Zags Earn WCC Tournament Win vs. Santa Clara, Eliminated by LMU - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Zags Earn WCC Tournament Win vs. Santa Clara, Eliminated by LMU in Late Game

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Gonzaga bounced back from an opening game loss to defeat Santa Clara 8-6 on Friday. (Photo: WCCP) Gonzaga bounced back from an opening game loss to defeat Santa Clara 8-6 on Friday. (Photo: WCCP)

by Gonzaga Athletics

STOCKTON, Calif. – Payden Cawley Lamb had a bases loaded single in a four run sixth inning to usher the Gonzaga University baseball team past Santa Clara University 8-6 Friday at Banner Island Ballpark.

Gonzaga’s (26-28) win eliminates Santa Clara (26-30) from the West Coast Conference Championship. The Bulldogs advanced to the 7:30 p.m. game to face the loser of Pepperdine University and Loyola Marymount University.

The Bulldogs tied the game twice before taking the lead in the top of the sixth inning. Gonzaga’s first three batters reached to kick start the rally. Mitchell Gunsolus brought in the first run on a single up the middle andCaleb Wood walked on four pitches for another. Lamb then came through with a two RBI base hit to right field to give GU a 7-4 edge.

Santa Clara cut the lead to one run by scoring twice in the bottom half of the sixth on the bats of Jose Vizcaino Jr. and Stevie Berman. Gonzaga starter Andrew Sopko’s day ended in the frame as right-handed pitcher David Bigelow replaced him and ended the Santa Clara threat.

Sopko was credited with the win after throwing five innings and striking out a career-high 10 batters. He was responsible for five of the Broncos runs on eight hits.

GU added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on a perfectly executed suicide squeeze bunt from Sam Brown that score Lamb. Reliever Karl Myers pitched the final 2.2 innings to end the game.

Loyola Marymount defeated Gonzaga 7-4 in the late game on Friday night. The Lions will take on Pepperdine in the WCC Championship game on Saturday.

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