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Baseball Looks To Remain Perfect At Home

March 20, 2007

Spokane, Wash. -

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Game 25
Washington State at Gonzaga
Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field (1,500)
Spokane, Wash.
Tuesday, March 20, 3 p.m.
Series Record:
WSU leads 106-67

Game 26
Washington at Gonzaga
Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field (1,500)
Spokane, Wash.
Wednesday, March 21, 3 p.m.
Series Record:
UW leads 67-50

THIS WEEK: Gonzaga University will host in-state rivals Washington State University and the University of Washington in back-to-back mid-week games at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. The Bulldogs will host the Cougars Tuesday at 3 p.m., before hosting the Huskies Wednesday at 3 p.m. Both games were originally schedule for a 6:30 p.m. first pitch, but due to a delay in the installation of lights at the new home of Gonzaga baseball, the game times were changed.

LAST UP: Gonzaga University played its much anticipated first game at the new Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field last week with a three-game series against Rider University. The Bulldogs swept the three-game series with the Broncs. In the first game at the new ballpark, Josh Monroe earned his third win of the season with a 9-4 victory over Rider. Monroe pitched 6.0 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits while striking out six. Friday, Gonzaga jumped all over the Broncs early to capture the 13-3 victory. The game was highlighted with home runs by both Dustin Colclough and Aaron McGuinness. Saturday, the Zags captured the series sweep with a five-run eighth inning that lifted Gonzaga over Rider 9-4. Last week marked the first time in nearly three and half years that the Bulldogs played a game on Gonzaga's campus.

ON DECK: Gonzaga University will continue play at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field later this week with a three-game series against Utah Valley State College. Friday's game is scheduled for a 3 p.m. pitch, while Saturday and Sunday are slated for 1 p.m. Earlier this season, the Bulldogs played the Wolverines as part of the Banana Belt Tournament in Lewiston, Idaho, with Gonzaga prevailing over UVSC 6-5.

SCHEDULE NOTE, TIME CHANGES: Due the a delay in the installation of the lights at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field, the game time of six home games on the Gonzaga University baseball team's schedule have been changed. The games on March 20, March 21, March 23, March 27, March 30 and April 17 have been changed to a 3 p.m. first pitch. All six games were originally scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The games on April 20 and May 4, also scheduled for 6:30 p.m., will remain at the originally scheduled time. April 20 against Saint Mary's College will mark the first night game held at the new facility, as well as serve as the Dedication Game for Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field, with the dedication ceremonies occurring prior to first pitch.

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 was March 15 against Rider University. Dedication ceremonies will be held April 20 prior to the game against Saint Mary's College.

DEDICATION CEREMONIES: March 15th marked the first game at Gonzaga University's new baseball facility, Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. Although the game was the first game played at the new ballpark, special pre-game dedications ceremonies will not be held until April 20, when Gonzaga hosts Saint Mary's College. April 20 will also mark the first night game held at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field, with the game time scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

SCOUTING THE COUGARS: Washington State University travels to Spokane boasting a 12-7 overall record, including winning six of the last 10 games. As a team, the Cougars are batting .290 with 189 hits, including 59 extra base hits. Senior Jeff Miller has started all 19 games for WSU, batting .347 with a team-leading 26 hits and 14 runs batted in. On the mound, the Cougs have four pitchers with an earned run average below 3.00. Garrett Kimbrel leads the pitching staff with a 1.23 ERA in four  relief appearances. Washington State leads the all-time series with Gonzaga University 106-67. Last season, the Cougars led the season series 4-3, with the Bulldogs falling in the last game on May 16, 11-5.

SCOUTING THE HUSKIES: The University of Washington will play a game in Portland Tuesday before traveling to Spokane to take on Gonzaga University on Wednesday. The Huskies, who are looking to extend an eight game win-streak this week, have a 10-8 record, including a 0-4 record when on the road. Four regulars for UW are batting over .300, including Bradley Boyer who is maintaining a .345 average. All-time against the Bulldogs, UW holds a 67-50 advantage. Last season, Washington swept a three-game series from the Zags in Seattle. The Huskies have won eight straight over the Bulldogs. The last time UW played in Spokane was in 2001, with the Zags falling 11-6.

TICKETS TO PATTERSON BASEBALL COMPLEX AND WASHINGTON TRUST FIELD: The gates to Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field will open one hour prior to the scheduled game time. Tickets are available before the game at the two ticket booths at the new facility. The ticket booths are located at the northeast and southwest corners of the ballpark. Admission is five dollars for adults and three dollars for seniors and kids 12 and under.

TURN THREE, TWICE: During a meeting with Washington State University on April 4, 2006, the Gonzaga University baseball team turned a pair of triple-plays in back-to-back innings, setting a NCAA record. During the second inning of the game, WSU's Jim Murphy singled down the right line, before advancing to second on a single through the left side by Simi Reynolds. With runners on second and first, Zach Franklin lined out to Gonzaga's Bobby Carlson at first base, who stepped on the bag for the second out before firing a throw to Aaron McGuinness to complete the first triple play. The next inning, the Cougars again had runners on first and second when the Bulldogs duplicated the feat - Jay Miller lining to Carlson who stepped on the bag and again threw to McGuinness to complete the triple play. The feat was featured that evening on ESPN's Sportscenter's Top 10 plays.

WINSTON A TOP CONFERENCE RANKINGS: Gonzaga University junior Bryan Winston will look to extend his current nine-game hitting streak this week when the Bulldogs resume play. Winston, who has started eight games during the streak, is currently leading the West Coast Conference with a .439 average. In the past nine games, the right fielder  has hit at a .556 clip with 12 runs scored, 20 hits including five doubles and a home run, and has drove home eight runs. Winston also ranks tops in the WCC with a .596 slugging percentage and fifth with a .476 on base percentage.

COLCLOUGH CONTINUES HOT HITTING: Catcher Dustin Colclough continued his hot hitting last weekend against Rider University. For the past 10 games, the senior is batting .429 with 18 hits, nine runs scored and 10 runs batted in. Of his 18 hits, he has hit four doubles and three home runs, including two homers in back-to-back games this past weekend. Colclough earned the distinction of hitting the first home run at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field Thursday, with a solo shot to left center in the third inning. Friday, he went yard for the second straight day with a three-run shot. For the season, Colclough is batting .342 placing him tied for 14th in the West Coast Conference.

BURSTING INTO THE TOP TEN: With his four strikeouts in Friday's victory over Rider University, Gonzaga University pitcher Brandon Harmon has earned a spot on the Bulldog all-time strikeout leaders list. The junior, who has posted 24 K's this season, has posted 189 strikeouts to date and is currently tied for tenth on the all-time list. Harmon is currently tied with former Zag Tom Gorman, who donned a Gonzaga uniform from 1977-80. Harmon is now one K short of tying Eric Dworkis for ninth place on the list with 190. Billy Walker holds the school career record with 332 K's during the 1987-90 seasons. Harmon is also three appearances shy of ranking in the top-10 for all-time appearances. Currently, Harmon has made 56 career appearances. Harmon already holds a stop in the career record books. He is ranked fifth all-time with eight career saves.

RHODES STEALS GONZAGA RECORD: Michael Rhodes stole a Gonzaga University record on March 8, literally. In the 11-5 win over Brigham Young University the junior transfer stole three bases, setting a program record for stolen bases in a game. Rhodes stole third twice in the game, once in the fifth inning and once in the eighth frame. He also stole second in the sixth inning. For the season, Rhodes leads the Zags with eight stolen bases out of nine attempts. Overall, Gonzaga has stolen 17 bases this season.

NEWCOMERS MAKE STRONG IMPACT: Six position players and one pitcher that are newcomers to this season's Gonzaga University baseball team have seen time in the starting lineups. Freshmen Mark Castellitto and Mark Ellis, as well as transfers Evan Wells, Micahel Rhodes, Ben Greenslitt, Bryan Winston and Chris Highmark have earned starts for the Zags. At the plate, the newcomers have combined for over a third of the Zags' runs scored (59 - 44.3%), hits (100 - 43.1%), doubles (21 - 41.1%), triples (2 - 50.0%), and runs batted in (42 - 35.8%). They have also combined to steal 14 of Gonzaga's 24 stolen bases. As a whole, the newcomers are batting at a .276 clip. Winston leads all newcomers with a .439 average. Highmark marks the lone newcomer to earn a start on the mound. The Brigham Young University transfer has posted a 2-4 record in six starts. Jeremy Stumetz and Chris Griffith, both freshmen on the squad, have also seen time on the mound.

HURLERS RECORDING STRIKEOUTS AT QUICK PACE: Entering the 2007 season, no Gonzaga University pitcher had struck out 10 or more batters in a single game since 2003. To date this season, a Bulldog hurler has struck out 10 or more in a single outing three times. Clayton Mortensen leads the way with two games in which he has fanned ten or more. On Feb. 11, the senior struck out a career-high 11 in a 3-2 win over UC Riverside. His outing that afternoon marked the first time since 2003 a Bulldog pitcher has accomplished the feat. Mortensen repeated the accomplishment on Feb. 25 when the right hander fanned 10 batters in 6.1 innings in a 8-7 victory over Missouri State University. Chris Highmark also hit the 10+ K's mark with ten punch outs against Southern Utah University on March 3. The Gonzaga pitching staff is recording, on average, 6.75 strikeouts a game.

LONG ROAD SWING: The Gonzaga University baseball team returned last week from a 21-consecutive road swing. Over the first month and a half of the season, the Bulldogs visited five states, including two trips to Arizona. Besides Arizona, GU traveled to California, Texas, Idaho and Utah, totaling nearly 10,500 miles. During the stint, the Zags posted an 11-10 record.

ROOKIES 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.

BULLDOGS EARN TWO STRAIGHT TOURNAMENT TITLES: Gonzaga University earned its second straight tournament title this season after posting a 4-0 record at the Banana Belt Tournament in Lewiston, Idaho. Previously this season, Gonzaga won the Southwest Diamond Classic after posting a 2-1 record in Frisco, Texas. Two other teams, the University of Houston and Missouri State University both posted 2-1 records at the event, but the Zags were awarded the title based on run differential. The two titles marks the second consecutive season that Gonzaga has earned two tournament titles. Last season, Gonzaga was crowned the champions of both the Texas Pan American Tournament as well as the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic.

FOUR ZAGS NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAMS: Mark Castellitto, Brandon Harmon, Shawn Wayt and Aaron McGuinness of the Gonzaga University baseball team, have all been named to all-tournament teams this season. Castellitto and Harmon were bestowed with the honor at the Southwest Diamond Classic, while Wayt and McGuinness were honored at the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic. Castellitto finished the Southwest Diamond Classic going 6-for-11 (.545) with two runs scored and six RBI. At the same event, Harmon threw a complete game on Feb. 23 in a loss to University of Texas San Antonio. McGuinness and Wayt earned all-tournament accolades after combining to lift the Zags over then-No. 9 Oregon state Unviersity 6-5 on Feb. 19. Wayt went 2-for-4 with two run-scoring singles and three runs batted in, while McGuinness drove home the game winning run in the top of the ninth inning.

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.

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.

LIVE ON THE RADIO: Once West Coast Conference play begins, Gonzaga University baseball games can be heard on 1510 KGA in the Spokane area. Calling games for the Bulldogs will be Tom Hudson.

BULLDOG BASEBALL ON TELEVISION: Six Gonzaga baseball games will be aired on GUTV this season. The three-game series against West Coast Conference foe University of San Diego (March 30 - April 1), as well as the Saint Mary's College three-game set (April 20 - 22) will be featured by the station.

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, replacing 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.

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.