Bulldogs Hold on For 6-5 Win, Series Victory
May 14, 2017
SPOKANE, Wash.—In another game that came down to the final out, the Gonzaga baseball team picked up a huge victory Sunday as the Zags downed Loyola Marymount 6-5 at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field, clinching the weekend series and moving into a tie for second place in the West Coast Conference standings once again.
Gonzaga opened the scoring accord with a first-inning tally. With two down, Tyler Frost hit a strong single to center field, and Justin Jacobs drove him home by doubling down the right-field line. Loyola Marymount countered immediately, however, getting a sacrifice fly from Phil Caulfield with the bases loaded in the top of the second.
In the third, the Bulldogs retook the lead after Frost and Jacobs again spurred a rally. Frost tallied a one-out single to left, and Jacobs followed up with a knock to center. In the next at bat, Jeff Bohling crushed a 2-1 pitch from LMU starter Blake Redman over the fence in center field for his second home run of the season. The three-run blast gave the Bulldogs a 4-1 advantage.
Loyola Marymount again responded with a score of its own as Jimmy Hill led the fourth inning off with a solo shot off Daniel Bies, cutting Gonzaga’s lead down to two. In the fifth, however, the Bulldogs scored two more with a two-out single from Jake Roberts. The Bulldogs then loaded the bases with a pair of hit batsmen, but a groundout to short ended the frame.
The Lions again responded with two more in the top of the sixth with a two-RBI double from Cooper Uhl, but GU reliever Casey Legumina ended the frame with a ground ball. The freshman reliever entered the game with no outs in the fourth and pitched through the sixth, allowing just the two sixth-inning tallies to hold onto the lead.
Gonzaga once again went to the bullpen to begin the seventh as Wyatt Mills came out to attempt a three-inning save. The senior pitched around a leadoff single in the seventh inning before retiring the side in order in the eighth. In the ninth, the Lions loaded the bases for Jamey Smart, who hit a sacrifice fly out to left to bring in one run and cut the Zag lead to one at 6-5. In the next at bat, however, Mills got Steven Chavez to strikeout swinging, clinching the game win and series victory.
Associate head coach Danny Evans
“We knew coming in, this was going to be a battle. It always is with them; they’re very well-coached and a tough baseball team. We knew this weekend would swing it one way or another, and our guys were ready. We were really pleased and proud with the way they came out and competed.”
“With [LMU’s] pitching, we knew that we were going to have to manufacture some runs. Jacobs did a great job twice with hit-and-runs and being able to move the runners. Then, Bohling with the big home run there, he stuck with it despite a tough series and delivered a huge knock for our guys.”
Gonzaga right-handed pitcher Wyatt Mills
“We know that every series we’ve played this year, we’ve showed the signs of being able to beat every other team in every other series. Some of them have gone other ways, and we’ve learned from it. This late in the season, I’d take our team over anyone.”
The Bulldogs (28-17, 17-7 WCC) next step away from conference play for one last game against local rival Washington State. That contest will take place Tuesday, May 16, at 6:00 p.m., again at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field. Gonzaga won the season’s first two games between the Inland Northwest foes and will be looking for the 2017 sweep.
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