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Gonzaga baseball sweeps BYU, takes top seed in WCC tournament

UPDATED: Sun., May 21, 2017

Gonzaga outfielder Sam Brown (11) hit .322 during the regular season. (James Snook / For The Spokesman-Review)
Gonzaga outfielder Sam Brown (11) hit .322 during the regular season. (James Snook / For The Spokesman-Review)

Justin Jacobs went 3 for 4, including a double, and drove in two runs for Gonzaga and the Bulldogs won a share of the West Coast Conference baseball title by defeating No. 18 BYU 6-2 on Saturday night at Patterson Baseball Complex.

Saturday’s win gave Gonzaga (31-17, 20-7 West Coast Conference) a series sweep and the No. 1 overall seed in next week’s WCC Championship in Stockton, California.

Gonzaga got on the board immediately in the first inning after senior Jeff Bohling hit a blooper that landed just inside the left-field line behind third base to score Sam Brown. Tyler Frost stretched Gonzaga’s lead to 3-0 in the third inning with a two-run homer off the first pitch that cleared the right-field fence.

The Zags added two more runs in the fourth behind four singles and a sacrifice fly by Troy Johnston that allowed GU’s Jake Vieth to tag up on third and score. Justin Jacobs hit an RBI single to center field to cap off the two-run inning.

The Zags had out-hit BYU 13-3 halfway through the game before the Cougars began a two-run rally in the sixth. The Cougars finally got on the board when BYU’s Keaton Kringlen smacked a RBI line drive that bounced off the wall in left-center.

Senior righty Wyatt Mills took over for starting right-hander Daniel Bies in the middle of the sixth. Mills allowed the Cougars another run after BYU’s Colton Shaver hit an RBI single that fell in shallow right field. The Zags escaped more damage when Mills retired the final two batters on a strikeout and infield groundout with the bases loaded.

Gonzaga notched one more run in the eighth after the Zags loaded the bases on two walks and a single to right field. Jacobs hit a hard line drive down the first base line that popped out of first baseman Shaver’s glove and sent home the Zags’ Gunner Schubert.

Gonzaga piled on 15 hits against the Cougars, who picked up 11 hits. Bies and Mills combined for 10 strikeouts and issued no walks.

“It’s an older, very resilient group,” coach Mark Machtolf said. “We knew that were going to have to sweep BYU and they just stepped up. Did what they had to do.”

It was the first time in school history that Gonzaga swept the Cougars, who have remained atop the conference for most of the season.

The Zags head to Fresno, California, to face Fresno State on Monday at 6:05 p.m. in Gonzaga’s season finale.

The West Coast Conference tournament begins Thursday in Stockton, California.

Oregon State 5, Washington State 1: Jake Thompson tossed a two-hit complete game shutout and the No. 1 Beavers (44-4, 26-3) beat the Cougars (24-25, 10-16) in the second of a three-game series in Corvallis, Oregon.

Thompson struck out five and walked two to raise his record to 12-0 on the season.

WSU starter Cody Anderson (5-3) allowed three runs on four hits and three walks over five innings.

Stanford 7, Washington 5: Kyle London and MJ Hubbs had three hits apiece for the visiting Huskies (26-24, 12-14), but the No. 9 Cardinal (35-14, 17-9) got five hits and five RBIs from their top two hitters in the lineup in a second of a three-game Pac-12 series in Stanford, California.

Washington went up 2-0 in the second inning but Stanford rallied with the next six runs and held off a late comeback attempt from the Huskies.

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