SPOKANE – Freshman pitcher Brandon Bailey outdueled Pepperdine University’s Corey Miller for a 6-5 Gonzaga University victory over the 23rd ranked Waves at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field Friday night.
Four different Bulldogs (24-26, 16-9) drove in a run as the Zags inched closer to a berth into the West Coast Conference Tournament next weekend in Stockton, Calif. Even with the defeat, the Waves (35-15, 17-8) have earned a spot in the tournament field.
Bailey earned his team-high sixth WCC victory by throwing 6.2 innings allowing four runs (three earned) while striking out five and walking three. All of Bailey’s wins have come in league action.
Gonzaga trailed 3-1 entering the fourth inning but would end the inning up 5-3. The four run frame saw the club take advantage of a pair of Pepperdine miscues. A Miller wild pitch allowed the first run to score and two batters later Mitchell Gunsolus had his lone base hit of the game, which drove in another. The final two runs scored on Manny Jefferson overthrow to first base.
Each side scored a run in the seventh inning. Pepperdine’s Aaron Barnett connected for a two out run scoring single up the middle. However the Zags countered in the bottom of the frame on a Cabe Reiten RBI single to left field.
The Waves gave one last push in their last at bat in the ninth inning. With two outs, Aaron Brown hit a solo home run to left to cut the score 6-5. However, reliever David Bigelow got the final out on a Brad Anderson fly ball to right field.
The Waves out-hit the Zags 11-9 nine in the game and both sides left nine men on base. Payden Cawley Lamb and Reiten each had a pair of hits to pace the Zags. Senior Brock Slavin had the Bulldogs first RBI of the game in the second inning on a two out single to left field.
Gonzaga is just one win away from ensuring a spot in the WCC Tournament. The Bulldogs will look to earn the berth and claim the series over the Waves Saturday night at 6 p.m.