Zags Sweep Long Doubleheader, Remain Perfect in WCC
March 25, 2017
Game One Box Score | Game Two Box Score
SPOKANE, Wash.—The Gonzaga baseball team played 25 innings in one of the longest doubleheaders in program history Saturday, downing San Francisco twice at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field in Spokane.
Game One: Gonzaga 4, San Francisco 3 (16 innings)
In one of the two longest games according to available records, the Bulldogs outlasted San Francisco in game one of the doubleheader.
Justin Jacobs notched the walkoff hit with two down in the bottom of the 16th. With runners on the corners, Jacobs sent a 2-2 pitch from Riley Ornido through the right side of the infield, allowing Sam Brown to score from third. He reached via a fielder’s choice, replacing Brendan McClary on the basepath. The senior left fielder moved to second on a wild pitch and took third with a sacrifice bunt from Branson Trube.
Gonzaga tied the game way back in the bottom of the seventh when Daniel Fredrickson looped a two-out single to left center, allowing two runs to score. Jace VanDeBrake and Gunnar Schubert, who began the inning with back-to-back hits, both came home on the play. Those two runs countered San Francisco’s two-run home run in the top of the sixth from Ross Puskarich.
Both teams scored once in the fifth inning, the Dons getting an RBI single from Harrison Bruce and Gonzaga seeing an RBI grounder from Nick Nyquist.
Both teams also saw scoring opportunities in extra frames before the Zags got the 16th-inning winner. Gonzaga left the bases loaded in the 12th inning and stranded two in the 14th, while the Dons saw runners gunned down at home in both the 14th and the 15th innings.
Mac Lardner got the win for two innings of scoreless relief while Ornido took the loss. Ornido also pitched two innings after entering the game in the 14th.
Game Two: Gonzaga 8, San Francisco 1
The Zags finished off the doubleheader with a strong 8-1 showing in game two. Gonzaga took an early lead in the nightcap with one run in the first inning. With one down, Fredrickson drove the first pitch he saw from USF starter Daniel Slominski over the fence in left field for his first career home run at any level.
In the fourth, Jacobs drove in another RBI with a sacrifice fly. Fredrickson opened the frame with a double down the right field line, and he moved over to third on a ground ball before scoring on Jacobs’ productive out.
San Francisco cut Gonzaga’s lead in half on an RBI single from Matt Sinatro in the fifth. Two innings later, Gonzaga got that back when Nyquist scored on a throwing error from the Dons’ centerfielder Tyler Villaroman. Brown singled up the middle on the play, and Nyquist went from first to third, drawing the throw to third. The errant attempt got by Don third baseman Allen Smoot and allowed Nyquist to score.
Gonzaga broke the game open in the eighth, scoring five runs on five hits. Frost led the frame off with a single to centerfield. Back-to-back doubles from Jake Vieth and VanDeBrake then chased Slominski from the game, and incoming pitcher Joey Steele gave up two more hits, including a two-run home run off the bat of Jake Roberts.
Bulldog starter Justin Vernia was strong on the mound, pitching all nine innings while scattering just five hits and not walking anyone. The senior from Issaquah, Wash., struck out seven batters in the victory, his third in as many decisions. Slominski took the loss, his second of the year.
Associate head coach Danny Evans
Senior pitcher Justin Vernia
The Bulldogs (13-10, 5-0 WCC) and Dons (12-11, 1-4 WCC) wrap up the series Sunday, March 26 with one final game at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field. First pitch for that game is slated for 12:00 p.m.
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