Zags Fall in Extras During Only Full Game of Day
March 4, 2017
BERKELEY, Calif.—The Gonzaga baseball team played 19 innings Saturday, but that counted for little more than a game and a half as game two of Saturday’s planned doubleheader against California was halted in the seventh inning due to rain. The Golden Bears won a tense game one 8-7 in 13 innings, and the home team led game two 3-2 at the time play was postponed.
Game One: California 8, Gonzaga 7 (13 innings)
The Zags were up 7-6 entering the bottom of the ninth in game one, but California scratched across a run on three hits to force extra innings. In both the top of the 10th and 11th frames, Gonzaga loaded up the bases on five walks and a hit by pitch, but Cal relief pitcher Erik Martinez got out of each two-out jam with a strikeout.
In the bottom of the 13th inning, Cal’s Andrew Vaughn hit a leadoff single off GU reliever Calvin LeBrun, who pitched a scoreless 11th and 12th. Bear third baseman Denis Karas followed up with a double that found the gap between right field and center field. Vaughn rushed home from first base, slid to the back of the plate, and just beat the tag from GU catcher Jake Roberts for the winning run.
Gonzaga opened up a 6-0 lead in the game with three runs in both the second and third innings. In the second, Jake Vieth hit a two-run home run – his first in a Gonzaga uniform – and Sam Brown also drove in a run with a single. One inning later, Roberts hit an RBI grounder, Daniel Fredrickson knocked in a run with a single, and Brown hit a sacrifice fly to plate Patrick Chung.
California answered with two runs in the fourth, one in the fifth, and three in the sixth, and the Bulldogs picked up one more in the top of the fifth to round out game one’s scoring summary.
After moving to the mound from first base and pitching a scoreless 13th inning, Vaughn was tabbed with the win, his first of the year. LeBrun suffered the loss, his first of the season. Both teams’ starting pitchers – Mac Lardner for Gonzaga and Jared Horn for California – did not figure into the decision.
Game Two: California 3, Gonzaga 2 (postponed in 7th inning – will resume Sunday, March 5)
Unlike the first contest of the day, game two started scoreless through the first three innings. California starter Joey Matulovich allowed only Zag two base runners in the first three frames; Tyler Frost drew a first-inning walk and Haydan Hastings was hit by a pitch in the third, but neither were able to score. GU pitcher Justin Vernia, meanwhile, eliminated one Bear on the base paths and stranded two more in his first three trips on the mound.
The home team then took a 2-0 lead after single runs scored in the fourth and the fifth, but Brown sparked a two-run rally in the top of the sixth to tie the game. A redshirt senior, Brown led the frame off with a triple to right field, and Jeff Bohling drove him home with a single up the middle. The Zag third baseman moved to second on a groundout, and Vieth brought him home with an infield single.
California countered with another tally in the bottom of the sixth, getting a run on two hits. After Vernia retired the side on a grounder to second base, the tarp came out due to rain that had picked up in intensity during the sixth inning. The two sides waited for about 25 minutes to see if it would let up before play was halted for the night.
Play will resume on Sunday, March 5, with the seventh inning of game three of the four-game series. Right fielder Jace VanDeBrake is scheduled to lead off the frame. After the conclusion of the game already in progress, the Zags (4-5) and Bears (3-6) will meet once more. RHP Casey Legumina is scheduled to take the mound for the Zags in the series finale, while the Bears will counter with RHP Rogelio Reyes.
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