Zags Claim Share of Second Consecutive WCC Title
May 21, 2017
SPOKANE, Wash.--Entering the weekend, the Gonzaga baseball team needed a historic sweep of No. 18 BYU in a home series against the Cougars. Saturday night, the Zags finished off the sweep with a 6-2 win over the Cougars, earning a share of the title and the No. 1 seed at next weekend's West Coast Conference Championships.
Gonzaga dominated the opening frames, scoring the game's first five runs. In the first, Jeff Bohling gave the Zags an early lead, singling to third base and allowing Sam Brown to score, putting the Zags up 1-0. Two innings later, the Bulldogs extended that lead in the third on a monstrous swing from Tyler Frost. He blasted the first pitch he saw from BYU starter Hayden Rogers well over the fence in right field, bringing home Troy Johnston for two more runs.
In the fourth, Gonzaga added two more, chasing Rogers from the game in the process. Jake Vieth led off with a single to center, and he moved over on a sacrifice bunt and a single from Brown. Johnston drove the junior home with a sacrifice fly out to left. Brown then moved up to third on a single from Frost, and Jacobs picked Brown up with a knock to left center for a 5-0 advantage.
Defensively, meanwhile, GU starter Daniel Bies shut down the vaunted Cougar offense for the first five innings. The Cougars got to him in the sixth for three hits with Keaton Kringlen knocking the GU sophomore out of the game with an RBI double. Reliever Wyatt Mills came on with one down, allowing a pair of hits - including an RBI bloop single to Colton Shaver - before getting the final two outs and preventing further damage.
A senior righty from Spokane, Mills got stronger as the game progressed. He stranded runners on second and third in the seventh, foiling BYU's last major attempt at a rally. Mills retired the side in order in the eighth, and Jacobs added one more to the Zags' tally with an RBI single in the bottom of the frame. After two quick outs in the top of the ninth, Mills allowed just a two-out single before retiring Daniel Schneemann and capping off the 6-2 victory.
Bies earned the win after allowing just two runs and striking out five in 5.1 innings of work. Mills earned the save, his 11th of the season, with 3.2 scoreless innings, fanning five Cougar batters.
Gonzaga head coach Mark Machtolf
Gonzaga senior Justin Jacobs
Gonzaga senior Wyatt Mills
The Zags (31-17, 20-7 WCC) will wrap up the regular season on Monday, May 22, with a game at Fresno State. First pitch for their final WCC Championships tune-up will begin at 6:05 p.m. at Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium in Fresno, Calif.
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