Persistent hitting from Gonzaga’s lineup backed a stellar reduction outing from Owen Wild and the Bulldogs stayed alive within the NCAA Tournament, rallying out of an early five-run gap and powering previous Wright State late for an 11-9 victory in a regional elimination recreation Saturday in Blacksburg, Virginia.
“We didn’t get off to a great start, made some mistakes, but I was happy with the way they battled and stayed with it,” Zags coach Mark Machtolf mentioned. “Owen came in and gave us a chance to fight back into it, and that was the key to the game.”
Wild pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings out of the bullpen after taking up for starter William Kempner within the third. Kempner entered the day having surrendered simply three earned runs in seven begins this season, however he gave up 9 in 2 2/3 innings in opposition to the Raiders.
Wright State managed three hits and 6 walks in opposition to Wild, who struck out seven in his 118-pitch effort.
“In a perfect world, we’d be able to start him tomorrow,” Machtolf mentioned of Wild (9-1), who has made eight begins and eight reduction appearances this yr. “But we had been down three or 4, so you must get him in there at that time and attempt to slug your method again. It wasn’t the preliminary plan we drew up, but it surely was a reasonably simple resolution to get him in there.
“I had total confidence in him to finish that game.”
Gonzaga’s offense piled up seven runs on six hits and 5 walks between the fifth and seventh innings to erase a 9-4 deficit and go forward by two runs. The lead held, as Wild stranded 4 Raiders runners within the remaining two innings.
“After the eighth, I was starting to lose it a little bit,” Wild mentioned, “and my pitching coach came up and asked me, ‘How you feeling?’ ”
Wild responded, “I’m running on fumes. … Trusting me in that spot, it feels good.”
Second-seeded Gonzaga (37-18) advances to a different elimination contest at 10 a.m. Sunday in opposition to Columbia, which tamed the Bulldogs’ bats for an 8-2 win Friday.
Against fourth-seeded Wright State (30-27), the Zags bounced again on the plate, recording 12 hits and 9 walks.
Seven gamers had at the very least one hit and one run apiece. Leading the cost had been second baseman Savier Pinales (3 for five, three RBIs), catcher Tyler Rando (2 for six, two RBIs), outfielder Enzo Apodaca (2 for five, three runs) and designated hitter Ezra Samperi (2 for 3, two RBIs).
“We all put together great at-bats,” Apodaca mentioned. “We did a fantastic job coming in as an offense, choosing one another up when individuals had been down, placing it collectively, getting on base and doing what we do finest.
“Our bats were hot.”
The Zags loaded the bases on walks with two outs within the momentum-shifting fifth. Shortstop Connor Coballes labored a bases-loaded stroll and Samperi adopted with an RBI single to kick-start the comeback. Gonzaga took the lead for good within the seventh on Pinales’ two-run double. Cade McGee added a two-out RBI single to cap the scoring.
The Raiders scored three runs within the first inning on an RBI single from Gehrig Anglin and a two-run sacrifice fly from slugging DH Zane Harris – Pinales tripped over a teammate after making the catch.
Rando’s two-run double within the high half of the third put Gonzaga on high 4-3, however Harris hit a two-out, two-run house run to proper area within the backside half of the inning. Three batters later, Andrew Patrick added a three-run shot to left, sending Kempner to the dugout and making a five-run Raiders benefit.
Kempner, a right-handed sophomore MLB draft prospect, allowed 5 hits and walked 4 batters, hanging out three on 82 pitches.
Wright State completed with eight hits and 10 walks however stranded eight runners. Starter Sebastian Gongora labored 4 2/3 innings, permitting six runs on three hits and eight walks, and hanging out three.