FORT WORTH, Texas--The Gonzaga University baseball team dropped down into the loser's bracket Saturday after a narrow 4-3 loss to No. 1 seed and host TCU at Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth.
The third-seeded Zags got a gritty performance from starter Eli Morgan, who tossed 7.2 innings and struck out eight batters. He allowed nine hits on the game, but four of them came in the eighth inning when TCU re-took the lead on a two-RBI single from Elliott Barzilli. The Horned Frogs' third baseman saw the bases loaded with two outs and hit a blooper into right center field, allowing two runs to score. Gonzaga closer Wyatt Mills then entered the game and ended the jam with a ground ball to Bohling at third.
Mills escaped a jam in the ninth to keep the Bulldogs within one run. In the bottom of the frame, Gonzaga put the tying run on first base when Justin Jacobs singled through the left side for his first hit of the Regional. Redshirt junior Jarod Gonzalesthen came to the plate as a pinch hitter, but he hit into a double play to end the game.
After getting just one hit off TCU's starter Jared Janczak through the first five innings, Gonzaga's offense got to him in the sixth, ringing up the right-hander for four hits, including a big blast from Jeff Bohling for the lead. Nick Brooks led the frame off with a single, but the designated hitter was replaced on base with a fielder's choice. Right fielder Sam Brown gave the Zags another runner for Bohling, who fell into an 0-2 hole against Janczak. GU' third baseman then sent the next pitch over the wall in right center field to give Gonzaga a 3-2 lead. Two batters later, Tyler Frost ripped an infield single, chasing Janczak from the game.
The Horned Frogs took the early lead in the second inning, scoring once on a pair of hits and a fielder's choice. One inning later, TCU scored again after two more hits: a triple and an RBI single.
Gonzaga (36-20) will play No. 2 seed Arizona State in Sunday's elimination game after ASU opened the day in Fort Worth with a 4-1 win over No. 4 Oral Roberts, eliminating the Golden Eagles. That elimination game between GU and ASU will begin at 12:00 p.m. Pacific (2:00 p.m. Central) on Sunday, June 5. The winner of that game will meet TCU later that day for the regional championship game.
If the Horned Frogs win that championship game, they advance onto the super regionals. If TCU loses, the two championship clubs will meet once more on Monday, June 6, at 1:00 p.m. Pacific (3:00 p.m. Central).