Zags Sweep Long Doubleheader, Remain Perfect in WCC
March 25, 2017

Box Score


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.

Bulldog Bites:

  • The 16-inning game one was the third-longest game in Division I this season. It’s also the Zags’ longest game since also playing 16 on April 6, 2003 at Portland – also the first of a two-game doubleheader – and it’s the longest game in Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field history. Three of Gonzaga’s five longest games since 2000 have come against San Francisco.
  • Fredrickson went 4-for-7 with three RBIs, two runs, and two extra-base hits on the day. He drove in two runs on two hits in the first game, and his game-two four-bagger was his first home run at any level. The redshirt sophomore has tallied hits in each of the last three games, his longest hit streak as a Bulldog.
  • Vernia went the distance for the first time in his Zag career, pitching all nine innings of game two and sparing the bullpen additional work. He’s allowed just one run and eight hits in 17.0 innings of work during West Coast Conference action this season
  • San Francisco’s run in the fifth inning of game one snapped starter Eli Morgan’s scoreless inning streak at 27.0. It began in the second inning of Feb. 24’s win at UCLA.
  • Brown saw eight at-bats during the extra-innings contest, the most by a Zag in a game since at least 2008 when game-by-game records are first available. The team’s 56 at bats during the game were also a high, as were the Gonzaga’s 64 batters faced and Roberts’ 19 putouts behind the plate.
  • With the two wins, Gonzaga remained unbeaten in conference play on the year. They swept a three-game series with Pacific last weekend before adding on two games today. Although he didn’t get the win, Morgan didn’t suffer the loss in game one, and he remained unbeaten at 10-0 against WCC foes during the regular season as well.

Zag Speak:

Associate head coach Danny Evans

  • “We wanted to be able to sweep the day. That’s what we talked about at the very beginning, coming in and being able to win the series today, to want that more than they wanted a split…our guys did a much better job of coming ready to play in game two there.”

Senior pitcher Justin Vernia

  • “I just wanted to stay focused, especially during that first game, waiting 16 innings to play. I wanted to stay relaxed during that game. I didn’t get to amped up so I could go out and do what I do best [in game two].

Next Up:

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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