Gonzaga baseball clinches WCC Tournament berth with 5-3 win over - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Gonzaga baseball clinches WCC Tournament berth with 5-3 win over Santa Clara

Gonzaga Athletics

SPOKANE, Wash. — Gonzaga baseball took care of business with a solid start from Daniel Bies and four home runs in a 5-3 win over Santa Clara Friday night that clinched a berth in next week’s four-team WCC Tournament.

The win moved Gonzaga to 28-21 overall and 15-10 in the WCC, which leaves them just one game behind Pepperdine with two remaining in the regular season league race. Santa Clara dropped to 25-25 and 11-14 in the WCC, eliminating the Broncos from contention for a spot in the league tournament.

“It’s great to get the win tonight and clinch that spot in Stockton,” head coach Mark Machtolf said. “We’ve got a bunch of guys who are just ready to go. How about Calvin LeBrun? He was really good for us tonight. It was a good program statement for us. It’s a good feeling, our older guys are leading the way and our younger guys are chomping at the bit.”

GU starter Daniel Bies cruised through the first six innings, but ran into trouble in the seventh, giving up his only two runs of the day. For the game, he struck out 10 over 7.0 innings and gave up just six hits. Calvin LeBrun picked up his third save of the game with a great performance in relief, going 2.0 innings, allowing just one baserunner via a walk and striking out two.

On offense, Gonzaga did most of its damage with solo home runs, collecting a season-high-tying four in the game.

Redshirt freshman Jack Machtolf hit the first of the GU homers in the second inning, which was also his first-career hit in his first-career start. The Machtolf homer also came with two outs and was the first of three consecutive innings the Zags hit a two-out solo homer.

Gunnar Schubert then hit the first of his two on the day in the third with two outs and Nick Brooks did the damage with his own two-out shot in the fourth.

Schubert’s second homer of the day – and year – went to the opposite field in the sixth and pushed the lead 5-0.

Santa Clara didn’t go down without getting itself back in the game, scoring two in the seventh and one in the eighth. But, LeBrun entered in the eighth and promptly shut the door.

Gonzaga and Santa Clara will play the second of a three-game series on Saturday at 6 p.m.

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