Zags Draw Even at BYU with 9-5 win
Jeff Bohling
April 29, 2016

PROVO, Utah--After erasing two deficits, the Gonzaga University baseball team evened up its key West Coast Conference series at BYU Friday night with an 9-5 win over the Cougars at Miller Field in Provo.

The Zags used a big fifth inning to grab the lead permanently, scoring five runs on as many hits for an 8-4 advantage. After a leadoff walk, Tyler Frost and Jeff Bohling posted back-to-back doubles, Bohling bringing in two scores with his two-bagger. Two batters later, Nick Brooks singled through the left side to plate Bohling, and Brooks himself came across on another RBI double, this one from Jake Roberts. Shortstop Dustin Breshears wrapped up the scoring in the frame with a RBI single to right field, although the Zags did load the bases before the side was retired.

Before the fifth, the lead had changed hand a couple times after BYU initially took it in the second. Gonzaga responded to the Cougars' second-inning run with two in the third, getting RBIs from Frost and Sam Brown. They added one in the top of the fourth on a leadoff homer from Brooks, but BYU re-took a brief advantage with three in the bottom of the frame.

After that three-run fourth inning, Gonzaga starter Eli Morgan found his groove, keeping the Cougars scoreless in the fifth, sixth, and seventh, while facing the minimum in the sixth and seventh innings. In that sixth inning, he caught all three Cougar batters looking, bumping his strikeout tally on the night to five.

In the eighth, Bohling hit a solo blast out to right field to give the Zags a 9-4 lead. In the bottom of the frame Morgan retired the first batter he faced but was pulled after walking Cougar first baseman Colton Shaver. Junior Sam Hellinger came in relief and kept the Cougars off the scoresheet in the inning. He did, however, allow one in the ninth before Wyatt Mills came in and got the final out of the inning to preserve the win.

Bulldog Bites:

  • Gonzaga's bats collected eight extra-base hits on the night, tying for second-most on the year with six doubles and two home runs. Both Bohling and Joey Harris had two of them: Bohling hitting a double and a home run while Harris collected two two-baggers. Four other Bulldogs hit one apiece, including a homer from Brooks and doubles from Brown, Frost, and Roberts. In all, the Zags posted 13 hits on the night for their 20th double-digit-hit game of the year. Eight of the nine starters saw at least one base knock, and Bohling led the way with three hits, his fifth three-hit night of the season. Three others saw multi-hit games.
  • Morgan pitched 7.1 innings on the night, hitting the seven-inning mark for the eighth time this season, sixth against WCC foes. He remained perfect against conference teams, bumping his conference record up to 6-0 and overall mark to 8-1.
  • A handful of Zags saw career highs Friday night. Taylor Jones drew three walks for the most of his four-year career, and Brooks' two runs scored also was a personal best. The redshirt sophomore also equaled career highs with two hits, two RBIs, and a homer. Roberts equaled his high of two runs scored in a Gonzaga uniform as well.
  • Mills earned a save for his one-out performance since the tying run was on deck when he entered the game at 9-5 (BYU had runners on the corners). He's tallied saves in each of his last five appearances, those all coming since April 16.
  • With the win, the Zags move up to second in the WCC in terms of win percentage (13-7; .650), but they lead the league in the win column by two games. Gonzaga has 13 WCC victories while both BYU and Saint Mary's have 11.

Mac Talk:

  • "The entire team was on task tonight. It was a great bounce-back by everyone, and an incredible effort from Morgan on the mound. He buckled down after a shaky fourth to put up important zeros. Great all-around team effort from the first pitch to the last out. Big Saturday rubber match tomorrow!"

Next Up:

The Zags (25-14, 13-7 WCC) and Cougars will wrap up the three-game set on Saturday, April 30, with a 12:00 p.m. Pacific (1:00 p.m. Mountain) contest to decide the series. Gonzaga will send RHP Hunter Wells to the mound while the Cougars will counter with LHP Riley Gates.



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