Baseball Rallies in Ninth to Beat UC Irvine, 5-3
Feb. 25, 2018
IRVINE, Calif. -- Down 3-2 heading into the ninth, Gonzaga baseball put together a three-run rally to beat UC Irvine on the road on Sunday afternoon.
Gonzaga (3-4) went down by a run after the Anteaters (5-2) scored two in the bottom of the eighth, but the Zags promptly responded by putting two of the first three batters on base via walks in the ninth. After a single by Austin Pinorini to load the bases, Daniel Fredrickson tied it with a sacrifice fly and Troy Johnston put GU in the lead with a clutch single that scored both Pinorini and pinch runner Isaac Barrera.
"That was a big win that we needed today," head coach Mark Machtolf said. "Alek Jacob had another great outing on the mound and kept us in it all day. I was happy to see us answer a punch in the bottom of the eighth with quality at-bats fueling the comeback win in the ninth."
The Zags got a quality start out of Jacob on the mound as the freshman went 6.0 innings and gave up just one run on five hits while striking out four and walking just one. Casey Legumina picked up the win, cleaning up the ninth inning after he had allowed UCI's eighth-inning runs. He went 2.1 innings, allowing two runs on three hits while striking out four. Calvin LeBrun and Taylor Davis each retired their only batters faced of the day in the seventh before giving way to Legumina.
At the plate, Johnston had a huge day, going 3-for-5 with three RBI, including the two in the ninth to give GU the deciding cushion. Pinorini had a pair of hits in his first time in the leadoff spot, while Fredrickson was 1-for-3 and had two RBI.
Down 1-0 after two innings, Gonzaga scored one in the third on an RBI single from Fredrickson and one more in the fifth on an RBI single from Johnston to set the stage for the late-inning performance.
GU will return home after playing the first seven games of the season away from Spokane, Wash. The Zags will host Milwaukee this weekend for a three-game series beginning Friday. Stay tuned to GoZags.com throughout the week for updates and news ahead of the Milwaukee series.
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