Zags Claim Series Over Dons; GU Wins 4-3 In San Francisco
SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. – Gonzaga University baseball claimed its regular-season series with the University of San Francisco for the second consecutive year Saturday with a 4-3 winner at Benedetti Diamond.
Winners of back-to-back league games, GU improves to 6-12 overall and 2-0 in West Coast Conference play. The Dons of San Francisco drop to 8-8 overall and 0-2 WCC.
Picking up where they left off Friday, the Bulldogs jumped on Dons starter Christian Cecilio in the top of the first inning. Cory LeBrun and Caleb Wood each singled in a run and LeBrun would later score on a throwing error by the catcher trying to throw out Wood at second.
The Zags extended its lead to 4-0 by taking advantage of another Don error in the third inning. Beau Bozett and Payden Cawley Lamb hit back-to-back singles to open the frame. Bozett then scored on an error by Dons shortstop Nico Girratano.
Freshman starter Brandon Bailey was perfect through three innings and did not allow a base runner until the bottom of the fourth when Harrison Bruce walked. San Francisco had its first hit in the top of the fifth but Bailey was dominating all day to earn his first collegiate victory.
For Bailey, he delivered 7.1 innings allowing three runs on six hits while striking out four.
The Broomfield, Colo., native was removed in the bottom of the eighth when San Francisco attempted a rally. The first four Dons reached to open the frame and run scored before head coach Mark Machtolf brought in Sean-Luke Brija.
Brija retired the lone batter he faced, Zack Turner, for the second out of the inning.
Reliever Kenny Smith then replaced Brija but gave up a Derek Atkinson two-run double cutting the GU lead to 4-3. Gonzaga escaped the rally when Smith induced a weak groundout to second base.
Smith walked off the leadoff hitter to open the ninth but was able to get his fourth save of the season when pinch hitter Cody Snider grounded out to end the game.
Three Bulldogs, Mitchell Gunsolus, Bozett and Wood, had two hits apiece.
Gonzaga will go for the series sweep in the Sunday finale. Andrew Sopko gets the start against Grant Goodwin for a 1 p.m. first pitch.