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Thread: Zags Host BYU in Weekend Conference Series on Thursday at 6pm

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    Post Zags Host BYU in Weekend Conference Series on Thursday at 6pm

    Zags Host BYU in Weekend Conference Series

    All three games set to begin at 6 p.m.

    SPOKANE, Wash. – The Gonzaga baseball team hosts BYU for a three-game West Coast Conference series at the Patterson Baseball Complex and Coach Steve Hertz Field beginning Thursday at 6 p.m.

    GONZAGA (23-13, 11-4 WCC) vs. BYU (12-20, 6-6 WCC)
    APRIL 22 | 6 P.M. | PATTERSON BASEBALL COMPLEX | SPOKANE, WASH.
    LIVE STREAM | LIVE STATS


    APRIL 23 | 6 P.M. | PATTERSON BASEBALL COMPLEX | SPOKANE, WASH.
    LIVE STREAM | LIVE STATS


    APRIL 24 | 6 P.M. | PATTERSON BASEBALL COMPLEX | SPOKANE, WASH.
    TELEVISION: SWX | LIVE STREAM | LIVE STATS


    Probables
    April 22 | 6 p.m. PT
    TBA vs. TBA

    April 23 | 6 p.m. PT
    TBA vs. TBA

    April 24 | 6 p.m. PT
    TBA vs. TBA

    West Coast Conference Outlook
    - Gonzaga is currently on top of the West Coast Conference standings with an 11-4 mark in conference play. Portland and San Diego follow with a 10-5 and 8-4 WCC record, respectively, while San Francisco sits in fourth with a 9-6 conference record. BYU sits in sixth with an even 6-6 conference record. Pacific at 0-9 is the only winless team in the WCC.

    - Gonzaga leads the WCC in strikeouts (355) and strikeouts per nine innings (10.7). Portland is the next closest with 334 strikeouts.

    - The Bulldogs also lead the conference in fielding percentage at .982 with 951 putouts, which ranks second behind Portland (957). The Zags also have the fewest errors in the league with 23 and rank second league in double plays with 24. Pacific leads the league in double plays with 31.

    - The Bulldogs rank second in the WCC in batting average at .282; San Diego leads the league with a .304 average while Portland and Pepperdine are tied for third at .257.

    - The Zags lead the Zags in RBI with 213 and in hits with 351. Brett Harris ranks fourth in the conference in batting average at .370 and fifth in RBI with 29.

    - Andrew Orzel ranks tied for third in the WCC in RBI with 30, while Tyler Rando (23 RBI, T-8) and Ernie Yake (22 RBI, T-11) all rank inside the top 15.

    - GU also leads the conference in runs with 244; San Diego ranks second with 228 while San Francisco ranks third with 185 total runs.

    - Gonzaga ranks second in the conference in double plays with 24 behind Pacific (31)

    - Gonzaga was picked to finish the WCC second behind Pepperdine.

    Racking Up the Honors
    Gonzaga's Alek Jacob and Brett Harris swept the West Coast Conference awards this week as Jacob earned his second WCC Pitcher of the Week while Harris picked up his first honor of the season. Jacob's no-hitter with 12Ks helped the Zags to a 10-0 win at Pepperdine to open the WCC series. The Spokane, Wash., native was also selected as the Golden Spikes Award Pitcher of the Week, the NCBWA Division I National Pitcher of the Week, the Rawlings Sports Pitcher of the Week and the D1Baseball/AstroTurf USA Player of the Week.

    Harris helped the Zags to a 3-1 mark on the week with a .583 batting average, seven hits, six runs, three RBI, three doubles and one home run. Harris added a 1.083 slugging percentage with just one strikeout in 12 at bats. The junior infielder added six putouts and four assists with a perfect 1.00 fielding percentage.

    Nationally Speaking...
    - Gonzaga jumped up to 25th in the RPI rankings (as of April 19), the highest of any team in the WCC. San Diego ranks 67th, while Pepperdine ranks 91st.

    - Brett Harris has been hit by pitches 17 times on the year to rank tied for second nationally.

    - As a team, GU batters have been hit by pitches 76 times; that number ranks second in the country and leads the West Coast Conference.

    - Gonzaga ranks tied for fifth nationally and leads the WCC in doubles with 79.

    - The Bulldogs also rank among the top 10 nationally in fielding percentage with a .981 fielding percentage. That number ranks ninth nationally.

    - With seven shutouts on the year, Gonzaga ranks tied for first nationally.

    Last Time Out
    Gonzaga used a two-run third inning to build a lead at Washington, and a solo homer from Gabriel Hughes in the top of the fourth sealed the 3-0 win for the Zags. Alec Gomez was stellar on the mound, pitching 7.0 innings for the Zags giving up just one hit with five strikeouts on 110 pitches. Brody Jessee earned the save. The win completed the series season sweep for the Zags after the Bulldogs defeated Washington 7-2 at home back on March 23.

    Zags at a Glance
    - Brett Harris leads the Zags in batting average (.370) and OPS (1.048), while Ernie Yake ranks second with a .319 batting average.

    - Tyler Rando leads the fielding effort with a team-high 241 putouts with 14 assists and a .996 fielding percentage. Andrew Orzel ranks second with 146 putouts, 31 assists and a .994 fielding percentage while Guthrie Morrison has 88 putouts.

    - On the mound, Alek Jacob leads the team and the West Coast Conference in strikeouts with 68 with a 3.33 ERA, good for 13th. Gabriel Hughes ranks second on the team and third in the conference with 62 Ks in 55.0 innings pitched.

    - The Zags have had multiple Player of the Week and Pitcher of the Week honors this season. Most recently, the Zags have earned three-straight WCC Pitcher of the Week awards, with Alek Jacob earning the honor on April 5 and 19th with Gabriel Hughes taking it home on April 12. Hughes was also named Pitcher of the Week back on March 23, while William Kempner was named Pitcher of the Week on March 9. Stephen Lund (March 16) and Brett Harris (April 19) are the only Zags to take home player of the week honors.

    Upcoming Series Info
    Gonzaga leads the all-time series 22-20, and the Zags have won four of the last six meetings. The two squads met once in the shortened 2020 season at the Sanderson Ford Collegiate Classic in the first tournament of the season. The Cougars handled GU 7-1 in that meeting, contributing to the first neutral-site loss to BYU since 2017.

    Gonzaga Article Link

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    Gonzaga defeats BYU this evening 12-1...Zags finish with 17 hits...

    Alek Jacob pitches 8 complete innings, gives up only 2 hits and 1 run while striking out 12 batters for the Zag win...

    With the win, Gonzaga improves to 24-13 overall and 12-4 in the WCC...

    https://gozags.com/sidearmstats/base...tegory=batting

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    Alek Jacob Tosses Another Gem, Zags Rout BYU 12-1

    Gonzaga 12 - BYU 1 Box Score Link

    SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga thrower Alek Jacob is on a roll that can't be slowed.

    Less than a week after recording the program's first no-hitter since 1990, GU's righty ace put up another shutdown start and the Bulldogs' offense kicked into gear late in the Zags' West Coast Conference series opener with BYU, producing multiple runs in three straight frames to turn a tie game into a 12-1 rout at Patterson Baseball Complex and Coach Steve Hertz Field Thursday evening.



    Jacob held the Cougars (12-21, 6-7 WCC) to two hits in eight innings of work, striking out 12 to match a career high he threw last week. BYU didn't pick up a single hit outside of the third inning, and the Bulldogs (24-13, 12-4 WCC) scored four runs in the fifth, five in the sixth, and two in the seventh to put the game increasingly out of reach.


    Guthrie Morrison (three runs), Brett Harris (two runs, one RBI) and Mason Marenco (two runs, three RBI) all finished with three hits apiece to lead GU's 17-hit night — the most since a 21-hit effort in a 21-3 win over Saint Mary's on April 10.


    "A very good effort from our team tonight — started with a great pregame," said Head Coach Mark Machtolf. "Offensively we had a lot of quality AB's, especially Marenco with the big blast."

    "[Jacob] did a great job of putting up a big zero in the bottom of the fifth, and then slammed the door the rest of the way."


    With its third straight win, GU strengthened its hold on the top of the WCC standings with a 1.5 game lead over second-place Portland (18-18, 10-5).


    The Action

    Miscues by the Cougars' infield helped Morrison and Harris get on base with back-to-back singles, and a curving flyout from Rando got Morrison home for the Zags' first run after Harris' single moved him from first to third in the previous at-bat.


    But BYU's defense tightened up in the next couple frames, keeping the Zags scoreless without a single strikeout — flyouts generated all three outs in the second, and a double play ended the third before a GU runner could get in scoring position.

    The Cougars evened the score in the top of the third when Peyton Cole singled, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and scored off a single from Cole Gambill — but Jacob struck out Joshua Cowden swinging and Yake collected a popup to keep the game tied.

    Andrew Orzel's single in the fifth broke the stalemate, getting Morrison his second run while moving Harris to third with one out on the board. In the next at-bat, Mason Marenco cleaned up with a game-changing three-run homer — his first of the season and first since 2019 — to push the lead to four.

    After Marenco went yard, the Zags never lost momentum again on either side of the ball.

    Jacob stifled hopes of a response with three straight outs in the top of the sixth, and GU kept generating offense in the bottom of the inning. Yake reached third after dodging a putout attempt halfway to the base, and Rando split the gaps in the outfield to bring him in for run No. 6.

    With two outs and two runners on base, Orzel made contact and reached first on an error, giving Harris time to score yet another run. Marenco followed with a single to load the bases and threaten another complexion-shifting drive, and Jack Machtolf delivered, hitting three deep foul balls before connecting on an RBI double that grazed the right field wall and was dropped for another three-run play.

    But the Zags weren't done just yet. Grayson Sterling slammed a solo homer in the first at-bat of the seventh, and Harris nearly replicated the feat with a deep drive to left field that hit the wall and scored Morrison's third run to make it a 12-1 ball game.

    RHP Jacob Rutherford took the mound in the final frame with plenty of room for a save, striking out Gambill looking before Chase Taylor and Bitner Workman grounded out to end the game half an inning early.


    Harris' HBP Streak Continues

    Brett Harris was hit by a pitch for the third straight game Thursday evening. The Zags third baseman ranks second in the nation in that category with 18, and leads the GU lineup in at-bats (139), runs (42), hits (53), and doubles (14).


    Up Next

    With a 1-0 series lead in hand, GU is set for another evening matchup with the Cougars on Friday. Zags RHP Gabriel Hughes (3-3, 55.0 IP, 62 strikeouts, 3.44 ERA) will make his seventh start of the year against a yet-to-be-announced starter for BYU.

    Follow the Game

    Friday and Saturday's matchups are both tentatively scheduled for 6 p.m. starts, with live streaming available via the WCC Network on Friday and Saturday's game broadcast on SWX.

    Gonzaga Article Link

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    Gonzaga vs. BYU Baseball Highlights:

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1385450872663023616

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    The Zags are putting together quite a season And they are a lot of fun to watch

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    Gonzaga holds on with a game ending 9th inning double play to defeat BYU 2-1...

    With the win, Gonzaga improves to 25-13 overall and 13-4 in the WCC...

    https://gozags.com/sidearmstats/base...tegory=batting

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    But we don't play nobody.

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    GU Wins Defensive Battle with BYU, Clinched Series Win in Game Two

    Gonzaga 2 - BYU 1 Box Score Link

    SPOKANE, Wash. — It wasn't the offensive fireworks that characterized the series opener, but Gonzaga got the runs it needed to clinch a West Coast Conference series win against BYU at Patterson Baseball Complex and Coach Steve Hertz Field on Friday night with a 2-1 victory in game two.

    The Bulldogs (25-13, 13-4 WCC) held the Cougars (12-22, 6-8 WCC) to just one run for the second consecutive game for their fourth straight victory, picking up two runs early and withstanding multiple late threats to the lead despite a subdued hitting night.

    BYU actually outhit GU six to five, but 10 BYU batters were stranded on base and GU fielders collected 17 flyouts and groundouts in the winning effort. Right-hander Gabriel Hughes threw five strikeouts over six innings for his fourth win and RHP Brody Jessee closed the game in dominant fashion to shut the door on a final-frame rally attempt and earn the save.

    Grayson Sterling provided three of those hits to lead the Zags, and Brett Harris and Tyler Rando both finished with a hit apiece to round out their offense.

    "Happy to get out of that game with a big win," said Head Coach Mark Machtolf. "I didn't think we played very efficiently on offense but we did enough. Hughes gave us a good start, and can't say enough about the outing from Jessee in relief. Ready to get back out there tomorrow."

    The Action

    Less than 24 hours after delivering a massive three-run homer in the Zags' 12-1 rout on Thursday night, Mason Marenco flew out in the second frame to score Tyler Rando, who doubled earlier in the inning for GU's first hit of the game.

    The Bulldogs lineup kept rolling in the third, taking advantage of a series of defensive miscues that put four runners on base but ultimately only yielded one run, with two stranded. Grayson Sterling began the inning with a single and reached scoring position on a flyout, but was put out at home while Morrison reached on a fielder's choice. In the meantime, Yake was walked, reached second on an error, and capitalized on a wild pitch to make it a 2-0 ballgame.

    Cole Gambill put the first run on the board for BYU in the next frame with a moonshot solo homer that exited left field, but Hughes struck out Ryan Sepede swinging and Brock Watkins lined out to keep GU in the lead. That run would turn out to be the extent of the Cougars' advance on offense on the night.

    After two scoreless innings, RHP Brody Jessee entered the game in relief with the bases loaded and only one out on the board. But the 6'4 righty got the Zags out of a jam with two clutch strikeouts that turned a dangerous situation into another clean frame.

    The Zags loaded the bases as well in the bottom of the frame — but just the same, the Cougars got out of the frame safely when Jack Machtolf was put out at home for the third out on a flyout from Yake.

    Jessee's command of the strike zone only strengthened over the final two frames, throwing two more strikeouts without being tagged for a single hit. Needing three more outs in the ninth to close the game, Jessee struck Bitner Workman out swinging and Peyton Cole hit into a double play that sealed the game.

    Inside the Series

    With the win, Gonzaga is 24-20 against BYU all-time and 15-13 in conference games against the Cougars since they joined the WCC in 2012. Their last matchup before this spring was a non-conference neutral site loss in the Sanderson Ford Baseball Classic in Surprise, Ariz.

    Next Up

    The Zags have already secured a series win, but they can go for the sweep in game three on Saturday. Probable starters for both teams are to be determined.

    Follow the Game

    Saturday's matchup is set for a 6 p.m. first pitch and will be broadcast on SWX, with out-of-market streaming available via the WCC Network. Check GoZags.com for game day updates, live stats and more.

    Gonzaga Article Link

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    Friday Evening Gonzaga vs. BYU Baseball Highlights:

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1385812333000232962

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    Gonzaga defeats BYU 7-3 this evening and sweeps the 3 game series...

    Zags have now won 5 games in a row and 9 of their last 10...

    With the win, Gonzaga improves to 26-13 overall and 14-4 in the WCC...

    https://gozags.com/sidearmstats/base...tegory=batting

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    Gonzaga Pulls Ahead Early, Completes Three-Game Sweep of BYU at Home

    Gonzaga 7 - BYU 3 Box Score Link

    SPOKANE, Wash. — After sweating out the final frame in a series-clinching win on Friday night, Gonzaga's bats left little room for doubt in its third West Coast Conference matchup with BYU at Patterson Baseball Complex and Coach Steve Hertz Field. The Bulldogs (26-13, 14-4) built a lead early and led wire to wire for a 7-3 win that puts them two games ahead of second-place San Diego in the WCC standings.

    "Big sweep," said Head Coach Mark Machtolf. "Nine-game pennant race left, and it feels good to be in the drivers' seat. Go Zags!"

    In his first start on the mound since 2019, RHP Michael Spellacy got plenty of run support from a lineup looking to bounce back from a five-hit outing on Friday night — but he pitched as if the margin for error was razor-thin. GU scored one run in the first, three in the second and two more in the third to jump out to an early 6-1 lead, while Spellacy struck out five and held BYU to three hits in five innings of work.

    Ernie Yake (2-for-4, one run, two RBI) and Grayson Sterling (2-for-3, two runs) led the Bulldogs' eight-hit effort. Brett Harris (one hit) generated the only other RBI for GU, and Jack Machtolf and Gabriel Hughes both scored two runs.

    The Action

    With damp conditions from morning rain still lingering as the game began, Spellacy threw two innings without a walk or hit to give the Zags a momentum boost early. BYU starter Boston Mabeus only gave up one hit in a little over an inning of work, but GU put four runs on the board in that span.

    In GU's first at-bat of the game, Yake outsped a throw to reach first and proceeded to do it twice more — stealing third on a wild pitch, then getting home on a passed ball when Morrison was walked for the Bulldogs' first run. Harris was walked next to make it two runners on base without an out on the board.

    Mabeus struck out Rando and Orzel consecutively in the next two at-bats as Morrison and Harris stole third and second respectively, but a flyout from Mason Marenco stranded them both.

    The second brought more of the same opportunistic offense to the tune of four more runs. Jack Machtolf and Gabe Hughes picked up two more walks to start the frame, spurring a pitching change that brought in RHP Carter Smith. But Grayson Sterling laid down a bunt that led to a throwing error, scoring Machtolf and putting runners on second without any outs yet again — this time with the top of the lineup up to bat.

    Yake was walked to load the bases and Morrison hit into a double play that drove in a run from Hughes. Yet another error by the BYU infield got Harris to first and gave Sterling time to score GU's fourth run, and Rando singled to push Harris to scoring position to halt

    In the top of the third, Brock Watkins connected on the Cougars' first base hit and BYU finally found some traction on offense. Machtolf snagged a deep ball just over the top of the left field fence to rob Chase Taylor of what would have likely been a two-run homer. Two walks, a single and a wild pitch earned a run from Watkins and loaded the bases with two outs, but Sterling collected a high-arching fly to right field to close the inning without any further damage.

    BYU went errorless in the bottom of the third, but the Zags lineup picked up four hits and two more runs regardless in a frame that looked at times like a carbon copy of the one previous.

    Machtolf and Hughes both got on base in the first two at-bats for the second inning in a row — this time with back-to-back singles — and Sterling singled to load the bases. Yake and Morrison followed up with two drives that scored Machtolf and Hughes, but BYU collected a groundout from Harris to strand two more runners.

    After a scoreless fourth that didn't see a hit from either team, Sterling broke through with a double that careened over the right field line and was brought home by another single from Yake.

    RHP Trystan Vrieling took the mound in relief in the sixth, blanking the Cougars for two more innings before Cole Gambill tripled to score Peyton Cole and reached home on a flyout to give BYU more than one run for the first time in the series.

    In the final frame, Taylor flew out and Vrieling put Bryan Call out at first and struck Mitch McIntyre out swinging to match Spellacy with five K's of his own and end the game.

    Inside the Series

    With the three-game sweep, Gonzaga is 25-20 against BYU all-time and 16-13 in conference games against the Cougars since they joined the WCC in 2012. Their last matchup before this spring was a non-conference neutral site loss in the Sanderson Ford Baseball Classic in Surprise, Ariz.

    Next Up

    Gonzaga's home stand continues with a rematch against Washington State at Patterson Baseball Complex and Coach Steve Hertz Field on Tuesday, April 27. In their last meeting on April 13, GU won 9-0 in a five-inning game shortened by injury.

    Follow the Game

    Tuesday's game is set for a 6 p.m. first pitch and will be broadcast on SWX, with out-of-market live streaming available via the WCC Network. Check GoZags.com for game day updates, live stats and more.

    Gonzaga Article Link

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    Saturday Evening Gonzaga vs. BYU Baseball Highlights:

    https://twitter.com/i/status/1386174011000774666

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    Was watching the game tonight. Was mentioned in the broadcast ( & I didn't realize this) that there is no tourney at the end of the season; regular season champ gets the automatic bid.

    Zags 14-4
    USD 11-4


    Next best has 7 loses.

    Zags host USD next weekend.
    But we don't play nobody.

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