March 20, 2006
FRIDAY - March 24
Gonzaga vs. Dartmouth, 2 p.m.
SATURDAY - March 25
Gonzaga vs. Dartmouth, Noon
SUNDAY - March 26
Gonzaga vs. Dartmouth, 11 a.m.
TUESDAY - March 28
Gonzaga vs. Whitworth, 3 p.m.
2006 GONZAGA BULLDOGS RECORD: 14-10, 0-0 WCC
GONZAGA FINALLY RETURN HOME: Gonzaga will play its next seven games at home after the Bulldogs spent the first 24 games of the season on the road. Gonzaga was scheduled to host Chicago State on March 10-11, but moved the two games to Lewiston, Ida., due to some late winter weather in Spokane. The Bulldogs will now play their home opener this Friday afternoon against Dartmouth College of the Ivy League. After a three-game set with Dartmouth, Gonzaga hosts Whitworth College on Tuesday and the University of Portland on March 31-April 2. The series with the Pilots will the be West Coast Conference opening series for the Bulldogs.
HEAD COACH Mark Machtolf: Mark Machtolf enters his third season as the Bulldogs head coach and 14th year as a member of the Gonzaga baseball staff. Following an 11-year stint as an assistant coach, Machtolf was handed the head coaching reigns on August 7, 2003 when former head coach Steve Hertz moved into an administrative position with the GU athletic department. Machtolf has posted a 66-63 record at Gonzaga including a 31-26 mark in West Coast Conference games. During his first two years he led the Bulldogs to consecutive third place finishes in the WCC Coast Division and produced the WCC Player of the Year in 2004. A 1987 graduate of Stanford University, Machtolf was a member of Stanford's 1987 College World Series championship team and was an All-CWS selection.
WIEGAND NAMED TO PEPSI/JOHNNY QUIK TEAM: Freshman designated hitter Ryan Wiegand was named to the All-Tournament team at the Pepsi/Johnny Quik Classic after the Bulldogs finished tournament play with a 3-3 record. Wiegand was the only Gonzaga player to earn All-Tournament recognition. The freshman from San Diego hit .400 going 8-for-20 with three doubles and seven RBI during the week. During the middle of the week Wiegand had his best two performances driving in four runs during a 12-2 victory over Bucknell on Wednesday. He followed that with a 3-for-5 day against Lafayette driving in two runs as Gonzaga pulled out a 6-3 win.
DARTMOUTH BIG GREEN (1-5, 0-0 Ivy): Gonzaga hosts Dartmouth College this weekend as the Bulldogs finally return home after 24 games on the road. Gonzaga and Dartmouth have met one previous time with Gonzaga winning that match-up. Dartmouth is currently on an extended swing of the West Coast playing at Cal State Northridge and Cal Poly prior to heading to Spokane. The Big Green went 1-2 over the weekend against WCC member Pepperdine. Will Bashelor is Dartmouth's top hitter early in the year with a .391 average and 6 RBI.
WHITWORTH PIRATES (8-10, 5-4 NWC): Gonzaga hosts Whitworth College on Tuesday following the Dartmouth series as the schools play for the first time since the 2003 season when GU captured both games in the series. Whitworth is led by Ryne Webb with a .329 average and a team-high 12 RBI. Van Lierman is also hitting .321 for the Pirates.
CARLSON CRACKS THE TOP 10: Gonzaga senior first baseman Bobby Carlson has cracked the career Top 10 for doubles as he is now tied with Bill Hainline for 10th on the career list with 37. Carlson has 5 two-baggers this season and is hitting .292 with 20 RBI. Carlson needs four more doubles to climb up to the next spot on the Top 10.
HOLCOMB AN RBI MACHINE: Sophomore Darin Holcomb is definitely avoiding the sophomore slump as the third baseman has turned into one of the top run producers in the West Coast Conference. Holcomb has driven in 31 runs this season including a school record 10 RBI earlier this year against Chicago State. Holcomb is hitting .327 on the year with seven doubles and four home runs. He hit two grand slams in one game against Chicago State in the same game. Holcomb has also been solid on defense making only four errors in 24 games so far this season. Last year Holcomb drove in a total of 31 runs for the season playing 52 games with a .313 average and second team All-WCC honors.
MORTENSEN EATS UP THE INNINGS: Junior right-hander Clayton Mortensen has chewed up the innings on the mound for the Bulldogs over the last 10 days. The junior college transfer pitched in three games as Gonzaga played eight games in nine days against Chicago State and in the Pepsi/Johnny Quik Classic. Mortensen picked up a decision in all three appearances going 2-1 on the week to improve to 4-4 on the year. He tossed three innings out of the bullpen against Chicago State before getting the start against Miami of Ohio three days later. Mortensen allowed only three runs over seven innings the RedHawks to become the hard luck loser. He rebounded with five shut out innings against Binghamton on Saturday allowing only one hit. In his last three outings Mortensen has a 1.80 ERA. He has tossed 41.1 innings for the year with a 5.66 ERA overall. He currently leads the team with 33 strike outs.
CAMPBELL BOUNCES BACK: After watching his 14 game hitting streak end earlier this season at the University of Washington, junior second baseman Scott Campbell has bounced back hitting with a vengeance. Campbell has hit safely in 12 of the Bulldogs last 13 games including a current nine game hitting streak. He is hitting .426 over that span with two four-hit games. He raised his season batting average to as high as .410 over that 13 game span and is now leading the Bulldogs with a .394 average.
COLCLOUGH CATCHING IT WELL: Junior Dustin Colclough has been solid behind the plate for the Bulldogs since taking over the starting job from freshman Tyson Van Winkle. Colclough is hitting .375 for the Bulldogs in nine games with eight starts. He has also driven in seven runs. Gonzaga has used four different catchers behind the plate at some point during the first 24 games as they continue to try to fill the void left by Kiel Thibault, the 2004 WCC Player of the Year who was drafted by Kansas City Royals following his junior campaign in 2005.
BRENNAN SOLID ACROSS THE BOARD: Senior Jackson Brennan is having his best season to date in a Bulldogs uniform through the first 24 games of the year. He ranks second on the team with a .366 average and 22 RBI while leading the team with 8 doubles, 4 triples and 5 home runs. He is currently on a seven game hit streak after having his 11 game streak stopped earlier this year. He has also swiped four bases and been perfect in the field on 50 attempts. Brennan has always shown flashes of this type of potential but has been limited by injuries most of his GU career. Last year he played in 30 games hitting .302 with seven doubles and 12 RBI.
POWELL GETS FIRST SAVE: After losing a save to his credit due to an NCAA ruling involving competition against NAIA schools, sophomore closer Cory Powell finally collected his first save during action at the Pepsi/Johnny Quik Classic. Powell tossed one scoreless inning during Thursday's win over Lafayette as the Bulldogs held on for a 6-3 win. Powell has made five appearances this season allowing only two his and one unearned run in 4.2 innings of work. He and Brandon Harmon are the only two Zags pitchers not to have allowed an unearned run this season.
BRYANT SOLID IN THE WIN: Josh Bryant also worked the Lafayette game for the Bulldogs coming in for three shutout innings of relief as he picked up his first win of the year. Bryant scattered four hits with one strike out against Leopards batters.
TWO GAMES DONE IN SEVEN: Gonzaga picked up a pair of 10-run rule wins at the Pepsi/Johnny Quik as the Bulldogs defeated Bucknell and Binghamton by 10 or more runs. Both games were called after seven innings based on tournament rules giving Gonzaga three wins in seven innings this year based on tournament rules. Gonzaga also defeated Northern Colorado earlier this season, 12-5, in a game called due to time limits.
BASEBALL STADIUM APPROVED: Gonzaga University's Board of Trustees recently approved the construction of Gonzaga's new on-campus baseball stadium. Early stages of the construction will begin in the upcoming weeks with the field ready for practice in the Fall of 2006 and home games scheduled to be played on the GU campus in 2007. Gonzaga has not played an on-campus game since April of 2003 when August/A.R.T. Stadium became the site for the current McCarthey Athletic Center.