Five-Run Fifth Sinks Broncos, Gives Gonzaga Regular Season WCC Title
SANTA CLARA, Calif. – Looking to play spoiler, Santa Clara baseball lost Gonzaga by a final score of 6-1. The win for Gonzaga clinched the regular season West Coast Conference title. The Broncos are now 10-34 overall and 0-20 in conference while the Zags are 30-14-1 and 17-6 in WCC action.
The Broncos return to the field on Sun., May 5 for senior day as they wrap-up their home conference schedule.
Mike Couch (3-8, 4.70) started for Santa Clara and got a loss while throwing a complete game. Couch allowed six runs on 10 hits with one walk and three strikeouts. The offense was led by Casey Munoz who was 1-4 with a RBI while Jose Vizcaino, Jr. and T.J. Braff each were 1-4 with a double.
Tyler Olson (9-2, 2.17) started for Gonzaga and got a win in 7.0 innings. Olson allowed one run on six hits with no walks and seven strikeouts. The offense was led by Caleb Wood who was 1-3 with a home run, a walk and three RBI and Mitchell Gunsolus who was 1-4 with a double, a run scored and two RBI.
Zach Looney singled to center with one down and Greg Harisis followed with a swinging bunt down the third base line for a base hit. Munoz put Santa Clara on top 1-0 with a single off the second baseman that bounced into shallow center and allowed Looney to score from second.
Alex Boncyzk got the third started with a double to right. Brock Slavin grounded out to third to advance the runner to third with one out and Travis Forbes tied the game with a sacrifice fly to right field.
Back-to-back one-out hits in the top of the fourth by Cory LeBrun and Marco Gonzales threatened to put Gonzaga on top for the first time. With both runners on the move, Steven Halcomb fouled out to Braff for an inning-ending double play.
With the count 1-2 to Clayton Eslick leading off the fifth, Couch threw a pitched that hit Eslick in the back foot. Boncyzk had a bunt single to put two runners on for the Zags and Slavin sacrificed the runners to second and third. Travis Forbes became the second Bulldog of the inning to be hit by a pitch and loaded the bases for the top of the order. Gunsolus doubled in two runs with a shot past the first base bag that gave Gonzaga a 3-1 lead. Wood followed with a three-run shot to left field to blow the game open for the Zags.
Stephen Takahashi reached on a wild throw that found the seats by the second baseman to lead off the bottom of the fifth. Justin Viele was hit by a pitch to give Santa Clara a rally for free but Looney hit into a double play and Harisis grounded out to keep the score at 6-1.
The teams exchanged zeroes the rest of the way and the Broncos fell by a final of 6-1.
Game Notes: First pitch was at 3:02 … Time of game was 2:19 … Attendance was 387 … Jose Vizcaino, Jr. doubled down the right field line with one out in the bottom of the sixth … Stephen Takahashi reached twice on errors … Justin Viele was hit by two pitches … Gonzaga committed two errors in the bottom of the seventh … Matt Ozanne made a spectacular diving catch in center field for the second out in the top of the ninth ... C.J. Jacobe pinch hit in the bottom of the ninth.