Zags Split Day, Series at Cal
March 5, 2017
BERKELEY, Calif.--The Gonzaga baseball team finished a four-game series against Cal with both a win and a loss Sunday, winning a contest that was halted mid-game March 4 while falling in the nine-inning finale at Evans Diamond in Berkeley.
Game One: Gonzaga 8, California 3 (Resumed from March 4)
The Zags entered the resumption of March 4's incomplete game trailing by a run entering the top of the seventh inning, but that quickly changed. Parker Price drew an inning-opening pinch-hit walk off new Bears' reliever and southpaw Arman Sabouri to give the Zags an early base runner. The freshman quickly moved to third on a passed ball and a groundout, and then he scored on a wild pitch. After Tyler Frost drew a walk, Aaron Shortridge took the mound for Cal and was promptly greeted with a first-pitch single up the middle from Justin Jacobs. Right fielder Sam Brown scored from second base on the play.
In the eighth, the Bulldogs scored four more runs on three hits and a Cal error. Brown drove in the first run with a single to left field, plating Jake Roberts, and then Jeff Bohling and Frost hit back-to-back doubles for the next three runs. Frost's double was his first of the season.
Defensively, junior Calvin LeBrun replaced starter Justin Vernia on the mound in the bottom of the seventh. The Zag southpaw scattered three hits in his three innings of work, stranding four base runners to keep California off the scoresheet. He earned the save, his first of the season, while Vernia took the win after tossing all six innings yesterday. Sabouri suffered the loss for California.
Game Two: California 9, Gonzaga 5
Gonzaga took early leads in both the second and the fourth innings, but Cal plated seven in the middle of the series finale to pull ahead for the win. In the second, Jacobs led the frame off with a home run to right field. The Bears countered with one in the third, but the Zags got that one right back when Jacobs ripped a single to center, plating Frost, who had reached with a double.
In the fifth, however, Cal took the advantage with a pair of runs off GU starter Casey Legumina. The Bears then loaded the bases, but Legumina forced a double-play ball to get out of the inning. There was no such luck for the freshman in the sixth, however, as the home team plated five runs on four hits, getting two on a single from Jonah Davis, one from a sacrifice fly from Jeffery Mitchell, Jr., and two more with a home run off the bat of Andrew Vaughn.
Both teams scored once in the seventh to put the score at 9-3 in favor of the home side, and Gonzaga added one more in each the eighth and the ninth for the 9-5 final. In the eighth, Daniel Fredrickson led off with a single and moved to second on a walk. He came home when Cal reliever Andrew Buckley threw a grounder from Haydan Hastings into center field. In the ninth, the Zags picked up their final run when Frost blasted a 1-1 pitch from Vaughn over the wall in right center field.
Legumina suffered the loss after allowing eight runs in six innings of work. He struck out two. Cal starter Rogelio Reyes took the win, allowing two runs in 5.1 innings Sunday afternoon.
Mac Talk: Thoughts from Gonzaga head coach Mark Machtolf
"The offense improved this weekend as we continue to log quality at-bats. We will carry good momentum into another challenging weekend matchup versus Fullerton."
The Zags (5-6) will play the remaining five games of a season-opening game road swing next weekend, starting with a series at No. 12 Cal State Fullerton Friday, March 10. After three games in three days against the Titans, Gonzaga will play single games at Cal Poly Monday, March 13 and UC Riverside Tuesday, March 14 during Spring Break. Those five games precede the Bulldogs' home opener on March 17.
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