Zags Complete Sweep with 3-2 win at Portland
April 23, 2017

Box Score

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.

Bulldog Bites:

  • In all, LeBrun and Hellinger combined to throw 6.1 scoreless innings in relief Sunday night, striking out four batters apiece while not walking anybody. In total, GU relievers pitched 10.2 innings at Portland with Nate Odahl tossing a scoreless inning Friday and Wyatt Mills allowing just one run in 3.1 innings Saturday. The four of them combined for a 0.84 ERA and struck out 15 batters while allowing zero free passes. Two GU relievers earned wins this series. The Pilots’ bullpen, meanwhile, posted a 9.64 ERA, allowing 11 total runs and walking seven Zags in 9.1 innings of work.
  • This was the second consecutive sweep for the Bulldogs and their third of the WCC season. The Zags have also now swept the Pilots 10 times under head coach Mark Machtolf (since 2004), with six of those sweeps coming in the last seven seasons.
  • Gonzaga extended its season-long win streak to seven games with the victory, six of which have come on the road. The Zags are now done with road conference games for the year; their final three WCC series will all come at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field in Spokane, beginning with Saint Mary’s April 28-30. Gonzaga has just two more road games left on the schedule: at Washington State in two days and at Fresno State to end the regular season in late May.

Mac Talk: Thoughts from Gonzaga head coach Mark Machtolf

  • “It’s huge to be able to win games in different ways, especially when you are getting contributions from different people each night. Today it was a huge effort from the bullpen.”

Next Up:

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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