April 26, 2007
SPOKANE, Wash. -
Gonzaga at San Francisco
Benedetti Diamond (1,000)
San Francisco, Calif.
Friday, April 27, 3:00 p.m.
Saturday, April 28, 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, April 29, 1:00 p.m.
USF leads 26-24
LAST OUTING: Tuesday night, the Gonzaga University baseball team wrapped up its four-game season series with Washington State University, dropping a 12-9 decision in Pullman. Evan Wells and Darin Holcomb posted three hits apiece in the contest. Wells went 3-for-5 with two runs scored, while Holcomb went a perfect 3-for-3, including a home run, with three runs scored and two runs batted in. The Cougars secured the season series with the win, three games to one.
LAST WCC ACTION: Last weekend, Gonzaga University posted a three-game West Coast Conference series sweep of visiting Saint Mary's College. Friday, Gonzaga celebrated the dedication of its new ballpark with a 6-3 victory over Saint Mary's. Junior pitcher Brandon Harmon threw his fifth complete game of the season en route to earning his sixth win of the year. Saturday, Evan Wells, Ryan Wiegand and Mike Terry all hit home runs as the Bulldogs secured the series victory with a 7-2 win. Wells finished the afternoon going 4-for-5 with a run scored and three runs batted in. The Zags earned the series sweep Sunday, with a 10-4 victory. Junior Brandon Blank posted a career-high four hits, going a perfect 4-for-4, as he led a group of five Bulldogs to post multiple hits during the series finale.
ON DECK: Gonzaga University will wrap-up its remaining regular-season home schedule with a three-game West Coast Conference series against Loyola Marymount University on May 4-6. The series will start on Friday, May 4, with a 6:30 p.m. first pitch. The two remaining games of the series will take place Saturday and Sunday with game times slated for 1 p.m. Sunday will also mark Senior Day, in which the Zags will honor five seniors on the team with a pre-game ceremony.
PATTTERSON BASEBALL COMPLEX AND WASHINGTON TRUST FIELD: This season the Zags 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. The facility also features eight light poles, two which are 90 feet tall while the other six stand at 80 feet. Dedication ceremonies were held April 20 prior to the game against Saint Mary's College.
HOME SWEET HOME: On Friday, April 20, 1,514 fans showed up to watch the Gonzaga University baseball team play Saint Mary's College at the new Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. The number of fans marked the highest attendance at a home baseball game in Bulldog history. Over the 16 games that have been played at the new facility to date, 8,635 fans have come to watch Gonzaga, compared to 4,455 fans during the first 16 home games of last season. Last season, the Zags played all home games at Avista Stadium during the construction of Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field.
SCOUTING THE DONS: The University of San Francisco enters the weekend with a 21-22 overall record, including a 4-8 record in West Coast Conference play. Before welcoming Gonzaga University to Benedetti Diamond for a three-game conference series, the Dons fell to UC Davis 6-1 Tuesday afternoon. USF regulars are led by Mitchel Bialosky, who is boasting a .343 average. On the mound, Aaron Poreda (5-5) leads the Dons' pitching staff with a 3.46 earned run average in 11 starts. Poreda, who is expected to start on Friday against the Zags, is the defending WCC ERA title holder after posting a 2.49 ERA in 2006. Last season, the Dons captured a share of the conference regular season title with Pepperdine en route to their first ever NCAA Regional appearance. The Bulldogs earned the series victory last year, taking two of three from USF in Spokane. The Dons hold a slight edge in the all-times series, 26-24.
WIEGAND NAMED WCC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Sophomore Ryan Wiegand, of the Gonzaga University baseball team, has been named the West Coast Conference Player of the Week as announced by the conference office Monday. Wiegand led the Bulldogs to a 3-1 record last week, including a three-game conference sweep of Saint Mary's College. The first baseman finished the week batting at a .467 clip, going 7-for-15 with two doubles, two home runs, five runs scored, five runs batted in and a stolen base. Against the Gaels, Wiegand posted a .583 average, including all of his seven hits for the week. In each of the three games, the sophomore recorded multiple hit games, including a three-hit performance on Sunday. Wiegand record a pair of hits on both Friday and Saturday. The honor is the first of the sophomore's career, as well as the seventh Bulldog WCC accolade this season.
WELLS, BLANK POST CAREER HIGHS: Sophomore Evan Wells and junior Brandon Blank of the Gonzaga University baseball team, each posted a career-high four hits over the weekend. Wells, the Bulldogs' starting second baseman, went 4-for-5 Saturday in the Zags' 7-2 victory. The Olympia, Wash. native used three singles and his first home run of the season to drive in a game-high three runs. Sunday, Blank, a centerfielder from Kennewick, Wash., went a perfect 4-for-4 as the Bulldogs completed a three-game sweep of Saint Mary's College with a 10-4 win. Blank scored three runs in addition to his pair of doubles and two singles. The two four-hit performances matched a team-high for the season, as a Bulldog batter has recorded four hits in a game on six different occasions.
MORTENSEN RECORD WATCH: Senior pitcher Clayton Mortensen, of the Gonzaga University baseball team, has struck out 87 batters this season, moving him into a tie for ninth place on the Bulldogs' single season list. The right hander is now tied with Tom Gorman, who recorded 87 K's during the 1980 season. The single season strikeout record is held by Darin Blood who struck out 145 batters faced during the 1995 campaign.
STREAK HITS A DOZEN: Junior Darin Holcomb will look to extend his current 12-game hitting streak this weekend when the Gonzaga University baseball team travels to San Francisco. The third baseman has recorded a hit in 12 straight games and is one game shy of tying his season high 13-game hit streak. During his most recent streak, Holcomb has hit .451 with 23 hits, including four doubles and a home run, with 10 runs scored and 10 runs batted in. For the season, the Spokane native has reached base safely in all but three of the Bulldogs'45 games, including in 25 straight games.
GOING THE DISTANCE: Gonzaga University pitcher Brandon Harmon has recorded a career-high five complete games to date this season. Prior to the start of the 2007 campaign, the junior had yet to throw a complete game in his collegiate career. On April 8, the right hander threw his third consecutive complete game in his start against the University of Portland. With the complete game, Harmon became the first Bulldog to complete the feat of throwing back-to-back-to-back complete games in consecutive starts since Darin Blood in 1995. Harmon's most recent complete game came last weekend (April 20) against Saint Mary's College. The Spokane native threw 9.0 innings, allowing three runs, two earned, on four hits while striking out seven against the Gaels.
STRONG SHOWING LAST WEEKEND: Last weekend when the Gonzaga University baseball team hosted Saint Mary's College, six of the Zags' starting nine hit at over a .300 clip in the three-game West Coast Conference series. Ryan Wiegand and Evan Wells paced the Bulldogs, each hitting over .500. Wiegand hit .583 (7-for-12) with two doubles and a pair of home runs, while Wells went 6-for-11 (.545) with a home run and four runs batted in against the Gaels. Brandon Blank (.455), Darin Holcomb (.417), Mike Terry (.400) and Aaron McGuinness (.385) round out Bulldog batters who posted an average higher than .300.
MORTENSEN HITS TOP 15 NATIONALLY: Gonzaga University pitcher Clayton Mortensen ranks in the top 15 in NCAA Division I strikeouts. The senior, who through April 22nd struck out 87 batters, ranks 12th in the national rankings and second in the West Coast Conference. Mortensen also ranks 93rd in Division I strikeouts per nine innings with a 9.2 average. The national overall strikeout leader is the University of San Diego's Brian Matsuz, who has struck out 127 batters and averages 13.0 K's per game. Against the Zags on March 30, Matsuz fell way below his average, only striking out four as he suffered the 6-3 loss to the Bulldogs.
BURSTING INTO THE TOP TEN: Gonzaga University pitcher Brandon Harmon continues to move up the ranks on the Bulldog all-time career strikeout leaders list. The junior, who has posted 51 K's this season, has recorded 216 career strikeouts and is currently ranked seventh on the all-time list. Harmon, who wasn't in the top-ten to open the 2007 campaign, had previously been tied for with Tom Gorman (189) for 10th place before jumping former Zags Eric Dworkis (190), Ed Clelland (193), and Barry Matthews (215) to take sole possession of seventh place. Billy Walker holds the school career record with 332 K's during the 1987-90 seasons. This season, Harmon has also broken into top-10 for all-time appearances. Currently, Harmon has made 62 career appearances and is tied for seventh with John Gonzalez. Harmon is also ranked fourth all-time with nine career saves, and is one save short of a tie for third place. Aaron McGuinness also gained position in the all-time ranks this week. The shortstop ranks fifth in career at-bats with 730. McGuinness, who also has started every game of his collegiate career, has played in 203 games during his career to hold sole possession of sixth place.
ZAGS GARNER NATIONAL ATTENTION: Junior Brandon Harmon, freshman Jeremy Stumetz and senior Clayton Mortensen, all pitchers for the Gonzaga University baseball team, have been named to the College Baseball Foundation National Honor Roll this season. Harmon has been awarded the accolades twice this season, as he was named to the Honor Roll on April 2 and April 9. The junior earned the honor on April 9 after a complete-game two-hit shutout over Portland on April 8. Harmon was first awarded the honor after earning the win and throwing a complete-game against then-No. 20 University of San Diego on April 1. Stumetz earned the national accolade on March 27 after throwing a complete-game four-hit shutout against the University of Washington on March 21. Mortensen lifted the Bulldogs to their 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, he was named to the honor roll on Feb. 13.
LONG ROAD SWING: The Gonzaga University baseball team began the 2007 season on 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.
LIVE ON THE INTERNET: All Gonzaga University home games are available via Gametracker on the internet at http://www.gozags.com. Check the Gonzaga web site for all Gametracker links.
LIVE ON THE RADIO: Gonzaga University baseball has three remaining games to be aired live on the radio in the greater Spokane area. Games on May 4-6 will be aired live on 790 KJRB. The broadcasts will begin 15 minutes prior to the scheduled first pitch. Calling games for the Bulldogs is Tom Hudson with former Gonzaga head coach Steve Hertz providing color commentary.
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.
HEAD COACH Mark Machtolf: Mark Machtolf is in 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 107-95 record at Gonzaga, including a 49-41 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 team posted a 28-2-1 record, including going a perfect at 8-0 record 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.
ZAGS PICKED TO FINISH FIFTH:
The Gonzaga University baseball team was 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.