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Baseball Looks To Build On Eight Game Streak

April 5, 2006

2006 Gonzaga Baseball Release - April 5
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West Coast Conference Weekly Release
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FRIDAY - April 7
Gonzaga vs. Santa Clara, 3 p.m.

SATURDAY - April 8
Gonzaga vs. Santa Clara, 1 p.m.

SUNDAY - April 9
Gonzaga vs. Santa Clara, 1 p.m.

NEXT WEEK: April 14-15 at Saint Mary's


ZAGS LOOK TO BUILD ON EIGHT GAME STREAK: Gonzaga enters the second week of the West Coast Conference baseball season playing some of the best baseball in the country. The Bulldogs have won eight straight games and 14 of their last 17 dating back to March 3. Gonzaga swept the University of Portland last weekend to open league play and enters the second week of WCC action with a one-game lead in the standings. The Bulldogs host Santa Clara this weekend looking to stay undefeated at Avista Stadium. GU is currently 6-0 at home this year. Santa Clara lost two of three to San Francisco last week to open WCC play.

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 73-63 record at Gonzaga including a 34-26 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.

TRIPLE PLAY TURNED TWICE: Turning a triple play is a rare feat in baseball, but to turn two in one game is even more rare. Gonzaga accomplished just that during its Tuesday night win against Washington State. With runners on first and second and no outs, WSU lined out to Gonzaga first baseman Bobby Carlson who then stepped on the bag and tossed the ball over the Aaron McGuinness to step on second base. The same situation presented itself in the next frame as WSU again placed runners on first and second with no outs. Another line drive was hit to Carlson who stepped on first and tossed over the McGuinness at second to end the inning with back-to-back triple plays. Gonzaga is currently checking with the NCAA to see if this is the first time this has been accomplished in an NCAA game. Research done on various Major League sites shows that the feat has only been accomplished once in a Major League game when the Minnesota Twins turned two triple plays against the Boston Red Sox on July 17, 1990 to end the fourth and eighth innings.

Patrick Donovan has helped the Bulldogs staff a 3.53 ERA since March 3rd.

SANTA CLARA BRONCOS (17-13, 1-2 WCC): Gonzaga remains at home for the second week of West Coast Conference baseball as the Bulldogs host Santa Clara this weekend. The Broncos are 1-2 in WCC action after dropping their opening series to San Francisco. Matt Long leads the Broncos hitting attack with a .361 average while Eric Newton has clubbed seven home runs. SCU is hitting .304 as a team. Former Gonzaga pitcher Matt Wickswat is now the Broncos ace with a 5-1 record and 2.45 ERA. Last season Santa Clara swept the Bulldogs as they closed out play at Buck Shaw Stadium and opened Schott Stadium all in the same weekend.

LONGEST WIN STREAK SINCE 1990: Gonzaga has won eight straight games giving the Bulldogs their longest win streak since the 1990 season. That year Gonzaga opened the season 9-0 before finishing the year 37-21 overall. Gonzaga has also been playing well since the start of March winning 14 of their last 17 games to improve to 21-10 overall. During their current eight game win streak Gonzaga is hitting .378 as a team with three starters hitting over .400. Gonzaga's pitchers have also been sharp with a 2.41 ERA over the last 8 games.

CAMPBELL SWINGING IT WELL: Junior second baseman Scott Campbell continues to swing a hot bat as he leads the Bulldogs with a .425 average following Tuesday night's win at Washington State. Campbell has a team-high 54 hits as he has moved from the Bulldogs lead-off spot to the No. 3 hole the last eight games. Over that eight game span Campbell is hitting .485 with 16 hits. Since March 3rd, Campbell is hitting .444 with 32 hits and 19 runs scored. Campbell was the Zags top hitter last season with a .332 average earning first-team All-WCC honors.

HARMON STEADY IN THE PEN: Sophomore Brandon Harmon has been a steady force on the mound for the Bulldogs this season making 10 appearances with a 1.56 ERA. Harmon has moved from serving as the team's closer last season with 5 saves to being the step-up man this year. In the Bulldogs last six games Harmon has made six appearances with a 1-0 record and 2.61 ERA. He has worked 10.1 innings with seven strike outs.

WIEGAND CONTINUES TO DELIVER: Freshman Ryan Wiegand continues to shine in his first collegiate season as the Bulldogs designated hitter ranks second on the team with a .369 average. He is also second on the team with 11 doubles and 32 RBI. Wiegand currently owns the Bulldogs longest active hitting streak at 11 games. Over the past eight games Wiegand is hitting .469 with 15 hits and 12 RBI. Since March 3rd, the left-handed hitter is hitting .433 with 10 doubles and 21 RBI while hitting in the Bulldogs No. 4 hole.

Aaron McGuinness teamed with Bobby Carlson to help turn two triple plays on Tuesday night.

CARLSON CLIMBS DOUBLES LIST: Senior Bobby Carlson has moved into the Bulldogs career Top 10 for doubles as he now has 39 career two-baggers. Carlson needs two more doubles to catch Adam Stokey for 9th place on the career chart. Carlson is also within striking distance of two other Gonzaga Top 10 lists needing 14 RBI to move into 10th place on the career RBI list and 6 home runs to move into 10th on that list. Carlson is hitting .296 this year with 7 doubles, 5 home runs and 28 RBI.

DONOVAN GETTING SHARPER: Senior left-hander Patrick Donovan continues to get sharper as the season progresses. The Spokane native has improved to 5-2 on the year during his nine starts, the Bulldogs are 6-3 when Donovan has been tabbed the starter. Donovan currently ranks first among Gonzaga's four starting pitchers with a 3.36 ERA during 56.1 innings of work. He ranks second with 32 strike outs. In his last five starts Donovan is 4-1 with a 2.53 ERA including a complete game shutout over Washington State in early March.

POWELL PICKS UP TWO SAVES: Closer Cory Powell picked up a pair of saves over the weekend as the Bulldogs escaped a three-game series with Portland winning all three games by a single run. Powell collected saves on Saturday and Sunday helping the Bulldogs work out a second and third jam with no outs in the ninth. Powell has now made 10 appearances on the season allowing two unearned runs with three saves to his credit.

McEWEN WINS THIRD STRAIGHT: Junior Bobby McEwen won his third straight decision on Tuesday night as he pitched the Bulldogs to a 6-2 win over Washington State. McEwen worked five innings allowing two runs on seven hits. McEwen has moved into the role of Gonzaga's midweek starter and has flourished going 3-0 in his last three starts with a 2.81 ERA and 12 strike outs.

HOLCOMB PUSHES 40: Sophomore third baseman Darin Holcomb has cracked the 40 RBI mark as the Bulldogs completed their 31st game of the season with Tuesday's win over Washington State. Holcomb leads the Bulldogs with 41 RBI and is hitting .362 for the season. Since March 3rd Holcomb is hitting .392 with 30 RBI including four home runs. Holcomb needs 14 RBI over the Bulldogs final 22 games to crack the single-season Top 10 RBI list. Jeff Hainline and Larry Patterson are both tied for 9th place with 55 RBI. Current GU teammate Bobby Carlson was the last Zag to join the Top 10 with his 57 RBI effort last year.

Darin Holcomb leads the WCC with 41 RBI.

INSIDE THE WCC NUMBERS: Gonzaga enters the second week of WCC play with several players ranking among the league leaders. Scott Campbell leads the WCC in batting average while Ryan Wiegand and Jackson Brennan both rank in the Top 10. Brennan and Holcomb rank first and second in runs scored while Holcomb is the WCC leader in RBI. Brennan leads the WCC in doubles and home runs. Clayton Mortensen ranks 10th in strike outs while Cory Powell and Matt Fields are both in the Top 10 for saves. The Bulldogs are the WCC's top hitting team with a .322 average and rank second in the WCC with a .973 fielding percentage. GU is fourth in pitching with a 4.62 ERA.

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.

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.

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.