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Bulldogs Host Lions As WCC Race Heats Up

May 2, 2007

SPOKANE, Wash. -

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Games 49-51
Loyola Marymount at Gonzaga
Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field (1,500)
Spokane, Wash.
Friday, May 4, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 5, 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 6, 1:00 p.m.
Series Record: LMU leads 29-27

THIS WEEKEND: The Gonzaga University baseball team will wrap-up its remaining regular-season home schedule this weekend with a three-game West Coast Conference series against Loyola Marymount University. 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.

LAST OUTING: Last weekend, Gonzaga University dropped a three-game conference series to the  University of San Francisco in San Francisco two games to one. Friday, in the series opener, sophomore Ryan Wiegand went 3-for-4 with a two-run home run but it wasn't enough as the Zags fell to the Dons 4-2. The Bulldogs rebounded with a 1-0 victory Saturday thanks to a solid pitching effort by senior Clayton Mortensen. Mortensen recorded a complete game four-hit shutout, striking out 10, en route to his sixth victory of the season. Sunday, Gonzaga fell 10-2 in the final game of the series. Darin Holcomb and Brandon Blank both hit home runs in the contest. Holcomb finished the game going 3-for-4 to record his team-leading 22nd multiple hit game of the season.

ON DECK: Gonzaga University will wrap up conference play next weekend, May 11-13, with a trip to Malibu, Calif. to take on No. 14 Pepperdine University. The three-game set will serve as a critical series for both teams, as the Waves and Zags are currently tied for second in the West Coast Conference standings. The series will start Friday, May 11 with a 3 p.m. game time. The two remaining games of the series will take play Saturday and Sunday with game times slated for 1 p.m.

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.

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 ticket booth at the new facility. The ticket booth is located at the northeast corner of the ballpark. Admission is five dollars for adults and three dollars for seniors and kids 12 and under. Tickets can also be purchased through TicketsWest at 325-SEAT (7328), TicketsWest.com, at any TicketsWest outlet, or at the McCarthey Athletic Center Ticket Office, Monday through Friday, between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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 LIONS: Loyola Marymount University travels to Spokane this weekend, looking to improve on its 20-27-1 record, including going 7-8 against West Coast Conference foes. The Lions are fresh off of a conference series victory over Santa Clara University, in which LMU took two of three games from the Broncos. The Lions are led by Eric Farris, who is batting .338. Angelo Songco leads LMU against conference opponents, hitting at a .380 clip with 19 hits, including two home runs and 11 runs scored. Brad Meyers anchors the Lions' pitching staff with a 3.46 earned run average in 14 appearances. Last season, Gonzaga University was swept in a three-game series by the Lions in Los Angeles. Loyola Marymount holds the advantage in the all-time series against the Bulldogs, 29-27.

MORTENSEN NAMED WCC PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Senior Clayton Mortensen, a pitcher for Gonzaga University, has been named the West Coast Conference Co-Pitcher of the Week as announced by the conference office Monday. Mortensen (6-2) led the Bulldogs to a 1-0 victory over the University of San Francisco on Saturday, throwing a complete game four-hit shutout while striking out 10 en route to the victory. Mortensen's complete game marked his fourth of the season, as well as the 10th of the year for the Bulldog pitching staff. The senior now boasts 97 strikeouts for the season, ranking him 12th in the nation and seventh in the Gonzaga single-season record book. The 10 strikeouts also marked his fourth outing with 10 or more K's this season, including a 16 strikeout performance on April 8. The honor is the second of the year for the senior, as well as the eighth Bulldog WCC accolade this season. For his efforts against USF, he also earned the InsidePitching.com West Region Performance of the Week.

MORTENSEN RECORD WATCH: Senior pitcher Clayton Mortensen, of the Gonzaga University baseball team, has struck out 97 batters this season, moving him into sole possession of seventh place on the Bulldogs' single-season list. The right hander is now three strikeouts shy of a tie for sixth place. The single season strikeout record is held by Darin Blood who struck out 145 batters faced during the 1995 campaign.

GOING THE DISTANCE: Of the 48 games played to date this season by the Gonzaga University baseball team, the Bulldog pitching staff has posted 10 complete games. The 10 complete games marks the most complete games thrown by Gonzaga pitchers since the 1995 season. In 1995, the Zags recorded 20 complete games in a season in which the Bulldogs finished with a 29-25 record. The school record for complete games in a season is 33 games and was set during the 1976 season. This season, Brandon Harmon has paced the pitching staff with a career-high five complete games.

CLOSING IN ON 30: As the Gonzaga University baseball team enters the final stretch of the 2007 season, the Bulldogs are posting a 27-21 record. With seven regular-season games remaining on the schedule, the Zags are closing in on the 30-win mark. The last time Gonzaga posted 30 victories in a season was during the 1990 campaign, in which the club went 37-21. The 1994, 1995 and 2006 teams all finished their respective seasons with 29 victories.

CONFERENCE RACE HEATS UP: Heading into this weekend's three-game West Coast Conference series with Loyola Marymount University, the Gonzaga University baseball team is tied for second in the WCC standings with nationally-ranked Pepperdine University. Atop the standings for the first time this season is No. 9 University of San Diego (13-2 vs. WCC foes), with the No. 14 Waves and Bulldogs three games back, knotted at second with conference records of 10-5. Pepperdine remains idle this weekend and will next face a league opponent May 11-13, when Gonzaga travels to Malibu. When the conference season is over, the top two teams will face off May 25-27 at the West Coast Conference Championship, which will take place at the home field of the top club. The Zags are looking for their highest finish in WCC history as Gonzaga has never finished higher than fifth when the conference played a non-divisional format. The Bulldogs finished fifth in 1996 and last season's squad finished the 2006 campaign tied for fifth. The WCC played a non-divisional format Gonzaga's first three years in the conference (1996-98) and then went to the divisional format from 1999-05 before returning to non-divisional play last season.

HOLCOMB LEADS ZAGS IN APRIL: Gonzaga University's third baseman Darin Holcomb helped to lead the Bulldogs to a 10-6 record in the month of April with a team-leading .431 batting average. In 16 starts, the junior recorded 28 hits, including four doubles and two home runs, with 11 runs scored and 12 runs batted in. Holcomb also recorded two stolen bases. He reached base safely in all but one game including stringing together a 12-game hit streak. Holcomb recorded multiple-hits in 11 contests, including three in which he recorded three hits. For the season, Holcomb is batting a squad-high .364, while leading the Zags in runs (43), hits (71), doubles (13) and is tied for the team lead in home runs (6) and RBI (35).

MORTENSEN HITS TOP 10 NATIONALLY: Gonzaga University pitcher Clayton Mortensen ranks in the top 10 in NCAA Division I strikeouts. The senior, who through April 29th struck out 97 batters, ranks 9th in the national rankings and second in the West Coast Conference. Mortensen also ranks 80th in Division I strikeouts per nine innings with a 9.3 average. The national overall strikeout leader is the University of San Diego's Brian Matsuz, who has struck out 138 batters and averages 12.9 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.

SENIORS RETURN HOME FOR ONE LAST HURRAH: Sunday, Gonzaga University will recognize five members of the 2007 baseball squad, as the seniors play in their final home game of the season. Seniors Aaron McGuinness, Dustin Colclough, Clayton Mortensen, Josh Monroe and Bobby McEwen will all be honored prior to the first pitch. McGuinness, the Zags starting shortstop, has appeared and started in all 206 games of his collegiate career. The Glendale, Calif. native has posted a .244 career average with 181 hits, 27 doubles, three triples, 15 home runs, 126 runs scored and 101 runs batted in. Coclough, the Bulldogs' starting catcher, has played for Gonzaga for two years posting a .274 average with 85 hits, 15 doubles, seven home runs, 37 runs scored and 55 RBI. Mortensen has posted a 10-10 overall record on the mound for GU, earning a 5.09 earned run average in 175 innings pitched, while recording 151 strikeouts. Monroe, a right handed pitcher, has earned a 4.72 ERA in 230.1 innings pitched, while striking out 142 en route to an 18-15 career record. McEwen has earned a 6-10 record on the hill for Gonzaga, including a 5-1 record as a junior and has recorded 64 career strikeouts.

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: The three remaining 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: All three remaining Gonzaga University home games will 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 108-97 record at Gonzaga, including a 50-43 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.