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Zags Travel To Lone Star State

Feb. 21, 2007

SPOKANE, Wash. - -

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Games 10-12
Southwest Diamond Classic
(Arlington, Texas)
Gonzaga vs. Texas - Arlington
Thursday, Feb. 22, 1 p.m. PST
Gonzaga vs. Texas - San Antonio
Friday, Feb. 23, 9 a.m. PST
Gonzaga vs. Dallas Baptist
Saturday, Feb. 24, 5 p.m. PST
Game 13
Gonzaga vs. Missouri State (at Arlington, Texas)
Sunday, Feb. 25, 10 a.m. PST

THIS WEEKEND: The Gonzaga University baseball team will continue with tournament play this weekend by participating in the Southwest Diamond Classic in Arlington, Texas. The Zags will face the University of Texas-Arlington Thursday at 1 p.m., PST and University of Texas-San Antonio Friday at 9 a.m., PST. Gonzaga will wrap up the tournament against host Dallas Baptist University Saturday evening at 5 p.m. Sunday, Gonzaga will play Missouri State University in a non-conference game that is not affiliated with the tournament. That game will be held on the campus of Texas-Arlington with first pitch at 10 a.m., PST. All four games this weekend will be new opponents for Gonzaga, as the Bulldogs have never faced any of the teams in program history.

LAST WEEKEND: Last weekend, the Gonzaga University baseball team defended its 2006 Coca-Cola Spring Training Tournament title in Surprise, Ariz. posting a 1-2 record during the three-day event. Friday, the Bulldogs upset defending national champion and then-No. 9 Oregon State University 6-5, handing the Beavers their first loss of the season. Saturday, Gonzaga fell to University of Missouri 10-2 before falling 9-3 to then-No. 11 Arizona State University on Sunday. The Zags' Aaron McGuinness and Shawn Wayt were named to the all-tournament team.

ON DECK: Next weekend, March 1-4, Gonzaga University will participate in the Banana Belt Tournament in Lewiston, Idaho. The Zags will face the Air Force Academy, Utah Valley State College, Southern Utah University and Lewis-Clark State College as part of the four-day tournament. Last season in Lewiston, Gonzaga went 2-1, posting wins over Chicago State University and Washington State University.

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 MAVS: The University of Texas Arlington enters the Southwest Diamond Classic with a 3-5 record. The Mavericks are coming of a 9-5 loss to No. 24 Texas A&M. The Mavericks are led by infielder Kyle Rudy. Rudy is boasting a .379 average with 11 hits, including one home run, three runs scored and four runs batted in. On the mound, UTA is led by righthander Chris Taylor. In  three appearances, two starts, he has a 1.26 earned run average with 12 strikeouts. Thursday's game marks the first game between Gonzaga University and UTA.

SCOUTING THE ROADRUNNERS: The University of Texas-San Antonio travels to Arlington this weekend with an 0-5 record. Tuesday, the Road Runners fell to Baylor University 9-1 in Waco, Texas. Michael Rockett leads UTSA batters with a .333 average with seven hits, including a double, one run scored and two runs batted in. Bradley Chovanec leads the UTSA pitching staff with a 3.00 earned run average with an 0-1 record. Friday's game between the Road Runners and Gonzaga University marks the first all-time meeting between the two programs.

SCOUTING THE PATRIOTS: Dallas Baptist Univeristy, the host of this weekend's tournament, boasts a 4-3 overall record, including a 7-1 loss to No. 6 Rice University Tuesday. Austin Knight is leading DBU at the plate with a .385 average including 10 hits, three doubles, five runs and five runs batted in. On the mound, Victor Black is boasting a 1.29 earned run average in four relief appearances. Black, who has a 1-0 record, has struck out 15 batters over 14.0 innings. Saturday's meeting between the Patriots and Gonzaga University will be the first in the all-time series.

SCOUTING THE BEARS: Missouri State University will open the 2007 season this weekend. Last season, the Bears posted a 33-22 record, including going 15-8 in the Missouri Valley Conference. Clay Coulter leads returning Bears with a .380 average, with 35 hits and 25 runs batted in during 2006. Missouri State also returns pitcher Brett Sinkbeil, who posted a 5-1 record with a 2.45 earned run average last season. Sunday's game against Gonzaga University mark's the first in the all-time series. The game between the two schools Sunday is not part of the classic this weekend.

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 Gonzaga University baseball, the Bulldogs will continue to take batting practice at the new facility. Work is being finalized in the Gonzaga clubhouse, where last week the installation of lockers was completed. Installation of equipment in the training room will also continue. Construction crews are also continuing the placement of rails behind the seating areas and painting the handrails throughout the seating area.

WAYT AND MCGUINNESS NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM: Gonzaga University senior Aaron McGuinness and junior Shawn Wayt were both named to the 2007 Coca-Cola Spring Training Tournament all-tournament team. Both McGuinness and Wayt combined to lift the Zags over then-No. 9 Oregon State University 6-5 Friday afternoon. Wayt went 2-for-4 with two-run scoring singles to drive home three runs. McGuinness drove home the game winning run against the Beavers in the top of the ninth inning with a single up the middle. Earlier in the game, McGuinness also drove home Gonzaga's first run of the game with a sacrifice fly.

WIEGAND GOES DEEP AGAINST ARIZONA STATE: Ryan Wiegand unleashed the first home run of the season for Gonzaga University Sunday in a 9-3 loss to then-No. 11 Arizona State University. With two outs in the seventh inning, Wiegand hit a shot to right field. The sophomore finished the 2006 Coca-Cola Spring Training Tournament with two hits, including his long ball. His other hit was a single up the middle during the eighth inning against Oregon State University.

MORTENSEN EARNS NATIONAL AND CONFERENCE RECOGNITION: Clayton Mortensen lifted Gonzaga University to its first win of the season on Feb. 11, 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 for the week of Feb. 12 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.

TOURNAMENT PLAY SINCE 1990: Since the 1990 season, the Gonzaga University baseball team holds a 72-61-2 record when playing in tournaments. Last season, the Zags participated in four tournaments, compiling a 11-5 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.