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Zag Baseball: No. 10 Gonzaga set to host Santa Clara for Final Home Series

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  • Zag Baseball: No. 10 Gonzaga set to host Santa Clara for Final Home Series

    No. 10 Gonzaga set to host Santa Clara for Final Home Series

    SPOKANE, Wash. — After a 10-day break without games, No. 10 Gonzaga welcomes Santa Clara to the Patterson Baseball Complex and Coach Steve Hertz Field for West Coast Conference play and the final regular season series at home. The series will finish off a seven-game homestand for the Zags — GU is 3-1 through the first four of the stand.


    - GU has won all seven of its West Coast Conference series this season, most recently taking two of three versus Loyola Marymount April 30 through May 1 (W, 5-3 | L, 4-5 | W, 6-5). The Bulldogs have only lost one weekend series all season, dropping a pair of games to Long Beach State on the road in March.

    - The Bulldogs are 21st in the country with four shutouts and 12th with 10.7 strikeouts per nine innings. They lead the West Coast Conference in both of those stat categories.

    - Gabriel Hughes is seventh in the nation with 108 strikeouts, while Trystan Vrieling is 26th with 91. They are first and fifth in the WCC in that stat category. Michael Spellacy is 11th in the country with 10 saves.

    - The Bulldogs' No. 10 ranking in's poll and No. 11 in Baseball America's are the highest under Mark Machtolf's 19 seasons at the helm.

    - GU boasts three wins over Top-5 teams this season, going 4-1 versus Top-10 competition, including a 13-6 victory at No. 2 Oregon State on April 18. That win at OSU was the highest-ranked foe the Zags have ever beat.

    - The Zags are 26th in the RPI with a 12-7 record versus Quads 1 and 2 (4-4 in Quad 1) and an 18-7 road record. GU's non-conference strength of schedule ranks as the 13th most difficult in the nation.

    - Gonzaga's 18 road wins are the fifth-most in the nation. Eastern Illinois leads the country with 25.

    GONZAGA (29-13, 15-6) Vs. SANTA CLARA (24-22, 11-13)


    Friday, May 13 | 6 p.m.

    RHP Gabriel Hughes (7-1, 70.1 IP, 108 K, 2.43 ERA) vs. RHP Cole Kitcen (4-4, 63.0 IP, 92 K, 4.43 ERA)

    Saturday, May 14 | 6 p.m.
    RHP Trystan Vrieling (4-2, 67.1 IP, 91 K, 3.61 ERA) vs. LHP Nick Sando (4-3, 48.1 IP, 73 K, 2.61 ERA)

    Sunday, May 15 | 12 p.m.
    RHP Will Kempner (0-1, 18.0 IP, 15 K, 1.50 ERA) vs. RHP Skylar Hales (3-2, 58.0 IP, 69 K, 4.50 ERA)


    - Gonzaga remains at home, hosting Santa Clara for the final home series of the regular season May 13-15.

    - The Zags have a 49-28 edge in the series since 2000, but GU has won the last five meetings. The Zags swept last season's series in Santa Clara (2-0, 10-4 in 13 innings, and 5-2).

    - The programs have not met in Spokane since 2018, where GU has won each series since 2011.


    - Gonzaga is one victory shy of its 12th 30-win season under Mark Machtolf. Prior to Machtolf as the head coach, the Bulldogs reached the 30-win plateau 14 times.

    - The Zags have reached 30 wins in five of the last six seasons, with the exception coming in the shortened 2020 season that was cancelled after just 16 games.


    - No. 11 Gonzaga leaned on a dominant defensive effort behind starting RHP Alec Gomez and a measured approach at the plate en route to a midweek win over an in-state rival on May 2, downing Washington 5-2
    - Gomez held the Huskies to just one earned run in his time on the mound while matching a career high of seven innings pitched. Gomez was backed by a shutdown defensive effort on 10 groundouts and 10 flyouts.

    - Connor Coballes led the way on offense, slamming his first homer of the season in the third inning.


    - The Zags head to Eugene for a midweek matchup at Oregon on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

    - The Ducks won a matchup earlier this season on March 22 in Spokane, 9-5.

    - GU travels to the WCC's second-place team, San Diego, for the final series of the regular season May 20-21.

    - The Toreros have a 51-41-1 edge in the series, and the teams have split the last 10 meetings. San Diego won last season's series in Spokane (0-10, 9-0, and 10-2).

    - Gonzaga has won the last two series in San Diego taking two of three in 2018 and 2016.


    - On April 18, Gonzaga traded blows early with No. 2 Oregon State, but cruised to an 11-6 lead after a seven-run third frame and didn't look back en route to a 13-6 win — the highest-ranked opponent they've beaten in program history.

    - Jake Rutherford and Nico Zeglin combined to hold the Beavers scoreless for seven consecutive innings, calming down a chaotic back-and-forth that saw 10 total runs scored by both teams in the span of an inning and a half.

    - Rutherford put together the best performance of his career over 4 ⅔ frames on the mound, striking out a career-high six while holding the Beavers to just one run in that span for his second win of the season. Zeglin earned the save with three frames of scoreless relief, striking out five more in the process.

    - Five different Zags batters finished with multiple RBI — Enzo Apodaca, Grayson Sterling, Stephen Lund, Jack Machtolf and Ezra SamperiTyler Rando and Cade McGee led the lineup in hits with three knocks and two runs apiece.

    Gonzaga Article Link

  • #2
    Gonzaga trails Santa Clara 2-0 after 3 innings...

    Zags still looking for their first hit...


    • #3
      Santa Clara leads Gonzaga 2-1 after 6 complete innings...


      • #4
        Gonzaga comes from behind in the bottom of the 9th to defeat Santa Clara 3-2...

        In the 9th, the Zags had runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out when Dylan Johnson singled to centerfield to score 2 runs...

        Alec Gomez gets the win in relief...

        Gonzaga improves to 30-13 overall and to 16-6 in the WCC...Zags maintain a 2 game lead over San Diego in the loss column...


        • #5

          Gonzaga Baseball Facebook Link


          • #6
            But we don't play nobody.


            • #7
              Santa Clara Baseball Suffers Heartbreaking Loss at No. 11 Gonzaga

              SPOKANE, Wash.
              – A two-run ninth sank Santa Clara baseball in a 3-2 defeat at No. 11 Gonzaga on Friday in the first of a three-game set.

              Down since the second, the Zags (30-13, 16-6 WCC) put their first two on to lead off the ninth against Broncos (24-23, 11-14 WCC) ERA leader Nick Sando. A sacrifice bunt moved the runners to second and third and Dylan Johnson brought home both runs with a single up the middle.

              Alec Gomez (1-2) was the beneficiary and picked up the win in 2 shutout innings of relief. Starter Gabriel Hughes went 7 while allowing two runs on four hits with four walks and seven strikeouts.

              Prior to the fateful ninth, Santa Clara pitching had held Gonzaga to just one run on three hits thanks to starter Cole Kitchen and Sando. Kitchen went 6 1/3 while allowing a run on two hits with three walks and five strikeouts. Sando (4-4) ended up tossing 2 innings while taking the loss.

              All of the Broncos offense came in the second when Cal Christofori poked a two-run single to right with the bases loaded. He knocked in John Hanley and Michael Diaz who had both singled in the inning.

              The Bulldogs would get their first run in the fourth on a bases loaded ground out by Shea Kramer that wasn't hit hard enough to get an out anywhere but first.

              Johnson ended his night with a pair of hits with Sterling also collecting a pair of base hits and scoring a run. Savier Pinales was the only other Zag with a hit.

              NEXT UP
              The teams play again tomorrow at 6 p.m.

              Santa Clara Article Link


              • #8

                No. 10 Zags Rally Late, Down Santa Clara 3-2 in Opener

                Johnson's Ninth-Frame Single Walks it Off in the Ninth

                Gonzaga 3 - Santa Clara 2 Box Score Link

                SPOKANE, Wash. —
                In its West Coast Conference series opener with Santa Clara Friday evening, No. 10 Gonzaga overcame a late deficit in dramatic fashion with a two-run walkoff single from Dylan Johnson for a 3-2 win.

                RHP Gabriel Hughes went seven frames while getting the start on the mound, striking out seven and holding the Broncos scoreless over his final five frames of work despite a rocky start that saw SCU put up two quick runs on three hits in the second frame. RHP Alec Gomez earned his second win of the season in two scoreless innings of relief, setting the Zags up for the comeback while inducing three flyouts and three grounders.

                The Bulldogs (30-13, 16-6 WCC) never led until the game-sealing single, managing three hits through the first eight frames before nearly doubling their offensive output in a final frame that moved the tying and winning runs to second and third before capitalizing late. Johnson (2 hits, 2 RBI) was one of two Zags to pick up multiple hits along with Grayson Sterling (2 hits, 1 R), who scored the tying run in the ninth. Shea Kramer (1 R, 1 RBI) rounded out a muted night for GU's offense.

                The Action

                After a scoreless first, the Broncos connected on a pair of singles and drew a walk to load the bases with one out, and they didn't wait to capitalize. Another base knock, this time from Cal Christofori, brought two runs across, but Hughes managed to halt any further advance despite runners on first and third with a K and a groundout that ended the frame.

                The Zags got their first two hits of the game in the fourth, with Pinales leading off the frame with a single and Sterling singling again to load the bases with one out after McGee was walked. A groundout from Kramer got Pinales across to cut the deficit to one, but a flyout from Coballes kept GU from plating an equalizing run.

                Hughes continued to pick up steam through the rest of his time on the mound, retiring 17 of the next 20 batters he faced, culminating in a pair of 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and seventh before Gomez entered the game in the eighth. After another scoreless standstill in the eighth left the Zags with just three outs to make something happen.

                Sterling split the gaps in the outfield with a deep double to lead off the frame and Shea Kramer was walked in the ensuing at-bat to board the tying and winning runs without any outs on the board. Coballes laid down a sac bunt to move them to third and second with Johnson up to bat. Johnson delivered the game-winning knock on just his sixth hit of the season, plating Sterling with ease and giving Kramer room to slide in and seal the come-from-behind victory.

                Series at a Glance

                With the win, the Zags have a 50-28 edge in the series since 2000, having won the last six meetings. The Zags swept last season's series in Santa Clara (2-0, 10-4 in 13 innings, and 5-2). Until today, the programs had not met in Spokane since 2018, where GU has won each series since 2011.

                WCC Outlook

                GU's comeback win dashed San Diego's hopes of moving into a tie for first place in the WCC Standings. The Zags remain one game ahead of the Toreros, who sit at 16-8 and will not face a conference opponent this weekend...

                Up Next / Follow the Game

                The Zags can clinch their eighth-straight West Coast Conference weekend series with a win on Saturday, with RHP Trystan Vrieling (4-2, 67.1 IP, 91 K, 3.61 ERA) set to get the start on the mound against SCU probable starter lefty Nick Sando (4-3, 48.1 IP, 73 K, 2.61 ERA).

                Gonzaga Article Link


                • #9
                  Santa Clara leads Gonzaga 3-0 after 3 innings...

                  Zags with only 2 hits so far...



                  • #10
                    Zags trail the Broncos 3-1 after 6 innings...



                    • #11
                      Gonzaga and Santa Clara are headed to extra innings with the game tied 3-3...

                      The umpire at first base with the missed call sending the game into extra innings...



                      • #12
                        After 12 complete innings, Gonzaga and Santa Clara are still tied 3-3...



                        • #13
                          Zags' Tyler Rando with a 2 run walk-off home run in
                          the bottom of the 15th inning for a 5-3 win over Santa Clara...

                          Zag pitchers strike out 19 Broncos during the course of the game...



                          • #14
                            Words exchanged between teams (& coaches) at home plate after the walk-off.

                            Think I'll tune in for tomorrow's festivities. Could get interesting!!
                            But we don't play nobody.


                            • #15

                              Rando's Homer Lifts No. 10 Gonzaga to 15-inning Walkoff Win over Santa Clara

                              Second Walkoff Win in as Many Games

                              Gonzaga 5 - Santa Clara 3 Box Score Link

                              SPOKANE, Wash. — No. 10 Gonzaga battled deep into the 15th inning for the longest baseball game ever played at Patterson Baseball Complex in its second West Coast Conference series matchup with Santa Clara, ultimately coming up with its second walkoff win of the weekend thanks to a two-run homer from Tyler Rando that clinched a 5-3 victory as well as the Bulldogs' eighth-straight WCC series win in epic fashion.

                              Rando's homer came after six scoreless frames for GU and 12 straight for the Broncos (24-24, 11-15 WCC) in a game that ended over five hours after it began. He finished 4-of-7 on the night, driving in four of the Zags' runs and scoring two himself to lead the GU lineup. Connor Coballes, Savier Pinales (1 R), Cade McGee (1 RBI) and Dylan Johnson all added a knock apiece to round out the offense.

                              The Bulldogs (31-13, 17-6 WCC) used five pitchers in the win, keeping the Broncos off the board despite runners in scoring position over each of the last three frames. RHP Trystan Vrieling was tagged for all three of the Broncos' runs over six innings of work on five hits, striking out eight in the process. After RHP Jacob Rutherford struck out two more over two innings of relief, RHP Michael Spellacy held it down on the mound for GU after taking over in the top of the ninth, striking out a career-high six over 5 ⅓ scoreless innings — four of them hitless. RHP Brody Jessee earned the win while closing out the final 1 ⅓ innings, including a pair of strikeouts that halted a furious late push that saw runners on second and third.

                              The Action

                              The Broncos got three of their runs across in the second and third off an RBI double from JonJon Berring and a solo homer from Eamonn Lance, but GU couldn't find a response until three frames later.

                              Back-to-back base hits brought the Zags' first run of the game in the top of the sixth, with Pinales driving deep into center field for a double and Rando singling up the middle to bring him across. Rando advanced to second on a strikeout in the next at-bat, but three consecutive outs kept the deficit at two runs going into the seventh.

                              Rutherford took over next, stranding runners on third in the seventh and eighth to make it five straight scoreless frames for the Broncos.

                              The Zags' offense finally got to one of Santa Clara's relievers in the eighth, plating two runs on two more back-to-back knocks. Apodaca drew a walk to start the eighth and reached third on a wild pitch and a passed ball before Rando scored him with an RBI double. McGee followed up with a single that brought him across to make it a tie game for the first time all night with just one out on the board.

                              Spellacy tossed a 1-2-3 inning to keep the Broncos off the board for the sixth consecutive frame in the top of the ninth, inducing a pair of flyouts before ending the inning in xx fashion with a strikeout.

                              With just three outs left to avoid extra innings, Coballes was walked to start the bottom of the frame before reaching second on a sac bunt. With two outs on the board after a flyout from Apodaca, Pinales connected on a drive and nearly beat out the play to first base that would've ended the game, but a called out ended the frame to push the game into extra innings.

                              After Spellacy threw his second consecutive hitless frame to begin extra innings, the Zags were robbed of another potential game-winner in the bottom of the tenth, when a no-doubter from McGee was caught over the fence before a grounder from Sterling ended the frame.

                              Spellacy continued to deal over the next two frames, getting K's for all three outs in the 11th and inducing a pair of groundouts and a popup to end the 12th. He got into his first jam of the night in the 13th with runners on first and second, but stranded both with his sixth strikeout of the night.

                              RHP Nico Zeglin took over from Spellacy with one out on the board and a runner on second in the 14th, striking out Berring swinging before being replaced by RHP Brody Jessee. A wild pitch from Jesse pushed the runner to third, but he induced a grounder to first to end yet another scoreless frame.

                              After Kramer was barely put out on first to start the bottom of the inning, Coballes picked up the Zags' first hit of extra innings with a single, but Johnson grounded into a double play to come up empty yet again. Jessee weathered a pair of singles and a stolen base that put runners on third and second in the top of the 15th, but responded with a groundout and his second and third strikeouts of the night in succession before the decisive final frame.

                              After Apodaca was walked with one out on the board and Pinales struck out swinging, Rando battled through a seven-pitch at-bat before slamming his fourth no-doubter of the year to seal the deal.

                              WCC Outlook

                              The series win keeps GU two games ahead of second-place San Diego (31-16, 16-8) In the WCC standings. A series sweep tomorrow would mean the Bulldogs need to beat the Toreros just once next weekend to clinch a regular season conference title...

                              Series at a Glance

                              With the win, the Zags have a 51-28 edge in the series since 2000, having won the last seven meetings. The Zags swept last season's series in Santa Clara (2-0, 10-4 in 13 innings, and 5-2). Until this weekend, the programs had not met in Spokane since 2018, where GU has won each series since 2011.

                              Up Next / Follow the Game

                              Gonzaga has a chance to go for the series sweep in Sunday's finale, set for a noon start. RHP William Kempner (0-1, 18 IP, 15 K, 1.50 ERA) is set to get the start on the mound against a to-be-determined Santa Clara pitcher. Live stats and streaming options are available on — follow @zagbaseball on Instagram and Twitter for live updates, highlights and more.

                              Gonzaga Article Link