Gubrud Ks 13 in 4-0 Grizzlies win
A day after giving up nine runs in the bottom of the sixth inning on the road to lose 10-4, the Grizzlies responded with a dominating — and economical — 4-0 win Wednesday. Gubrud faced just one batter over the minimum 21, struck out 13 batters and never allowed a runner past second base at home vs. the Spartans, earning his seventh win of the season and lowering his ERA to 0.78.
“It was important on Wednesday to come out and do what we did,” McMinnville coach Darren Bland said.
The Grizzlies (10-7, 6-2) fell out of a first-place tie with the Spartans and Tualatin after losing Tuesday, but they are now tied for second with Hillsboro entering today’s 5 p.m. game at Ad Rutschman Field in Hare Field.
Tuesday, Mac was in control, leading 4-1 going into the bottom of the sixth inning. Four walks, five hits, one error, one wild pitch and one passed ball later, and the Spartans had nine runs on the board and led 10-4.
“Tuesday was great except for one inning,” Bland said.
Despite the ugly ending Tuesday, Bland said the players remained positive and didn’t let it affect them Wednesday. The Grizzlies scored three runs in the bottom of the first inning, giving Gubrud all the cushion he needed. He struck out the first three batters he faced in the top of the first.
“It’s always important because it shows we weren’t hungover from yesterday,” Gubrud said of scoring early after a bad loss. “That was a tough loss, and we came out and scored three runs off the bat. That was big to show we weren’t affected by it.”
Blake Egli was 1-for-3 with a run scored, Gubrud was 1-for-3 with a run scored and an RBI, and Adrian Uscanga walked twice and scored. Jacob Bannister also had a hit and a run scored, and sophomore David Brosius had an RBI single in the bottom of the fourth inning to give the Grizzlies a 4-0 lead.
Gubrud had all of his pitches working Wednesday, and put the Spartans down in quick succession. He had five strikeouts in the first three innings but did allow a leadoff single to Jack Merrill in the top of the fourth inning. Merrill was thrown out at second base, though, and Gubrud struck out the next two batters. He then sat the Spartans down in order in the fifth and sixth innings.
“It was a good day for him as far as hitting his spots,” Bland said.
Halfway through the game, the Hillsboro bench got up on the dugout fence and started yelling loudly to try and distract Gubrud. Instead of throwing him off, the yelling made Gubrud throw harder.
“They were yelling a little bit and trying to get into my head a little bit,” Gubrud said. “But I love that as a pitcher. You have to have the mentality that you can’t hit me.
“I got the satisfaction that they got up and I sat them right back down. Made me feel good about that.”
Merrill led off the top of the seventh with a hard-hit double to center field, but he would be stranded there. Gubrud struck out the next three batters to end the game.
“When you throw 82 pitches and strike out 13 guys,” Bland said, “that’s ridiculously low.
“It’s hard to get rallies going when you don’t have anyone get past second base.”
The Grizzlies can close out another series win today on the road. Since starting Pacific Conference play, Mac is 6-2 and has won two series and split a two-game series with Newberg. Like it has been all season, the goal remains to win at least two-out-of-three.
“That’s super big for us,” Gubrud said. “That’s our goal every week. We have to win two out of three every week. Most teams aren’t going to do that every week, and if you do, you’re going to be sitting pretty at the end of the season.”