SPOKANE, Wash. – A 10th-inning pinch-hit walk-off single from Nick Brooks and a superb effort from Gonzaga University baseball freshman pitcher Brandon Bailey ended the Zags’ eight-game losing streak Saturday night at Patterson Complex as GU prevailed 2-1 over Santa Clara University.
Two walks and a single loaded the bases for Gonzaga (11-22, 7-7 WCC) with no outs to open the bottom of the 10th. The Bulldogs went to its bench and called on freshman Brooks to pinch-hit for Nelson Benjamin against Broncos (14-20, 5-6 WCC) reliever Jacob Steffens.
Brooks connected on the third pitch of the at bat and hit a grounder to the shortstop Jose Vizcaino Jr. who was unable to make the throw home in time. Junior Mitchell Gunsolus was the winning run.
The game marks back-to-back extra-inning game for Gonzaga and Santa Clara. The Broncos won the series opener Friday night 6-5 in the 10th.
The Zags were able to edge the Broncos largely due to the pitching of Bailey. The Broomfield, Colo., native silenced the Santa Clara bats all night. The right-hander delivered a phenomenal season-high 9.2 innings allowing one earned run on eight-hits. He struck out six and only walked one.
The lone Bronco run came in the fourth. Two of the first three Broncos reached to open the frame with singles to the left side. DH Quinton Perry connected for a two-out single to left field which tied the game at one.
Gonzaga’s first run scored in the bottom of the third. Jimmy Sinatro hit a ground ball to the SCU second baseman, who made a throwing error, which allowed Joey Harris to scamper home.
The Bulldogs had nine-hits in the game, topped by Caleb Wood’s 3-for-5 night. Senior Payden Cawley Lamb continued his hot hitting by going 2-for-4.
Karl Myers was the winning pitcher of record. Myers retired the lone batter he faced in the top of the 10th on a fly out to right field.
Bronco starter Peter Hendron got a no decision after keeping pace with Bailey. He worked 8.0 innings allowing one unearned run on six hits.
The rubber game between the Bulldogs and Broncos is set for Sunday. First pitch between GU’s Andrew Sopko and SCU’s Steven Wilson is at 12 p.m.