Gonzaga baseball drops heartbreaker vs. UCLA, 6-5
MINNEAPOLIS — Third-seeded Gonzaga baseball fell 6-5 after a four-run ninth by second-seeded UCLA on Friday in the NCAA Minneapolis Regional in Minneapolis, Minn.
GU (32-23) led 5-2 heading to the ninth, but wasn’t able to hold on as the Bruins (37-19) scored four runs on four hits to stun the Zags.
“That was a heartbreaking loss,” head coach Mark Machtolf said. “I thought Daniel [Bies] pitched really well, and we battled. We need to get past this one and be ready to go tomorrow.”
Starter Daniel Bies spun a fantastic game on the mound, going 7.2 innings and giving up just two runs on five hits with nine strikeouts and two walks. Casey Legumina entered in the eighth to end the frame and then wasn’t able to keep the Bruins off the board in the ninth.
At the plate, Branson Trube was 2-for-2, scored three times and knocked home a run. Austin Pinorini reached three times with one hit and two walks, scoring once and driving in a run.
GU got on the board with a pair of early runs in the second inning to take a 2-0 lead. Nick Brooks hit a double off the wall in right field and Jack Machtolf followed with a hard-hit sacrifice fly to plate the second run.
The Zags followed with another in the third and one more in the sixth, both coming on sacrifice flies. In the third, Trube picked up the RBI, and then Jake Vieth knocked home a run with a flyout in the sixth.
UCLA battled back with two runs in the bottom of the sixth, getting four hits in the inning of off Bies. The Zag starter pitched out of the jam, getting a strikeout to leave two Bruins stranded.
GU then got to the UCLA bullpen in the top of the eighth, getting one more run in the frame. After starter Jake Bird got the first two outs, GU put the next three on with two walks and hit. Trube then came home on a wild pitch to push the score to 5-2.
In the bottom of the ninth, the first two batters reached for UCLA and after an out, the Bruins got three straight hits and a sacrifice fly to score four runs.
Gonzaga will be back on the field on Saturday at 11 a.m. PT/1 p.m. CT against the loser of Friday night’s Minnesota/Canisius match-up. Links to live coverage will be available on GoZags.com.