Mark Machtolf earns 400th career win vs. San Diego - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Mark Machtolf earns 400th career win vs. San Diego

Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics

By Gonzaga Athletics

SPOKANE, Wash.—Gonzaga baseball head coach Mark Machtolf tallied the 400th win of his career Friday night as the Bulldogs downed No. 19/20 San Diego 9-2 at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field.

Both teams scored in the first inning. For the Toreros, Riley Adams hit a double to the gap in right center to drive in a run in the top of the frame. Gonzaga outfielder Sam Brown then led off the bottom of the first with a triple down the first base line and scored when Daniel Fredrickson bounced a single through the left side of the infield.

The Zags took a permanent lead in the third using a two-out rally. After the first two batters made outs, Fredrickson and Tyler Frost sent singles back up the middle, giving Justin Jacobs two on with two out. The senior hit a grounder to San Diego shortstop Jeff Houghtby but forced a high throw by speeding down the line. Fredrickson was able to score from second on the error, giving Gonzaga a 2-1 advantage.

In the fourth, Nick Brooks added to the Zags’ lead with a solo home run. The redshirt junior sent a hanging 0-2 pitch from San Diego starter Nick Sprengel well over the fence in left field for his first four-bagger of the year. The blast gave the Zags a 3-1 advantage

Gonzaga tacked on two more and chased Sprengel in the fifth. They got the first run with small ball as Brown drew a leadoff walk and came home with a sacrifice bunt, a single, and another sacrifice bunt. With a runner on second, Sprengel then lost his control, walking three straight Bulldog batters – one of which drove in a run – and throwing 13 consecutive balls before being replaced for CJ Burdick. With the bases loaded, Brooks hit a hard fly out to right field off the reliever, but it fell a few feet short of the warning track to end the frame.

San Diego got one back in the top of the sixth, but the Zags countered with another in the seventh and three more in the eighth, putting the game out of reach at 9-2.

On the mound, Eli Morgan and Calvin LeBrun combined to strand 15 batters in nine innings of work. Morgan, the starter, allowed one run and struck out five in five innings of work while LeBrun held San Diego to one run in four innings of relief. Morgan earned the win, his fifth of the year, while Sprengel suffered his first loss. LeBrun picked up a save with the effective relief outing.

Bulldog Bites:

Machtolf is now the second Gonzaga head coach to reach 400 wins. Those 400 victories are second-most in the program’s Division I history. He’s also the third-winningest coach among active managers in the West Coast Conference.

Fredrickson went 4-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored on the day, the first Bulldog to collect four hits in a game this season. The redshirt sophomore leads the team with a .467 average and 14 hits in nine games at Patterson Baseball Complex & Washington Trust Field.

Gonzaga picked up their third win of the season against a ranked foe as the Toreros entered the game ranked No. 19 in the nation. The Bulldogs also beat then-No. 7/11 Cal State Fullerton and then-No. 22 Washington in March.

San Diego and Gonzaga were selected to finish first and second in the WCC standings by the conference coaches. The Toreros entered the game atop the conference standings and the Zags were third.

Zag Speak:

Gonzaga head coach Mark Machtolf:

“That wasn’t [Morgan’s] best stuff right there, but he found a way to make pitches and get us through the fifth by giving up just one...We knew we were going to have someone come through out of the pen, and LeBrun, what a great job.”

“[400 career wins] is a testament to a lot of good players in the past. I feel real fortunate to be here and to be a part of this program.”

Outfielder Daniel Fredrickson:

“Coach Machtolf worked us hard on left-handed pitching all week and prepared us pretty well.”

Next Up:

The Bulldogs (16-13, 7-3 WCC) and Toreros (20-8, 8-2 WCC) continue the series with a 3:00 p.m. contest on Saturday, April 8. RHP Justin Vernia will take the mound for Gonzaga, and LHP Chris Murphy is slated to pitch for San Diego.

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