Feb. 14, 2007
SPOKANE, Wash. - -
THIS WEEKEND: The Gonzaga University baseball team will defend its 2006 Coca-Cola Spring Training Tournament title when it competes in the three-day event in Surprise, Ariz. The Zags will face three tough opponents at the tournament. Friday, the Bulldogs will face defending national champion No. 9 Oregon State University at 2 p.m. PST. Saturday, Gonzaga will play the University of Missouri with the game time set for 10 a.m. PST. Rounding out the weekend will be a 1 p.m. PST game on Sunday against No. 11 Arizona State University.
LAST WEEKEND: Last weekend Gonzaga University faced now-ranked No. 29 UC Riverside. The Bulldogs earned their first win of the season Sunday, avoiding a three-game sweep to the Highlanders. Clayton Mortensen earned the win Sunday, throwing his first career complete game. The senior allowed two runs on six hits while striking out a career-high 11, and held UC Riverside hitless until the fifth inning. In the opening game on Friday, Gonzaga jumped out to an early 3-0 lead in the first inning, but eventually fell 9-3. Saturday, errors proved costly when the Highlanders scored four unearned runs on four Bulldog errors en route to an 11-4 UC Riverside victory.
ON DECK: Next weekend, Feb. 22-25, the Gonzaga University baseball team will continue with tournament play by participating in the Dallas Baptist University Tournament in Arlington, Texas. The Zags will face the University of Texas-Arlington, University of Texas-San Antonio and Dallas Baptist as part of the tournament on Thursday through Saturday. Sunday, Gonzaga will play Missouri State in a non-conference game that is not affiliated with the tournament. That game will be held on the campus of Texas-Arlington.
PATTERSON BASEBALL COMPLEX AND WASHINGTON TRUST FIELD: This season the Zags will call the Gonzaga University campus home for the first time in nearly three and a half years. The 2007 season marks the inaugural year of play at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. The new home of Bulldog baseball is a state-of-the-art facility that also incorporates an old-time baseball feel. The new stadium includes 1,300 theater-style seats and includes classic brick detailing. Major League amenities include a state-of-the-art infield, a professional candle lighting system and authentic home and visitor dugouts with underground passages to full-service clubhouses. The first game at the new facility is scheduled for March 15 against Rider University. Dedication ceremonies will be held April 20 prior to the game against Saint Mary's College.
SCOUTING THE BEAVERS: The Beavers head into the weekend with a flawless 7-0 record, including a series sweep over the University of Georgia last weekend in Athens, Ga. The defending national champions are currently ranked as high as No. 9 in the national polls and are led by juniors Mitch Canham and Darwin Barney. Canham, a 2007 Preseason All-American, leads Beaver batters with a .550 average, eight runs batted in and nine runs scored. Barney, who is hitting .308, was a member of Team USA during the summer of 2006. The Oregon State pitching staff is anchored by starter Joe Paterson. Paterson has a 0.82 earned run average in 11.0 innings in two starts this season. Oregon State leads the all-time series against Gonzaga University 55-30. In the last meeting between the progams, GU was victorious 6-5 as part pf the 2006 Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic.
SCOUTING THE TIGERS: The University of Missouri opened the 2006 campaign last weekend with a three-game sweep over Florida International University. Leading the Tigers in the opening three games was catcher Dan Pietroburgo. Pietroburgo finished the weekend going 6-for-10 with three runs scored and one run batted in. Last season Mizzou captured its first NCAA Regional Championship in program history. Missouri was on the brink of elimination after dropping its first game of the Malibu Regional before winning four straight games to advance to the Super Regionals. Currently, the Tigers are receiving votes in the NCBWA poll. This weekend marks the first meeting between Gonzaga University and Missouri.
SCOUTING THE SUN DEVILS: Arizona State University, who is ranked as high as No. 11 in this week's polls, enters the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic with a 5-1 record. Last weekend the Sun Devils posted a 2-1 record while playing in the Houston College Classic, hosted by the Houston Astros. Arizona State landed six Sun Devils on the All-Tournament team, including Pacific-10 Conference Pitcher of the Week, Josh Satow. Satow threw a complete game against the University of Houston on Sunday. ASU currently has six starters batting over .400, including Matt Spencer, who is hitting .619. The Sun Devils hold the 10-2 all-time advantage over Gonzaga University, with the last meeting in favor of the Bulldogs, 9-1, during the 2006 Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic.
LONG ROAD SWING: The Gonzaga University baseball team will continue with its 22 consecutive road games this weekend. Over the first month and a half of the season, the Bulldogs will travel to five states, including two trips to Arizona. Besides Arizona, GU will travel to California, Texas, Idaho and Utah, totaling nearly 10,500 miles. Following the road games, the Zags will return home for a 12-game home stand before embarking on the road, once again.
THIS WEEK AT PATTERSON BASEBALL COMPLEX AND WASHINGTON TRUST FIELD: This week at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field, the new home of Gonzagas University baseball, the Bulldogs took batting practice on the field for the first time on Tuesday. Work is being completed in the Gonzaga clubhouse, where last week the installation of a Bulldog laser cut logo and carpet was finished. Construction crews are also continuing the placement of handrails in the seating areas and will also continue to install equipment in the training room throughout the week.
2006 COCA-COLA SPRING TRAINING CLASSIC: The Gonzaga University baseball teams returns to the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic this year to defend its title that it won during the 2006 campaign. Last season at the tournament, Gonzaga defeated then-No. 10 Arizona State University (9-1), University of Nevada (11-5) and then-No. 2 Oregon State University (6-5) en route to the tournament title.
MORTENSEN EARNS NATIONAL AND CONFERENCE RECOGNITION: Clayton Mortensen lifted Gonzaga University to its first win of the season on Sunday, as the senior earned the decision in a 3-2 win over UC Riverside. For his efforts, the junior was named West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week and was also named to the College Baseball Foundation National Honor Roll. Mortensen tossed a complete game, allowing just one earned run on six hits and three walks, while striking out a career-high 11 Highlander batters. Mortensen held UC Riverside hitless through five innings, and scoreless through seven frames during the outing, and became the first Bulldog since 2003 to fan 10 or more batters in a single game.
WIEGAND COLLECTS HALF A DOZEN: Ryan Wiegand led Gonzaga University at the plate last week against UC Riverside, going 6-for-13 with six runs batted in and a run scored. The sophomore, who scored the eventual winning run on Sunday, brings a five-game hit streak into tournament play this weekend.
MCGUINNESS CONTINUES STRONG START: Aaron McGuinness continued his hot start last weekend, going 5-for-11 against UC Riverside. In addition to his five hits, the senior scored three runs and drove home one. In the opening game against the Highlanders, McGuinness went a perfect 2-for-2 while also collecting a sacrifice hit. The shortstop enters the week batting at a .500 clip, going 10-for-20 for the season.
TOURNAMENT PLAY SINCE 1990: Since the 1990 season, the Gonzaga University baseball team holds a 72-59-2 record when playing in tournaments. Last season, the Zags participated in four tournaments, compiling a 12-5 record in which they earned tournament titles at both the Texas Pan American Tournament and the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic.
PROGRAM FIELDING RECORD BROKE, AGAIN: For the second year in row, the Gonzaga University set a school record for fielding percentage. The Zags' .976 fielding percentage ranked seventh in the country last season, and first in the West Coast Conference. Gonzaga also ranked 84th in Division I with 0.91 double plays per game. The Bulldogs committed only 49 errors in 2,018 chances in 2006.
HEAD COACH Mark Machtolf: Mark Machtolf enters his fourth season as the head coach of the Gonzaga University baseball team and 15th year as a member of the Bulldog coaching staff. Machtolf was handed the head coaching reigns on August 7, 2003, following an 11-year stint as an assistant coach. He replaced former head coach Steve Hertz, who moved into an administrative position in the Gonzaga Athletic Department. Machtolf has posted an 81-77 record at Gonzaga, including a 40-38 mark in West Coast Conference play. During his first three seasons he has led the Bulldogs to three top-five finishes and produced the WCC Player of the Year in 2004, former Zag Kiel Thibault. During the summer of 2006, Machtolf served as an assistant coach for Team USA. Under his guidance, the Zags posted a 28-2-1 record, including going a perfect at the Federation Internationale du Sport Universitaire (FISU) World Championships in Havanna, Cuba. A 1987 graduate of Stanford University, Machtolf was a member of the Cardinal's 1987 College World Series championship team and was an All-CWS selection.
NEWCOMERS LEAD CANADA TO BRONZE: Mark Ellis and Cory Hall, a pair of freshman on the Gonzaga University baseball team, helped lead the Canadian Junior National team to a bronze medal last summer at the 2006 World Junior AAA Championships in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba. Hall pitched seven innings of relief allowing two runs on eight hits while posting five strikeouts earning a 6-2 win over Mexico for third place. For the tournament, Hall posted a 3-1 recording with a 1.13 earned run average and 15 strikeouts. Ellis, Canada's starting third baseman, posted a .207 average with one double and two runs batted in. The bronze medal was Canada's fifth-ever medal at the World Junior AAA Championships and it's first medal since 1997.
LIVE ON THE INTERNET: All Gonzaga University home games will be available via Gametracker on the internet at http://www.gozags.com. Check the Gonzaga web site for all Gametracker links.
TRIO NAMED TO WCC 40th ANIVERSITY TEAM: Three former Gonzaga University baseball standouts were named to the West Coast Conference/Rawlings 40th Anniversary Baseball Team. Former Bulldogs Jason Bay, Nate Gold and Barry Matthews were named to the ceremonial team that consists of 40 of the top players that have graced WCC baseball diamonds over the past four decades. Bay, the 2004 National League Rookie of the Year, compiled a .374 career average with 125 runs, 152 hits, 24 doubles, 35 home runs and 121 runs batted in as a Bulldog. Gold, the WCC single-season home run champion, hit a league-record and NCAA leading 33 long balls in the 2002 season. The 2002 WCC Player of the Year posted a .307 career average with 147 hits, 95 runs, 46 home runs and 124 RBI. Matthews was one of the top two-way players in Gonzaga history. At the plate, Matthews compiled a .332 career average with 144 runs, 207 hits, 29 home runs and 130 RBI. On the mound, he posted a 21-12 career record, registering a 5.01 earned run average with 11 complete games, 284 innings pitched and 215 strikeouts.
ZAGS PICKED TO FINISH FIFTH: 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, 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.