Zags Complete Sweep with 3-2 win at Portland
April 23, 2017
PORTLAND, Ore.—Thanks to a strong performance by the bullpen, the Gonzaga baseball team rallied for a 3-2 win at Portland Sunday afternoon, completing the three-game sweep of the Pilots at Joe Etzel Field in Portland.
The Bulldogs went to the pen early, bringing on Calvin LeBrun to face a two-on, two-out jam in the third inning. The junior southpaw struck out Beau Brundage to end the frame, but not before the Pilots scored twice off Gonzaga starter Casey Legumina. LeBrun continued to work through the sixth, scattering three singles and using his four strikeouts to leave four runners stranded on base.
While LeBrun was on the mound, the Bulldog offense rallied to score in the top of the fourth. Right fielder Daniel Fredrickson led the frame off with a single, and he moved up 90 feet on a two-out base knock from Jeff Bohling. Designated hitter Troy Johnston then ripped a one-bagger to center field, allowing Fredrickson to score.
Right-hander Sam Hellinger came on in relief of LeBrun in the seventh, and he too held the Pilots scoreless through the end of the game. The senior from Seattle allowed back-to-back singles with one down in the seventh inning, but he then picked off the lead runner Matt Kelly at second base. Kevin Wade then stole second and advanced to third on a GU throwing error, but Hellinger got Cody Hawken to end the inning with a ground ball to short.
Hellinger earned the win Sunday as the Zags scored once in the seventh and another in the eighth for the 3-2 lead. In the seventh, Johnston doubled down the right-field line for a one-out runner in scoring position, and he came around two batters later when pinch hitter Jace VanDeBrake singled up the middle.
In the eighth, Jake Roberts led off with a single and moved to second on a sacrifice bunt. After a walk and a strikeout, Roberts was nearly picked off when he tripped attempting to return to second base, but the throw from Portland catcher Tate Budnick hit the bag at second and rolled into the outfield. Roberts recovered well enough to score on the play, giving the Zags the lead.
Mac Talk: Thoughts from Gonzaga head coach Mark Machtolf
The Bulldogs (24-14, 14-4 WCC) will now head to Washington State for a single mid-week game on Tuesday, April 25. First pitch for that contest is set for 5:00 p.m. at Bailey-Brayton Field in Pullman, Wash. That game, the second of the season against the Cougars, will be aired on the Pac-12 Network.
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