Jan. 19, 2007
SPOKANE, Wash. - A new home and six opponents who participated in the 2006 NCAA Tournament - including defending national champion Oregon State University - highlight the 2007 Gonzaga University baseball schedule announced by head coach Mark Machtolf.
The Bulldogs will open the home season March 15 against Rider University in the new Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field located on the south end of campus. The Bulldogs will host dedication ceremonies for the new complex on April 20 prior to the start of a three-game series against West Coast Conference foe Saint Mary's College.
The Bulldogs' schedule has 18 regular-season home games at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. Gonzaga has played off campus the last three seasons as the McCarthey Athletic Center, home for Bulldog basketball, was constructed on the site of August/ART Stadium, the former home of Zags baseball.
"We are excited about this season for a lot of reasons. We have a beautiful new place to play, and it will be good to get back on campus," Machtolf said. "We appreciate the Community Colleges of Spokane and the Spokane Indians for making their fields available to us during the interim, but there is no place like home.
"Our schedule is one of the toughest ever. We are going to see some quality competition that will make us better, prepare us for the West Coast Conference season and also show us how we stack up nationally. There is great anticipation in our program surrounding this season. We can't wait to get it started."
The Zags will open the season playing seven of their first 10 games against opponents that were either post-season teams last season or who are currently ranked in the 2007 pre-season. Gonzaga will open the 2007 campaign on Feb. 2 with a three game series at the University of Arizona, the Wildcats currently ranked as high as No. 27 in pre-season polls.
Following a three-game stint at UC Riverside, Gonzaga will defend its title at the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic in Surprise, Ariz., Feb. 16-18. The Zags will open against defending national champion OSU, followed by games against the University of Missouri and Arizona State University, both of which advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season. The Sun Devils' season ended in the Regionals, while Missouri fell in the Super Regionals.
Gonzaga will compete in two other tournaments this season. On Feb. 22 the Bulldogs will partake in the Dallas Baptist University Tournament in Frisco, Texas where they will face University of Texas-Arlington, a NCAA Regional team last season, in the opening game of the tournament. Also competing in the tournament are University of Texas San-Antonio, Dallas Baptist and Missouri State University. The following weekend, March 1-4, GU will travel to Lewiston, Idaho, for the Banana Belt Tournament where it will face the Air Force Academy, Utah Valley State College, Southern Utah University and Lewis-Clark State College.
The Zags will spend a week in Utah for spring break playing three games against Brigham Young University and a pair at the University of Utah before returning to Spokane to open their home campaign.
This season Gonzaga will welcome WCC foes University of San Diego, who played in the NCAA post-season, Saint Mary's and Loyola Marymount University as well as regional foes Washington State University and University of Washington to its new home. GU will also host Rider and Utah Valley State, each for a three-game series at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field.
The Zags will face a tough road conference schedule, having to travel to face both 2006 regular season WCC co-champions, Pepperdine University and the University of San Francisco, both of which participated in the NCAA Tournament. The Zags will also travel to the University of Portland and Santa Clara University.
With the exception of the Rider series on March 15-17, all the weekday home games have been scheduled for a 6:30 p.m. start time. These start times are subject to change and contingent on the completion of the installation of lights at the Zags' new facility.
Gonzaga finished the 2006 season with a 29-24 record, including finishing the season tied for fifth in the WCC with a 9-12 record.