May 3, 2006
FRIDAY - May 5
Gonzaga vs. No. 27 Pepperdine, 3 p.m.
SATURDAY - May 6
Gonzaga vs. No. 27 Pepperdine, 1 p.m.
SUNDAY - May 7
Gonzaga vs. No. 27 Pepperdine, 1 p.m.
2006 GONZAGA BULLDOGS RECORD: 26-19, 7-8 WCC
GONZAGA IN MUST WIN SITUATION: Following a weekend series loss at Loyola Marymount, the Gonzaga University Bulldogs find themselves in a must win situation when they host Pepperdine University this weekend. Gonzaga trails WCC leading Pepperdine by three games but is currently tied for sixth place with Santa Clara. Three games separate seven teams in the WCC race with two weekends of WCC action remaining. Gonzaga will end the WCC season at San Diego next weekend before hosting Washington State and Lewis-Clark State to round out the season. Gonzaga will also honor its nine member senior class this Sunday prior to the Pepperdine game.
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 78-72 record at Gonzaga including a 38-33 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.
CARLSON HEATS UP IN APRIL: Senior Bobby Carlson continues to heat up at the plate as the first baseman finished the month of April hitting .412 with five doubles, three home runs and 10 RBI. Carlson was only set done on strikes in two plate appearances finishing the month with a .477 on-base percentage. Carlson has bumped his season average up to .325 with 11 doubles, 8 home runs and 35 RBI.
HARMON THE IRON MAN OF APRIL: Sophomore pitcher Brandon Harmon was the Bulldogs most used and most effective pitcher for the month of April as the right-hander from Spokane appeared in 13 of the Bulldogs 17 games. Harmon tossed 27.1 innings finishing the month with a 1-1 record, two saves and a 2.30 ERA. Harmon picked up his first start of the month on Sunday at Loyola Marymount working six innings as the Bulldogs lost 5-0. Harmon struck out 16 batters during the month and opponents are hitting .227 against him. Harmon is now 2-1 with two saves and a 1.91 ERA for the year.
No. 27 PEPPERDINE WAVES (30-16, 10-5 WCC): Gonzaga hosts WCC front-runner Pepperdine this weekend as the Bulldogs must win the series to stay in the WCC race. The Waves enter the weekend with a 30-16 mark, 10-5 in the WCC. Nick Kliebert leads the Waves hitting attack at .376 while last year's WCC Player of the Year, Chad Tracy has a team-high 34 RBI. Pepperdine is led by strong starting pitching will all three starters posting an ERA of less than 4.00.
GONZAGA UNIVERSITY SENIOR CLASS NOTES:
#5 Jackson Brennan (OF - CASTLE ROCK, CO) - Brennan has been productive in his final season in a Bulldogs uniform. Battling injuries his first three seasons at GU, Brennan appeared in only 45 games with a .309 average, 9 doubles and 3 home runs. This season Brennan has capitalized on a healthy season with a .326 average, 16 doubles, 4 triples, 11 home runs and 36 RBI.
#13 Nate Williams (RHP - SEATTLE, WA) - Williams has been a steady contributor out of the Bulldogs bullpen during his four years on the staff. He has appeared in 50 games posting an 8-5 record with five career saves. The five saves places Williams in the Bulldogs career Top 10 for saves.
#17 Jay Bryner (LHP - KENT, WA) - Bryner has worked in several roles for the Bulldogs since transferring into the program from Bellevue Community College. Last season Bryner posted a 3-3 record making eight starts as the primary mid-week starter for the Zags. This year Bryner has made 10 appearances with nine coming out of the bullpen.
#21 Will Ayala (OF - MISSOULA, MT) - Ayala has served as solid player in the Bulldogs outfield since coming to the program from Treasure Valley Community College. Last season he appeared in 49 games playing right and left field for GU. He finished the season with 22 RBI. This year he has appeared in 29 games serving as a platoon player in left and a pinch-hitter.
#22 Bobby Carlson (1B - WOODINVILLE, WA) - Carlson ends his career as one of the Bulldogs most consistent power hitters in recent years. He currently ranks in the career Top 10 for doubles with 43 and sits just outside the career Top 10 with 137 RBI. During his three seasons at Gonzaga, Carlson has reached double digit doubles each season and banged out at least 8 homers each campaign. He has twice been named an All-WCC selection and this season is hitting .325 with 11 doubles, 8 home runs and 36 RBI.
#27 Patrick Donovan (LHP - SPOKANE, WA) - Donovan has emerged into one of the top pitchers in school history as he completes his fourth season in a Bulldogs uniform. Over the last three seasons he has been a mainstay in the Gonzaga rotation making at least 12 starts a season. He currently has 18 career wins, needing two more the crack the Bulldogs career Top 10. He recently became just the fifth Gonzaga pitcher to toss more than 300 innings for their career, ranking fifth on that career list. During his career Donovan has posted several big wins including consecutive wins over nationally ranked Arizona State.
#30 Josh Bryant (RHP - EAST WENATCHEE, WA) - Bryant has been a reliable right-hander in the Bulldogs bullpen since joining the program after two seasons at Big Bend Community College. Last season Bryant made 17 appearances with a 3-2 record. This year he has made seven appearances picking up a win over Lafayette at the Pepsi/Johnny Quik Classic in Fresno.
#40 Nick Merriman (C - PORTLAND, OR) - Merriman has been a vital part of the Bulldogs program helping to work out many of the Gonzaga pitchers before they enter in games. Merriman has also been a right-handed, pinch-hitter for the Bulldogs hitting .357 in pinch-hitting opportunities this season. Merriman has also garnered two starts two-year career after transferring from Treasure Valley CC.
#23 Zach Woodward (OF - WOODINVILLE, WA) - The newest member of the Bulldogs program, Woodward has become the every day right fielder during his only season playing for Gonzaga. Woodward started off the season at a blistering pace earning All-Tournament honors at the Texas Pan American Tournament. This season his is hitting .307 with 11 doubles, 2 triples and 1 home run.
BULLDOGS IN THE STAT RACE: Several Gonzaga players remain in the hunt for WCC category leads as the season draws to a close. Junior second baseman Scott Campbell in one point off the lead for the WCC batting title with a .375 average. Nick Kliebert of Pepperdine is the leader with a .376 average. Jackson Brennan leads the WCC with 47 runs scored while Darin Holcomb is tied for the WCC RBI lead with 49. Brennan is third in the WCC with 16 doubles and second with 11 home runs.
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.