Zags Dominate To Open WCC Tournament
STOCKTON, Calif. — Second-seeded Gonzaga baseball rolled in every aspect on Thursday night in a 13-1 win over No. 3 seed Loyola Marymount at the WCC Tournament in Stockton, Calif.
Gonzaga had a 4-0 lead through five innings, but broke the game open with a seven-run sixth inning. Altogether the Zags pounded out 15 hits on the day and scored a season-high-tying 13 runs.
“We talked about getting our offense going and to come out and be ready to go,” associate head coach Danny Evans said. “[In the first inning] Gunnar Schubert has a great at bat and really got some momentum rolling with that homer. And Daniel Bies was really good tonight, hitting his spots and making good pitches. The guys were ready to go, we just said ‘let’s go have fun’ and the guys did exactly that.”
GU starter Daniel Bies took advantage of a monstrous night by his offense and attacked the strike zone from the start. He racked up nine strikeouts through the first five innings on his way to a 11-strikeout performance, allowing just one run on four hits. Taylor Davis came on for the eighth and pitched the final 2.0 innings and had six strikeouts, while allowing just one batter to reach via hit by pitch.
On offense, Austin Pinorini caught fire, going 4-for-5 with a home run, two doubles, three RBI and three runs scored. Gunnar Schubert and Branson Trube each hit solo home runs and had two hits apiece, while Jake Vieth added two hits, two runs scored and an RBI of his own. Ernie Yake added two hits and three RBI.
Schubert got the offense rolling with two outs in the first on his third home run of the season, which have all come in the last three games. GU added two more in the second inning with an RBI double from Vieth and a bases-loaded, double-play grounder off the bat of Carson Breshears.
Pinorini then got his day rolling in the fourth with a solo home run, his fourth on the year, before capping off a seven-run sixth inning with a two-RBI double. In that big sixth inning, GU sent 12 batters to the plate. Trube got it started with his eighth homer of the season, followed by Nick Brooks’ RBI double, a bases loaded walk by Nick Nyquist, and a two-RBI single by Yake.
On Pinorini’s at-bat in the sixth, he came to the plate needing a triple to complete the cycle and roped a ball down the right field line, but it caromed out to the LMU right fielder in time to hold him to a double. GU hasn’t had a player hit for the cycle since March 11, 2011, when Tyler Chism accomplished the feat.
GU added two in the eighth, getting an RBI single from Yake and a run on a wild pitch.
Gonzaga will be back in action on Friday at the WCC Baseball Championship and take on top-seeded Pepperdine, who defeated No. 4 San Francisco on Thursday. First pitch is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. and the winner will advance unbeaten to the championship round. Live coverage can be found on GoZags.com.