Win Streak Ends as Saint Mary’s Takes Game One
April 28, 2017

Box Score

SPOKANE, Wash.—The No. 19 Gonzaga baseball team’s win streak ended at eight games Friday night as the Zags fell 7-3 to Saint Mary’s during game one of a key West Coast Conference series at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field.

The Gaels broke up a scoreless game in the fourth, scoring three runs on four hits, all singles off GU starter Eli Morgan. Right fielder Joe Vranesh drove in the first run with a knock through the right side, and Joey Fiske added two more two batters later with an infield base hit.

Saint Mary’s added two more in the fifth, but the Bulldogs got those back in their half of the inning. Redshirt senior catcher Jake Roberts led the rallying effort with a one-out home run to left field, and the Bulldogs continued with three straight singles, Tyler Frost’s smash up the middle driving in a run. After the Gaels made a pitching change, Jeff Bohling was hit by a pitch to load the bases, but Nick Brooks flew out to right field to end the rally.

After a scoreless sixth, the Gaels extended their lead to 7-2 in the seventh, finally chasing Morgan in the process. The junior from Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., fanned Kevin Milam to begin the frame, but a single and a walk were it for Morgan, who then left the game in favor of southpaw Calvin LeBrun. Saint Mary’s’ Austin Chauvin greeted the junior with a double down the left field line, plating the two runners. LeBrun then got a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning.

The Zags scored one more in the eighth with a solo home run from Gunnar Schubert, the first of his Bulldog career. That was all, though, as the Gaels held on for the 7-3 win to begin the series.

Morgan took the loss, his second of the season, while Saint Mary’s reliever Ty Madrigal earned the win after escaping a two-on, one-out jam in the fifth. Ken Waldichuck, who entered the game in the sixth and finished it off, picked up the save.

Bulldog Bites:

  • The loss snaps Gonzaga’s eight-game win streak, which started April 13. The streak matches last season’s longest stretch, and it was one of six win streaks of eight games or longer since 2006.
  • Morgan struck out 12 batters Friday night, his fifth game of 12 strikeouts or more this season. He’s at 107 on the year, already tied for the seventh-most by a Bulldog pitcher in a single campaign. That’s also equal to his strikeout total last year, and Ryan Carpenter joins Morgan in that tie for seventh with 107 Ks in 2011. Between Morgan and LeBrun, the Zags struck out a season-high 17 batters Friday night.
  • Morgan suffered the first loss of his career in West Coast Conference play. He had entered the game 14-0 against WCC foes in the regular season. The Gaels, however, did beat Morgan last year at the WCC Championships, but that was a postseason game and not considered conference play.
  • The Zags are still tied atop the WCC standings at 14-5 along with Loyola Marymount, and San Diego joins that deadlock after the Toreros beat LMU Friday night. Those three teams are a half-game ahead of No. 4 BYU. Saint Mary’s is fifth in the conference at 10-6 in WCC play. The top four ballclubs will compete at the WCC Championships after the regular season.

Zag Speak:

Gonzaga associate head coach Danny Evans

  • “Saint Mary’s did a good job. If you look at Eli’s line, he punches out 12 and they get 11 hits, and none of them were struck incredibly hard, but they did a good job of battling. That was their plan – you have to have that plan against Eli – to try to get the pitch count up and make him work deeper into at-bats. Overall, you have to tip your cap to what their offense did against Eli. Not many teams have done that.”

Gonzaga catcher Jake Roberts

  • “I thought we played well...We could have done a couple of little things here and there, but luck was just on Saint Mary’s side.”
  • "We’re all in good spirits and we’re in control of our own destiny. We feel really good with where we’re at. Like Coach Mac said, champions get punched in the mouth every now and then, too, so we just have to come back tomorrow and hit them with our best shot.”

Next Up:

Gonzaga (25-15, 14-5 WCC) and Saint Mary’s (27-14, 10-6 WCC) continue the three-game series on Saturday, April 29, with a 3:00 p.m. contest at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field. The Zags turn to senior right-handed pitcher Justin Vernia, while the Gaels will send out fellow righty Conner Loeprich.



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