Gonzaga Bats Wake Up For SWX, Beat Pacific 19-2 - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Gonzaga Bats Wake Up For SWX, Beat Pacific 19-2

Taylor Jones and the Gonzaga offense woke up to drudge Pacific on SWX. (Photo: GU) Taylor Jones and the Gonzaga offense woke up to drudge Pacific on SWX. (Photo: GU)

by Gonzaga Athletics

SPOKANE, Wash.—The bats went to work early and often for Gonzaga Saturday night, exploding for 19 runs and 20 hits in a 19-2 drubbing of Pacific at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field in Spokane.

The offensive outburst was the Zags' highest run total in over five years since scoring 23 at Utah Valley in 2010, and their 17-run margin of victory was the highest since beating Chicago State by 18 at 22-4 in 2005.

Gonzaga did much of its damage with extra-base hits, tallying 11 throughout the contest. Two of those came in the first inning when Mitchell Gunsolus led the Zags off with a double to center field. He came around to score on a single from Taylor Jones, and Jones touched the plate when Justin Jacobs doubled to right center in the next at bat.

In just the next frame, the Bulldogs blew the game open with five more scores on five hits and a walk. Gunsolus tallied the big blast in the second inning, hitting a three-run home run to right field, but Jones and Dustin Breshears each added an RBI single as well.

The Bulldogs then added one in the third and two in the sixth before getting six more runs in the seventh inning. Gonzaga batted around in the frame, sending 12 men to the plate. Gunsolus again led things off with a double, and Sam Brown hit his second triple of the game to bring in the senior third baseman. The next three Zags reached base, but Tiger reliever Cory Popham struck the next two GU batters out and got pinch hitter Troy LaBrie to hit a grounder to short. Pacific shortstop Brett Sullivan couldn't field the ball cleanly, however, and extended the inning. Four unearned runs scored for the Zags before the third out.

In the eighth, the Zags added on three more for the total of 19. LaBrie hit an RBI double in the frame while Breshears added on two more RBIs with a single as well.

It wasn't all batting for Gonzaga as starting pitcher Brandon Bailey faced the minimum through six innings, allowing just two hits during the first two times through the order and erasing those base runners with a caught stealing and a double play. The Tigers got to Bailey in the seventh, though, getting two runs and three hits in the frame, but the sophomore escaped further damage. Sean-Luke Brija and David Bigelow each pitched a scoreless inning in relief to close out the game.

Bulldog Bites

All nine Bulldog starters collected at least one hit and scored at least one run Saturday night. Eight starters also tallied at least one RBI.

Gunsolus led the way with four hits, five RBIs, three runs scored, and three extra-base hits. His five RBIs set a career mark and four hits tied a career mark. He also tied his career mark with three extra-base hits, doubling twice and homering in the second inning. His batting average went up 11 points, from .328 to .339 on the night, and his slugging percentage increased 31 points from .503 to .534.

Gonzaga's three triples – Brown hit one in the second and one in the seventh while Tyler Frost tripled to lead off the third – are the most by the team since at least 2008 when game-by-game records are immediately available. Brown's multiple three-bagger night is also the Zags' first since at least 2008.

Breshears also hit the ball well Saturday, setting career highs with three hits and four RBIs. It was the shortstop's first multi-hit game since April 17 at Portland first multi-RBI game since March 11 at Arkansas.

In all, the Zags' team batting average on the season rose five points to .278, and the team slugging percentage 12 points to .581 Saturday night.

As mentioned above, the last time Gonzaga scored more than 19 runs was March 25, 2010 at Utah Valley. In that game, Mark Castellitto collected five hits – three of them home runs – and seven RBIs. Eight of the nine starters saw at least one hit while all nine brought in at least one run.Zag Speak – Thoughts on the game from Gonzaga coaches and players

Associate Head Coach Danny Evans

“We talked about having a response tonight and we did in every facet of the game. It was well pitched, we had a lot of hits obviously, but we had a lot of really quality at-bats. Even the ones that weren't hits were balls that were hit hard.”

“The focus and quality at-bats were great tonight. They had attention on each pitch where in a game like this you do fight that. You fight to stay focused because you're preparing for tomorrow. It'll be a Sunday, grind-em-out West Coast Conference game.”

Senior third baseman Mitchell Gunsolus

“We came out and saw the ball well tonight as a team. They were throwing a lot of fastballs early and late. We came out here with good approaches and were able to capitalize on it.”

Next Up

Gonzaga (22-24, 11-12 WCC) and Pacific will play the rubber match of the three-game WCC set Sunday, May 10 at 3:00 p.m. RHP Eli Morgan will pitch for the Zags while fellow right hander Michael Benson will take the mound for Pacific. Prior to the game, Gonzaga's five seniors – Gunsolus, Bigelow, Cory LeBrun, Derek Peterson, and Zach Abbruzza – will be honored for their hard work and dedication to the Gonzaga baseball program.

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