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Gonzaga University Athletics

Gonzaga’s Alek Jacob, a North Central alum, pitches no-hitter at Pepperdine

Jacob  (Gonzaga athletics)
From staff and wire reports

MALIBU, Calif. – Gonzaga’s Alek Jacob pitched a no-hitter – the first for the Bulldogs since 1990 and the fifth in school history – in a 10-0 victory against host Pepperdine in a West Coast Conference baseball game Friday afternoon.

Jacob (3-1), a junior out of North Central High School, tied his career high with 12 strikeouts, the ninth most in school history. Jacob walked two batters.

“A special performance today from Alek, a lot of fun to be a part of,” Gonzaga head coach Mark Machtolf said.

Brett Harris went 2 for 3 with two runs and an RBI for the Bulldogs (21-12 overall, 10-3 WCC). Gabriel Hughes and Ernie Yake both finished with two hits and an RBI.

It was scoreless until the fourth, when the Bulldogs scored seven times – on four hits and three errors by Pepperdine (11-12, 4-3).

Harris led off with a single and advanced to second on a throwing error by Waves pitcher Trevor Hinkel (3-3). Tyler Rando then walked on a 3-2 count.

An out later, Mason Marenco singled through the right side of the infield to score Harris with the opening run.

Jake Machtolf walked to load the bases for Hughes, who hit a run-scoring single to left with another run coming home on an outfielder’s throwing error. Grayson Sterling walked to reload the bases and Yake singled to bring home the fourth run. The final three runs of the inning scored on a walk, hit batter and catcher’s interference.

The Bulldogs capped the scoring with three runs in the eighth.

With one out, Harris doubled to left and Rando walked. Andrew Orzel singled to right to bring home Harris. After Marenco walked, Machtolf hit a two-run single to right to make it 10-0.

Jacob, who threw 124 pitches, got the first two batters in the bottom of the ninth to fly out and the Waves’ Reese Alexiades to line out to second baseman Marenco to end the game.The teams are scheduled to continue their three-game series at 1 p.m. Saturday at Eddy D. Field Stadium.

It was the first shutout and third complete game of Jacob’s GU career. He won seven games in both 2018 and 2019 – when he also had 12 saves – before returning to the rotation in the pandemic-shortended 2020 campaign.

Jacob was a four-year starter at North Central and earned first-team All-Greater Spokane League honors three times.