Jan. 10, 2007
SPOKANE, Wash. - The Gonzaga University baseball team has been selected to finish fifth in the 2007 West Coast Conference preseason poll, as voted on by the conference's head coaches.
Pepperdine University, who has been ranked as high as No. 19 in preseason polls, received six first place votes and a total of 47 points to edge out the University of San Diego and 2006 WCC regular season co-champion University of San Francisco for first place. The Toreros and Dons tied for second place with 41 points apiece, with each team garnering a first place vote. Loyola Marymount University checked in at fourth with 28 points, just edging out the Zags, who received 25 points. Santa Clara University was tabbed for a sixth place finish with 19 points, while Saint Mary's College and the University of Portland were picked to finish seventh and eighth with 16 and eight points, respectively.
The Bulldogs return 16 lettermen, including five starters from last season's team that posted a 29-24 record, 9-12 in conference play. Headlining the returning letterwinners for GU are second-team All-WCC and All-WCC Freshman team selection Ryan Wiegand and second-team All-WCC honoree Darin Holcomb. Last season, Holcomb and Wiegand combined to drive in 102 runs for the Zags.
The preseason favorite Waves are coming off of the 2006 season with a 42-21 overall record en route to hosting a NCAA Regional for the first time in program history. Topping the list of returnees for Pepperdine is 2006 WCC Co-Pitcher of the Year Barry Enright. The junior has posted a perfect 13-0 record against conference foes during his two years in Malibu and will be joined on the 2007 squad by 2006 Freshman All-American relief pitcher Brett Hunter and preseason All-American shortstop Danny Worth.
The 2007 campaign also marks of the inaugural season at the Bulldog's new home facility, Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. The new facility will be ready for the Zags when their home schedule opens play in March.
2007 WCC Baseball Preseason Poll
1.Pepperdine - 47 (6)2.San Diego - 41 (1)San Francisco - 41 (1)4.Loyola Marymount - 285. GONZAGA - 356. Santa Clara - 197. Saint Mary's - 168. Portland - 8