Article Link (http://www.gozags.com/sports/m-basebl/recaps/052217aaa.html)