(Courtesy of Gonzaga Media Relations)
STOCKTON, Calif.--Gonzaga starter Brandon Bailey pitched a 17-strikeout masterpiece to power GU to a 5-3 win to open the WCC Baseball Championship in Stockton, Calif.
Bailey began the game by throwing heat, striking out eight of his first 10 batters faced, allowing just one hit through the third. The junior fanned the first two Cougar batters of the game and all three in the second inning to set the tone for the night. BYU managed to do some late damage via the home run with three solo shots, but Bailey continued work through the Cougar lineup on the way to a complete-game six-hitter. He walked just one and threw 138 pitches.
The Zags' batters gave Bailey a lead in the third, scoring twice in the frame. Catcher Joey Harris hit a leadoff double to left for an immediate runner in scoring position. Two batters later, Sam Brown drove in the senior with a single to left field, and scored in the next at-bat when Jeff Bohling found the gap in left center for a double.
Gonzaga added three more runs in the fifth with Brown and Bohling again doing the damage. Nick Brooks drove a base knock up the middle for a one-out base runner, and Jace VanDeBrake reached on a BYU error. Brown then lined a shot to center field, allowing Brown to score, and Bohling found the gap in right center for another double, clearing the bases and putting Gonzaga up 5-0.
In the seventh, BYU tallied its first run of the night when Keaton Kringlen homered down the line in left field for a solo blast. Bailey bounced back immediately, getting a first-pitch pop up from Daniel Schneemann and then striking out Brennon Anderson for his 15th of the night.
BYU added another solo shot in both the eighth and ninth innings but couldn't mount a rally as Bailey got the next batter each time, clinching the 5-3 win and his ninth of the season.