Gonzaga Drops Final WCC Tune-up
May 22, 2017

Box Score

FRESNO, Calif.--The Gonzaga baseball team played one final regular season game Monday night, falling 9-2 to Fresno State at Pete Beiden Field at Bob Bennett Stadium in Fresno.

The Fresno State Bulldogs (32-23, 18-12 Mountain West) took an early lead, scoring two in the first inning after loading the bases. After allowing an RBI groundout to Jared Akins, GU starting pitcher Justin Blatner fanned Nick Warren to end the frame.

The Gonzaga Bulldog offense quickly cut the lead in half, scoring in the top of the second. After Jake Roberts doubled to left field, Branson Trube advanced the catcher with a single of his own. First baseman Jake Vieth then hit a sacrifice fly to left field, allowing Roberts to score.

That 2-1 Fresno State lead held until the fourth when Korby Batesole hit a sacrifice fly of his own to add one for FSU. After an inning and a half, however, the Zags got that run back after Vieth led off the sixth with a walk, moved to third base on a wild pitch and a single from Gunnar Schubert, and came home when Sam Brown hit an RBI single to right center.

Fresno State countered with four runs of their own in the bottom of the sixth, three of them coming on a three-run home run from Jeremiah Burks. The home team added two more in the seventh with a two-run shot from Jesse Medrano.

In the eighth, Gonzaga reserves gave the Zags a scoring opportunity as Jace VanDeBrake doubled to right center and Nick Brooks was hit by a pitch from Adam Medrano. The next three batters made outs, however, ending the frame. Neither team scored in their final trip to the plate, confirming the 9-2 score.

Bulldog Bites:

  • Blatner earned his first start of the season, allowing three runs in 3.1 innings and striking out four batters. It was his third appearance of the season and first since March 5 at California. The redshirt sophomore has now started three games in his career, two against Washington State last season and now this one against Fresno State.
  • The Bulldog offense produced 10 hits for the fourth game in a row, their second-longest such streak of the year. The Zags have reached the milestone in 25 games this season, more than 50 percent of their games played.
  • Reliever Mac Lardner also saw his first appearance in a while as he last pitched April 30 when starting against Saint Mary's. The freshman pitched 2.2 innings, allowing four tough-luck runs. In the sixth inning, he actually got a strikeout for what would have been the third out with no runs in, but Batesole reached first on a pitch that backup catcher Haydan Hastings was unable to come up with. Those runs were unearned, however, due to the passed ball.
  • This is the third consecutive season the Zags have lost their regular season finale. Last year, the Bulldogs fell 6-5 to UCSB in Santa Barbara before continuing onto the West Coast Conference Championships in Stockton, Calif. The speed bump didn't seem to affect the Zags last season, however, as they won their opening-round matchup against BYU and eventually made their first WCC Championships finale.

Mac Talk: Thoughts from Gonzaga head coach Mark Machtolf

  • "This was a good chance to get out and see a different jersey in the other dugout and play good competition. Our guys will be ready to get back at it on Thursday!"

Next Up:

The Zags (31-18, 20-7 WCC) now turn to the postseason and the 2017 edition of the WCC Championships. They begin the conference tournament as the competition's No. 1 seed and will face fourth-seeded Saint Mary's on Thursday, May 25, at 3:00 p.m. Every game of the WCC Championships will take place at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton.



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