Big Seventh Inning Leads Gonzaga to Eighth Straight Win
April 25, 2017

Box Score

PULLMAN, Wash.—The Gonzaga baseball team continued its roll Tuesday night at Washington State, turning a seventh-inning deficit into a 7-3 victory and extending its win streak to eight games at Bailey-Brayton Field in Pullman.

The Zags scored four in the seventh to take a permanent lead. Trailing 2-1 at the top of the frame, Parker Price led off with a pinch-hit double, giving Nick Brooks a runner in scoring position. The first baseman then put the Zags ahead by crushing a 1-1 pitch from WSU reliever Scotty Sunitsch over the wall in left center for a two-run home run. Gunnar Schubert followed up with a single to left center, and Jake Roberts was plunked for a second runner. Both moved up 90 feet on a wild pitch, and they scored with a Troy Johnston single up the middle.

Washington State answered with a single run in the bottom of the frame on a double from Danny Sinatro, but the Zags got that one back in the eighth. Right fielder Branson Trube singled up the middle for a one-out base runner, and he took second base on a throwing error from Cougar catcher Cal Waterman. After advancing on a ground ball, the junior from Meridian, Idaho, came home on a base knock from Schubert.

The Bulldogs also added a run in the ninth as Brendan McClary laid down a clean bunt for a squeeze play. Closer Wyatt Mills then struck out the side in the ninth inning to confirm the 7-3 win.

Gonzaga opened the scoring accord in the second inning when Brooks doubled to center field, allowing Justin Jacobs to score from third base. The Cougars took the lead – their only advantage of the game – in the sixth after four singles off starter Daniel Bies.

Until that sixth inning, Bies had kept the Cougar hitters quiet, allowing just two runners in the first five frames. He walked leadoff batter Andres Alvarez to begin the first, but the redshirt sophomore then retired 13 straight batters before Blake Clanton singled with two down in the fifth for the Cougs’ first base hit of the night. The strong start earned Bies the win, his third of the season.

Bulldog Bites:

  • With the win, Gonzaga extended its win streak to eight games, matching the program’s longest since 2013. The Bulldogs have trailed at some point in six of those eight victories.
  • Bies tied his career-long outing by throwing six innings Tuesday night. He originally set that record April 17 against the Cougars at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field. Over those two outings, he pitched 12.0 innings and allowed just three runs and nine hits. The Woodinville, Wash., native struck out seven batters and walked four during those two wins against the Cougars.
  • Brooks saw one of his best games of the season in Pullman, driving in a season-high three RBIs on a pair of hits, including his second home run of 2017. He started the game at first base, his first start in the field of the season; his previous 13 starts all came at designated hitter. It was the redshirt junior’s first start at first base since April 15, 2014.
  • After entering in the eighth inning and inheriting a 6-3 ballgame, Mills picked up his eighth save of the season. The senior from Spokane now has 17 in his career, moving into second place in Zags’ history. He’s just behind Cody Martin, who’s the program leader with 27, although information for that statistic is only available back to 2008.
  • The Bulldogs also clinched the series victory against their closest rivals, taking the first two games of the year against Washington State. The Zags have now either won or tied every season series since 2012, and they’ve taken the last five games against the Cougars dating back to last season. That’s Gonzaga’s longest win streak against Washington State in the new millennium. The two Eastern Washington ballclubs will square off once more this year: May 16 back in Spokane.

Mac Talk: Thoughts from Gonzaga head coach Mark Machtolf

  • “That was Bies’ best outing as a Zag. He really commanded the strike zone and was working ahead all night. He has great stuff, and he’ll be huge for us down the stretch.”
  • “We definitely have the belief that we aren’t out of any game, which is a very mature approach and a good feeling as a coach. Our leader Sam Brown really helps push that!”

Next Up:

The Zags (25-14, 14-4 WCC) return to Spokane and to conference play with a three-game set against Saint Mary’s. That series begins a 10-game homestand that will wrap up the WCC season and the 2017 home slate. First pitch of the series against the Gaels is scheduled for 6:05 p.m. on Friday, April 28.



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