Who: Gonzaga Bulldogs vs. Utah Utes
What: Regional Elimination Game
When: 2 PM PST. Sunday, May 31st.
Where: Goodwin Field @ Cal State-Fullerton
After giving Cal State-Fullerton more than they bargained for, the Gonzaga Bulldogs are faced with a daunting task to keep their baseball season afloat. The Zags are faced with a potential double-header today in Fullerton as they will take on the Utes of Utah first at 2 PM PST. The two teams meet for the right to take on Cal State-Fullerton at 6 PM.
Utah, now 27-30, were the only team in the field to enter the tournament carrying a losing record. They pulled off some major upsets in the Mountain West Conference tournament to secure a bid in this year's NCAA Tournament and have have gone through with leaps and bounds thus far. Their first game of the tournament was against Cal State-Fullerton and it was ugly from the get-go. The Titans put up eight runs on the Utes before they could even blink and wound up taking the Utes down by a count of 18-2. Utah then had to battle for their regional lives against Georgia Southern in the first elimination game of the regional and they appeared to be on their way home. The Eagles of Georgia Southern carried a 9-4 lead into the eighth inning and were poised for a rematch with Gonzaga. Utah fought back and exploded in the bottom of the eighth with a six hit, six run inning to give them the lead 10-9. Georgia Southern would score a run in the top half of the ninth to tie it up but Utah had all the momentum. With two outs the Utes drove in the winning run to give them a dramatic 11-10 victory and push them to the next round.
Georgia Southern becomes the first team to go home out of the Fullerton regional. The former two seed lost two pretty heavily contested games and returns to the South without ever matching up with top-seeded Cal State-Fullerton. Gonzaga has yet to announce who will be on the hill but next in line would typically be Ryan Carpenter who is 6-3 on the year with a 4.82 ERA. If the Zags do earn the win, it will be interesting to see who takes the mound tonight against Fullerton. Odds are on Matt Fields who threw in the win against Georgia Southern. Utah should not be overlooked because of their marginal record as they are a team playing with plenty of confidence and momentum after their thrilling victory.
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