GU Baseball stays alive with 8-2 win over Canisius
MINNEAPOLIS — Freshman Alek Jacob pitched 8.0 innings in his NCAA Tournament debut and the Gonzaga offense ripped off 17 hits on the way to an 8-2 win over fourth-seeded Canisius on Saturday afternoon in the NCAA Minneapolis Regional.
The game started two hours late due to heavy rain in the area, but the Gonzaga (33-23) offense didn’t have any lull at all, posting six runs in the first four innings against Canisius (35-22).
“It was a great response by the guys today,” head coach Mark Machtolf said. “To get those two runs in the first really got things going for us. You got to see what has been the most impressive part of what Alek has done this year, and I wasn’t surprised to see him throw well in that spot.”
Jacob was up to the task in his first-career NCAA Tournament start, allowing just two runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and two walks in his 8.0 innings of work. Taylor Davis came on for the ninth and retired all three batters he faced.
On offense, Gunnar Schubert and Austin Pinorini had three hits apiece to lead the way to a 17-hit day for the Zags. Schubert ended his day just a double short of the cycle, getting a single, triple and home run to go along with two RBI and one run scored. Pinorini had three RBI to go with his three singles. Four more Zags had two hits each with Ernie Yake, Jack Machtolf, Branson Trube and Carson Breshears.
GU got the bats rolling in the first inning with the first three batters of the game reaching via two walks and a single by Schubert. Pinorini then brought home the first two runs of the game with a single through the right side.
After a scoreless second, the Zags then put up two more in the third and fourth to push the score to 6-2. Pinorini and Schubert were again the catalysts with Schubert hitting a solo homer to right and Pinorini driving home another with a single in the third. Then in the fourth, Schubert followed a Yake RBI double with an RBI triple.
The Zags then added a run on a two-out RBI single by Breshears in the fifth inning and an RBI single by Isaac Barrera in the seventh to make it 8-2.
Canisius put the first two runners on in the eighth, but Jacob got the next three on fly balls to get out of the jam without any damage.
Gonzaga will face the loser of Saturday night’s Minnesota/UCLA match-up at 2 p.m. CT/12 p.m. PT on Sunday. Links to live coverage will be available on GoZags.com.