The Zags are riding a four-game win streak, including a series sweep to open both the home and the West Coast Conference slate against Pacific last weekend...the Zags shut out the Tigers in the first two games and held them to four runs all series...meanwhile, they tallied 22 runs, scoring nine on both Saturday and Sunday.
Eli Morgan tossed his second consecutive shutout Friday night, retiring the first 23 batters he faced...he lost the no-hitter with a two-out single in the eighth, but the junior struck out 13 batters on the night...offensively, Jake Vieth led the Bulldogs with a .556/.636/1.000 slash line, driving in five runs and scoring four himself on five hits...he went 3-for-4 with four RBIs and two runs scored during Saturday's 9-0 win.
ZAGS ON THE SILVER SCREEN:
Six Zag home games will be broadcast on SWX season, including Wednesday's series finale against the Huskies...Dave Cotton and Bob Castle will call the game Wednesday...last year the Zags finished 8-3 in televised games, with a 3-1 record at home.
Remaining games that will be broadcast on SWX include: San Diego (April 7), Washington State (April 17 and May 16), Saint Mary's (April 28), and the final conference series opener against BYU (May 18)...upcoming televised opponents are currently 3-5 in televised games this season.
The WCC finale against BYU on May 20 will be broadcast nationally on ESPNU.
Additionally, the Zags will appear on the WCC's Friday Night Baseball schedule...those games are at Pepperdine (March 31), at Santa Clara April 14, and versus BYU (May 19)...all three games will feature enhanced broadcasts on theW.tv.
HOME SWEET HOME:
Gonzaga is in the midst of an eight-game homestand, their first of 2017...23 of their final 36 regular season games will take place in Spokane...since opening Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field in 2007, the Bulldogs have gone 118-73 (.618) overall at home, including their weekend sweep of Pacific.
GU has posted a winning record in each of their 10 seasons at Patterson...last year's 8-2 mark (.800) was the best in the stadium's history...they won 17 home games in the 2012 season, the high-water mark inside their new home.
THE OLE' EAST/WEST MATCHUP:
Gonzaga is no stranger to their foes from the western part of the state, having faced Washington 135 times since the 1960 season...the Huskies are GU's second-most common non-conference foe, although the pair were both in the Pac-10 North until 1995...Washington State, also a former Pac-10 North member, is Gonzaga's most frequent foe with 205 contests between the local rivals.
The Huskies lead the overall series 59-76, but the teams split last year's two-game series in Seattle...Gonzaga won game one 8-6 in 11 innings after erasing three Husky leads throughout the game...UW won game two 2-0, scoring once off starter Eli Thornquist and once off reliever Sam Hellinger...Justin Blatner tossed one shutout inning in relief.
Washington is 12-6 on the year (3-0 in Pac-12 Conference play) and ranked #22 in the Baseball America poll...the Huskies are coming off a three-game sweep over Utah in their opening series of conference play.
Washington is 4-3 against WCC opponents this season...the Huskies opened the year with a 2-1 series victory at Santa Clara and a 2-2 split at Saint Mary's...the Zags are 3-4 against Pac-12 opponents after going 1-2 at UCLA and 2-2 at California.
The UW offense is led by junior C Joey Morgan, currently batting .327 on the year with 12 RBIs...outfielder MJ Hubbs has gotten off to a hot start in his senior campaign, reaching base in the last 16 games and coming around to score in five of the last six...senior outfielder Jack Meggs leads the team in slugging at .508 with nine extra-base hits, including two home runs, on the year.
Junior pitcher Noah Bremer leads the Huskies in strikeouts with 35 Ks in 32.0 innings of work, while giving up 14 walks...sophomore Joe DeMers has tossed the only complete game for Washington thus far in an 8-0 victory over Indiana State on March 11...boasting a 0.93 ERA and a 5-0 record in six appearances out of the bullpen, junior pitcher Alex Hardy has held opponents to a .147 batting average.
THE BULLDOGS ARE GOOD AT THROWING THE BASEBALL:
Gonzaga's pitching staff combined for a 1.33 ERA against Pacific over the weekend, including shutouts in the first two games...they allowed just 19 hits - four in the first two contests - and four earned runs while striking out 30 batters.
Gonzaga's team ERA fell from 4.15 to 3.70 during the weekend, and their batting average against dropped 10 points to .256...they had not allowed just four runs in a weekend series since sweeping Saint Mary's 7-0, 5-3, and 1-0 April 10-12, 2015.
RHP Daniel Bies has made four appearances his season, including two starts Feb. 19 versus Indiana and March 14 at UC Riverside...they are his first career starts...the redshirt sophomore picked up the win, his first, against the Highlanders, allowing three runs in five innings...he struck out five batters both against UC Riverside and Indiana, his career high...last season, Bies tallied a 4.91 ERA in seven appearances...over the summer, the Woodinville, Wash., native pitched in the Alaska Baseball League, striking out 17 batters in 18.1 innings for the Anchorage Bucs...he posted a 1.47 ERA and helped the Bucs reach the playoffs.
LHP Mac Lardner has made three starts in his freshman season, the last one coming March 12 at then-No. 7/11 Cal State Fullerton...the Templeton, Calif., native allowed three hits and three runs in three innings of work, striking out two...he made his collegiate debut Feb. 18, getting the start versus Duke...Lardner went 6.0 innings against the Blue Devils, allowing one run while striking out eight...that's the most by a Gonzaga freshman since 2014...the 4-1 GU victory was Lardner's first career win...he earned Max Preps First Team All-American honors at Templeton HS...during his high school career, Lardner went 27-12 with 282 Ks in 272.2 innings.