Big Fifth Inning Sets Up Title Showdown
May 19, 2017
SPOKANE, Wash.--The Gonzaga baseball team set itself up for a potential West Coast Conference title after erupting for eight runs in the fifth and cruising to a 10-4 win against No. 18 BYU Friday night at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field.
Gonzaga's bats exploded in the fifth inning, scoring eight runs on four hits and five walks. The Zags put their first eight batters on base, the first three of which all drew walks to load the bases. Jeff Bohling then ripped a double down the left field line for a pair of RBIs and to tie the game at 4-4. Two batters later, Branson Trube singled in a run for the lead, and then both Jake Vieth and Gunnar Schubert drew bases-loaded walks for RBIs. Sam Brown traded an out for a run with a sacrifice fly, and Tyler Frost drove in two more with a single to left. Three BYU pitchers took the mound in the frame, and by the time all was said and done, the Zags led 10-4 after trailing by two to begin the frame.
BYU scored the game's first four runs, plating three in the second and one more in the third. After a sacrifice fly from Bronson Larsen opened the scoring accord, Nate Favero hit a two-run homer out to right for a 3-0 Cougar lead. The visitors got another tally in the fourth with an RBI single from Keaton Kringlen, going up four runs at 4-0.
In the bottom of the third, the Zags pulled one back after Brown led off with a double to center field. He moved up to third on a wild pitch from BYU starter Brady Corless and then came home when Troy Johnston singled through the left side.
One inning later, the Zags cut the deficit to two at 4-2 after Trube scored on an RBI double from Brown.
Gonzaga starter Justin Vernia picked up the win, settling down after allowing the third-inning run. He ended his outing by retiring seven of his final eight batters faced. Reliever Casey Legumina took over for Vernia to begin the sixth inning and shut the Cougars down for the rest of the game. The freshman earned a save -- the first of his career -- after allowing just three hits in his four innings of relief work.
Gonzaga Assistant Coach Brandon Harmon
Gonzaga junior Tyler Frost
Gonzaga (30-17, 19-7 WCC) and No. 18 BYU (33-17, 20-6 WCC) will wrap up the WCC season Saturday, May 20, with one final game at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field. First pitch will come at 7:32 p.m. as the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU. Prior to that game, the Bulldogs' seven seniors -- Vernia, Brown, Bohling, Jake Roberts, Justin Jacobs, Sam Hellinger, and Wyatt Mills -- will be honored for their hard work and dedication to the Gonzaga baseball program.
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