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Baseball Jumps Into WCC Play

March 29, 2006

2006 Gonzaga Baseball Notes, March 29
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West Coast Conference Weekly Release
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FRIDAY - March 31
Gonzaga vs. Portland, 2 p.m.

SATURDAY - April 1
Gonzaga vs. Portland, 1 p.m.

SUNDAY - April 2
Gonzaga vs. Portland

TUESDAY - April 4
Gonzaga at Washington State, 6 p.m.


BULLDOGS ROLL INTO WCC PLAY: Gonzaga has won four straight games as the Bulldogs prepare to open West Coast Conference play at home this weekend against the University of Portland. The Bulldogs are in the midst of a seven game homestand in which they have won three games and been rained out in another. Following the home series with Portland, Gonzaga will play a midweek game at Washington State before hosting Santa Clara University on April 7-9. Gonzaga plays four WCC series at home this season and three on the road as the league no longer plays in a two-division format.

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 69-63 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.

MACHTOLF NAMED TO TEAM USA COACHING STAFF: Gonzaga head coach Mark Machtolf has been named an assistant coach for Team USA for the summer of 2006. Machtolf will serve as the hitting coach for USA Baseball as the team plays a full slate of games this summer ending with the III FISU World Baseball Championships in Havana, Cuba. Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin will serve as the head coach of Team USA while TCU head coach Jim Schlossnagle and Auburn head coach Tom Slater were also named assistant coaches.

Freshman Ryan Wiegand has been on a tear over the last 9 games with a .471 average and 16 RBI.

GAME TRACKER AVAILABLE AT HOME: Gonzaga baseball fans who can not make it out to Avista Stadium for a Bulldogs home game can follow all the action from a computer as all home games will have Game Tracker statistics available on the internet at www.GoZags.com

PORTLAND PILOTS (10-13, 0-0 WCC): Gonzaga opens West Coast Conference play against Northwest rival Portland. The Bulldogs lead the long standing series 95-58 including eight straight wins over the Pilots dating back to the 2003 season. The last Portland win in the series was a 4-3 win in 13 innings in Portland. Gonzaga had won the opener of that doubleheader 9-6 in 16 innings. Portland comes into the weekend winners of five straight with a non-conference game against George Fox University on Wednesday. Sean Nicol is the Pilots top hitter with a .397 average.

WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS (20-6, 2-1 Pac-10): Gonzaga and Washington State play the fourth game of seven schedule meetings this season on Tuesday night in Pullman. WSU has won two of three in the series but the Bulldogs won 7-0 in the previous meeting in Pullman on March 5. The Cougars are ranked 28th in this week's Collegiate Baseball poll after winning two of three games at Stanford University. Jay Miller is the Cougars top hitter with a .448 average and 20 doubles.

TWO ZAGS HITTING OVER .400: As the Bulldogs hit the halfway point of the 2006 season two players are currently hitting over .400 as Gonzaga prepares to enter West Coast Conference play. Senior outfielder Jackson Brennan and junior second baseman Scott Campbell are both hitting .402 following Tuesday's 6-1 win over Whitworth. Brennan is the top power hitter on the Bulldogs squad with 12 doubles, 4 triples and 7 home runs this season. Campbell was Gonzaga's top hitter last year hitting .332. Campbell also leads the team in hits with 45. Both players entered the week in the Top 5 in the WCC in batting average.

BRENNAN CLOSING ON SINGLE SEASON LISTS: Senior Jackson Brennan is having a break out season at the plate as he is closing in on two Gonzaga single season Top 10 lists as the Bulldogs hit the halfway point of the season. Brennan needs just one more triple to move into a four-way tie for seventh on the single season triples list. He will join Kevin Taylor (1999), John Munko (1990), George Miller (1981) and Chauncey Dunstan (1965) with one more triple. Brennan is also closing in on the single season Top 10 for doubles needing five more to join four players in 10th place. Brennan will join Nate Gold (2002), Barry Mathews (2000), George Miller (1981) and current Bulldogs teammate Bobby Carlson (2005) should he reach 17 doubles. The single-season leader for triples is Larry Patterson with 12 in 1977. The single season doubles leader is Jim Carnell with 25 in 1981.

CAMPBELL, BRENNAN HIT STREAKS: Part of the reason Jackson Brennan and Scott Campbell have been able to hover around the .400 mark all season is the ability to manufacture hits in almost every game. Campbell currently leads the team with a 12 game hit streak while Brennan is on a 10 game tear. Both players have collected at least one hit in 25 of 27 games this season. Campbell has 14 multi-hit games while Brennan has 12. Sophomore third baseman Darin Holcomb is the team leader with 16 multi-hit games.

FRESHMAN EXPLOSION: Freshman designated hitter Ryan Wiegand is putting together a solid opening campaign currently ranking fourth on the Bulldogs team with a .368 average. Wiegand has also displayed some power with 12 doubles and a home run over 27 games. In his last nine games Wiegand is hitting .471 with 16 RBI and 8 doubles. The Bulldogs are 6-3 in that span.

Senior lefty Patrick Donovan is 4-2 on the year with a 3.54 ERA.

PITCHING SHARP AT HOME: Gonzaga pitchers had adapted well to pitching at home as the Bulldogs staff has a 2.33 ERA during three home games this season. Gonzaga has allowed only seven earned runs during three games including three total runs in the last 18 innings. Bobby McEwen, Patrick Donovan and CJ McClure all picked up wins for the Bulldogs to start the three game home stand.

MORTENSEN STRONG IN LAST 3 GAMES: Over the last nine games right-hander Clayton Mortensen has been one of the best arms on the Bulldogs staff. The junior has worked a team-high 15 innings with two starts and three total appearances. He has an ERA of 1.80 with a 1-1 record as he suffered a 4-1 loss to Miami of Ohio at the Pepsi/Johnny Quik Classic in Fresno, Calif. For the season Mortensen is 4-4 with a 5.28 ERA while leading the team with 36 strike outs.

DONOVAN PUTS IN THE WORK: Senior lefty Patrick Donovan has moved into the first of several career Top 10 categories he may crack this season as the Bulldogs prepare for WCC play. Donovan moved into 10th place on the career innings pitched list with 262.1 career innings on the mound. The Spokane native is 4-2 on the year with a 3.54 ERA as he moved his career mark to 16-16. Donovan needs four more wins this season to crack the career Top 10. He also needs 20 more strike outs to move into the Top 10.

HOLCOMB CONTINUES TO DRIVE THEM IN: Sophomore Darin Holcomb continues to drive in runs at a blistering pace this season as he now has 38 RBI in the Bulldogs first 27 games. Holcomb needs 17 more RBI over the remainder of the season to crack the single-season Top 10 list. The single-season RBI mark is 76 set by Nate Gold in 2002. Jason Bay is the only other Gonzaga player to drive in more than 70 runs with 74 RBI in 1999. Holcomb has also been steady at the plate with a .348 average.

COLCLOUGH GETTING IT DONE BEHIND THE DISH: Junior Dustin Colclough looks to have won the job behind the plate for the Bulldogs as he is hitting .382 for Gonzaga since taking over the starting duties 12 games ago. He is 13-for-34 with two doubles and 9 RBI over that 12 game span.

BULLDOG BATS LEAD WCC: Gonzaga is once again among the top hitting teams in the country as the Bulldogs enter the weekend hitting .322. Only three WCC teams are hitting .300 or better with Santa Clara at .303 and San Diego at .300 joining the Bulldogs. GU also leads the WCC with 23 home runs and 200 RBI.

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.

BASEBALL EARLY SIGNEES: Gonzaga head coach Mark Machtolf signed three players during the fall early signing period. Signing National Letters of Intent were Bryan Barnes, Mark Ellis and Sebastian Herve. Barnes is a middle infielder at Mountlake Terrace High. Ellis is middle infielder at Archbishop Carney Regional Secondary School in British Columbia. Herve, a native of France, is an outfielder at Cochise CC in Arizona.