Gonzaga Falls in WCC Championship Opener - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Gonzaga Falls in WCC Championship Opener

Gonzaga fell to LMU in its WCC Championship opener on Thursday. (WCC Photo) Gonzaga fell to LMU in its WCC Championship opener on Thursday. (WCC Photo)

by Gonzaga Athletics

STOCKTON, Calif.– The search for its first West Coast Conference Championship victory continues for the Gonzaga University baseball team as the Bulldogs stumbled in its tournament opener 5-1 to Loyola Marymount University Thursday night at Banner Island Ballpark.

The defeat moves Gonzaga (25-28) into an elimination game . The Bulldogs will face Santa Clara University, who lost 5-2 to top seed Pepperdine University, Friday at noon.

All-WCC first team pitcher Colin Welmon kept the Gonzaga offense off-balance all night. Welmon got the win after throwing a complete game. Charged with one run, Welmon held the Zags to just six hits.

Freshman Brandon Bailey was the losing pitcher of record. The right-handed hitter did not allow a run until the fourth inning but was ultimately responsible for five runs on nine hits. Bailey also struck out eight in his fourth complete game of the season.

Gonzaga scored the first run of the game in the top half of the third inning. Nicholas Minteer led started the frame with a single to left and advanced to second base on a Joey Harris sacrifice bunt. Mitchell Gunsolus then advanced on a throwing error to put two Zags in scoring position. Next batter, Caleb Wood, scored the run on a fielder’s choice ground ball where the LMU took the force out at first base.

LMU took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. The Lions had four hits in the frame including RBI base knocks from Tanner Donnels and Jimmy Jack. The inning ended as Bailey struck out Kevin Garcia, which stranded two runners in scoring position.

The Lions extended its lead over the Zags to 5-1 in the sixth inning. Jack drove in two more runs with a double down the right field line and Garcia brought in another two batters later on a single up the middle.

The elimination game between Gonzaga and Santa Clara will be televised on the theW.tv Friday. The winner of that game advances to the 7 p.m. game to face the loser of LMU and Pepperdine. To make the championship game Saturday, the Bulldogs will need to win both games Friday.

  • College

    • Eagles open up Big Sky play against Grizzlies

      The Eagles are 10-1 since 2012 against its rivals from the Treasure State – UM and Montana State. However, EWU's last venture to Missoula yielded a 57-16 thumping at the hands of the Griz.

    • Throwback Thursday: Montana Grizzlies face Furman in the 2001 National Championship game

      December 21, 2001: Montana facing Furman for the National Championship in Chattanooga Tennessee

    • Vandals take on South Alabama to kickoff Sun Belt play

      The Vandals are 35-51-1 all-time in conference openers. They are 1-6 in Sun Belt openers, including a 0-3 record since returning to the league in 2014.

    • Huskies open Pac-12 play against Colorado

      Last Dec. in Santa Clara, the Huskies beat the Buffaloes, 41-10, in the title game, in the teams' only meeting of 2016.

    • WSU continues homestand against Nevada on Saturday

      Washington State leads the all-time series with Nevada 2-1 and will be hosting the Wolfpack in Pullman for the first time in series history.

    • WSU men's basketball 2017-18 Pac-12 schedule released

      Washington State University men's basketball opens up Pac-12 play with two-straight games at Los Angeles on ESPN2, first against UCLA, Friday, Dec. 29 at 8 p.m., followed by a trip to the Galen Center to take on USC.

    • Press Pass Pullman: Week Three

      In this week's edition of Press Pass Pullman, head coach Mike Leach reflects on the Cougs' dominant win over Oregon State and looks ahead to Nevada, a team which features a myriad of connections to Washington State.

    • Super 8 Plays of the Week 9/18

      Check out this week's top plays from across the state!

    • Scoot's Place, Griz Team Barbershop

      Former Griz WR Caleb Lyons had to retire last year after suffering a head injury. He's now a student coach but he's also become the team barber. Watch him give Shaun Rainey a haircut on live TV and find out why all the players go to "Scoot's Place" to get a fresh cut. 
    • Crowd Surfing 9/17

      With the weather getting colder, things look a bit different for our local football games, as we take a look at during this week's Crowd Surfing.