baseball

STOCKTON, Calif. — No. 1 seed BYU baseball ended its run at the WCC Tournament on Friday, losing 3-1 to No. 2 seed Gonzaga at Banner Island Ballpark.

“You have to tip your hat sometimes,” BYU head coach Mike Littlewood said. “Unfortunately that’s what we’ve had to do the last two games.”

BYU and Gonzaga traded runs in the first inning to start things off. Sophomore Danny Gelalich hit a double, advanced to third on a sac bunt by Noah Hill, then scored from third on Brock Hale’s RBI-ground out. But in the bottom of the inning, Gonzaga’s Ernie Yake answered with a solo home run.

Cougar starter Easton Walker then settled in, shutting out the Bulldogs over the next three innings. However, BYU couldn’t take advantage, getting just a double by Mitch McIntyre from the second through fifth innings.

The Bulldogs snuck a run across in the fifth after a double was followed by a deep fly ball that allowed the runner to reach third, then come home on a single. BYU had a chance to tie or take the lead in the top of the sixth after Gelalich singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch and Brock Hale reached on a walk, but Jackson Cluff’s flyout to right field ended the threat.

Gonzaga added another run in the sixth when a squeeze bunt successfully scored the runner from third on a close play at the plate, giving the Bulldogs a 3-1 lead.

Walker left the game after six, finishing with four strikeouts against six hits, three runs and no walks. Freshman Reid McLaughlin came on for the final two innings, allowing no runs and no walks.

With a record of 36-17, the Cougars will wait to see if they are given an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament when the selections are announced at 10 a.m. Monday on ESPNU.

See what people are talking about at The Community Table!