I was at Mead High School today for a big GSL baseball matchup between Gonzaga Prep and Mead. The game was important because of where the two teams sit in the standings. Gonzaga Prep came in at 12-1 (in first place) and Mead was in a three-way tie for second (10-3). Here is my writeup from earlier, if you are interested.
Gonzaga Prep came away with a 15-8 win. The Bullpups recorded 15 hits, but were also aided by five Mead errors. The errors weren't the only issue for the Panthers, who also missed cutoff men on numerous base hits to the outfield that allowed runners to advance and eventually score.
The win helps to solidify Gonzaga Prep atop the league standings, but it should be a tough last two weeks to the season for the Bullpups. They face Mead again on Thursday and also have University and Ferris on the docket. Add in the fact that they just faced Mt. Spokane and those are the top four teams in the GSL (aside from Gonzaga Prep).
A side note, Mt. Spokane beat Ferris on Tuesday to take sole possession of second place, two games back of Gonzaga Prep. Here's a look at the top of the GSL standings.
Gonzaga Prep -- 12-1
Mt. Spokane -- 10-3
Mead -- 9-4
Ferris -- 9-4
University -- 8-5
But back to Gonzaga Prep for now. Max Graves went five innings on the mound for the Bullpups and then head coach Brian Munhall went to Alex Grzesiak for the last two. Going to Grzesiak allowed Munhall to keep his other three front-line pitchers rested.
The GSL standings will shake out in the next couple of weeks, but for now, here are some quotes from Gonzaga Prep following tonight's game.
Head coach Brian Munhall
On the importance of the win: It's a big win. We knew the last two weeks were enormous. Mt. Spokane, Mead, U-High. They keep coming. We started soft, but it's a good team. It's really nice to respond the way we did – hit the way we did, pitch the way we did and ultimately end up in a really good spot. It was a really good day. Put us in a good spot.
On the explosive offense: After Mt. Spokane stymied us, I think our guys were a little bit grumpy. We responded really well against Mt. Spokane and again today. Our approach is right. We're on time, we're getting a pitch that we can handle, looking for it, sticking with what we do and had a lot of barrels today.
On starter Max Graves: He was good. We bit ourselves in the foot again. Or, shot ourselves in the foot. Too many mistakes. The one big inning killed us. We talked about that. If we can minimize on defense, I tell ya, we're going to be pretty darned good. That's where it's hurting us. Our arms, we can count on every single time, but we got to be able to defend it behind him. He responded. He got a little tired towards the time. It was nice to get another guy in and see somebody that hasn't thrown a ton of innings get in and throw well in a big spot. Now we got all three big arms for later in the week. Big game with them and U-High behind them.
On the defensive mistakes: One mistake was mental, the other ones were physical. We don't harp on physical. It happens, but we certainly want to be cleaner, want to be better. The one mistake we talked about and learned from and won't happen again. The other ones, those happen, it's part of the game. Just respond and I think the guys bounced back, even if they made a mistake. Didn't take it to the plate with them and didn't take bad at-bats out in the field. We've been fighting that a little bit, too. Trying to separate.
Senior Zach Bonneau
On importance of win: It's a great win. First time in four years we've won on this field, so obviously it's a great feeling to beat these guys. Squared off with them last year and they were up by one. Feels good to beat them. We have them Thursday again, so we have to bounce back and get ready for that one.
On this being the first win for any Gonzaga Prep player at Mead: We talked about it a little when we were walking to the park. Talked to Munhall -- because we came in the same year – we hadn't won at this park, so it feels good to get a win here.
On offensive explosion: Lose one, 2-0. I mean four hits in the game, couple errors. Then we bounced back, put 20 runs on the board. I mean, that's not common. We just hit the ball really well and it carried over to today's win.
On if the offense is here to stay: Let's hope so. Our top four or five, six hitters -- I should say our whole lineup – hits the ball really well. Top to bottom.
On Graves: That one inning, we started off with an error. Then we had the bunt situation where we didn't get it over to third. Then we had the mental lapse at shortstop where he thought there were two outs and he just thought that was a force out. Besides that, I thought we did a great job bouncing back and dealing with the situation.