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Baseball Travels To Malibu For Key Series

May 9, 2007

SPOKANE, Wash. -

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Games 52-54

Gonzaga at No. 17 Pepperdine

Eddy D. Field Stadium (1,800)

Malibu , Calif.

Friday, May 11, 3:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 12, 1:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 13, 1:00 p.m.

Series Record:

PEP leads 41-17

 

THIS WEEKEND: The Gonzaga University baseball team will play a pivotal West Coast Conference series when it travels to Malibu, Calif. to take on No. 17 Pepperdine University this weekend. The three-game set, which will wrap up WCC play for the Zags, will open Friday at 3 p.m. The two remaining games of the series will take Saturday and Sunday with games scheduled for 1 p.m. The Bulldogs have a two and a half game lead on the Waves for second place in the conference standings. Should the Zags take two of three games from the Waves this weekend, Gonzaga would secure a second place finish and a spot in the West Coast Conference Championship.

 

LAST OUTING: Last weekend, Gonzaga University swept a three-game conference series against Loyola Marymount University , as the Zags wrapped up their regular-season home schedule. Friday night, Mark Castellitto smacked a two-run pinch-hit walk-off home run as the Bulldogs up-ended the Lions 7-6. The home run, which came with two outs in the inning, was the first long ball of the freshman's career. Saturday, the Zags secured the series win with a 9-2 victory that was highlighted by three-hit outings by Ryan Wiegand and Aaron McGuinness. Gonzaga wrapped up the sweep Sunday, when it posted a six run eighth inning to win the contest 6-4.

 

ON DECK: Gonzaga University will conclude the regular season with a mid-week game at the University of Washington on Tuesday, May 15. Game time is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Earlier this season, the Bulldogs welcomed the Huskies to Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field on March 21, with the Zags prevailing 12-0.

 

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. This season, 11,332 fans came to watch Gonzaga play, compared to 5,121 fans during the 2006 season. Last season, the Zags played all home games at Avista Stadium during the construction of Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field.

 

CONFERENCE RACE HEATS UP: Heading into this weekend's three-game West Coast Conference series at No. 17 Pepperdine University, the Gonzaga University baseball team is seated second in the WCC standings, a game and a half up of the Waves. The Zags can secure a second place finish by taking two of three games from the Waves this weekend. No. 6 University of San Diego (13-2 vs. WCC foes) is currently on top of the standings, with the Bulldogs placed second (13-5) and Pepperdine (10-5) third. The Toreros clinched a share of the league's regular season title with a three-game sweep over the University of San Francisco in San Diego . 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.

 

SCOUTING THE WAVES: Pepperdine University enters the three-game series with Gonzaga University with a 31-17 overall record, 10-5 in the West Coast Conference, and are currently ranked 17th in the national polls. The Waves are fresh off of a 4-1 loss to No. 10 UCLA. In its last WCC action, Pepperdine was swept in a three-game series by the University of San Diego . The Waves are led by centerfielder Adrian Ortiz, who boasts a .365 average, ranking him second in the league. The Pepperdine pitching staff is led by Preseason All-American and 2006 WCC Co-Pitcher of the Year, Barry Enright. Enright currently leads the conference with a 1.75 earned run average. Pepperdine holds a 41-17 all-time advantage over the Bulldogs, including taking two of three from Gonzaga in Spokane last season.

 

BULLDOGS HIT 30: With Sunday's 6-4 victory over Loyola Marymount University, not only did the Gonzaga University baseball team secure a series sweep, the Zags also posted their 30th win of the season. The 30 wins marks the first time since the 1990 campaign in which the Bulldogs have posted 30 or more wins in a season. In 1990, the club went 37-21. The 1994, 1995 and 2006 teams all finished their respective seasons with 29 victories.

 

FIRST CAREER HOME RUN A BIG ONE: Last Friday against Loyola Marymount University, with Gonzaga University down by a run with a runner on and two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning, pinch hitter Mark Castellitto stepped up to the plate. The freshman smacked his first home run of his career, nearly hitting off the scoreboard in right field, to give the Bulldogs a 7-6 victory. The walk-off home run was the first at the new home of the Bulldogs, Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field, as well as the first GU walk-off long ball since 2001. On March 25, 2001, Kevin Richardson hit a walk-off to secure an 10-8 extra-inning victory over Santa Clara University at August/A.R.T. Stadium in Spokane .

 

SENIOR NAMED TO FINAL ROGER CLEMENS AWARD WATCH LIST: Clayton Mortensen, a pitcher for the Gonzaga University baseball team, has been named to the final watch list for the 2007 Rogers Clemens Award. The award is given annually to the top pitcher in college baseball. Previous winners of the Roger Clemens Award include Jered Weaver of Long Beach State University (2004), Luke Hochevar of the University of Tennessee (2005) and Andrew Miller of the University of North Carolina (2006).

 

GOING THE DISTANCE: Of the 51 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.

 

MORTENSEN HITS TOP 15 NATIONALLY: Gonzaga University pitcher Clayton Mortensen ranks in the top 15 in NCAA Division I strikeouts. The senior, who through mth struck out 101 batters, ranks 13th in the national rankings and second in the West Coast Conference. The national overall strikeout leader is the Vanderbilt University 's David Price, who has struck out 143 batters.

 

McGUINNESS, WELLS BAT .500 VS. LIONS: Aaron McGuinness and Evan Wells highlighted a strong offensive effort for Gonzaga University last weekend, with the middle infielders each batting at a .500 clip in the three-game series sweep over Loyola Marymount University . McGuinness, the starting shortstop, went 7-for-14 with two doubles, a home run, a walk, three runs scored and five runs batted in. Wells finished the weekend going 6-for-12 with two walks, a pair of runs scored while driving home one run.

 

BULLDOGS VS. RANKED OPPONENTS: The Gonzaga University baseball team has played eight games against Division I ranked opponents, amassing a 3-5 record. Five of the eight games were played in the opening three weeks of the season. In total, the Bulldogs have played seven opponents that are currently ranked, posting a 4-8 record against those foes. Currently ranked opponents include No. 13 University of Arizona, No. 17 UC Riverside, No. 11 Oregon State University, No. 19 University of Missouri, No. 8 Arizona State University and No. 6 University of San Diego. During the opening three weeks of the season, the Bulldogs played five opponents that are currently ranked in the top 25 (UA, UCR, OSU, Mizzou, ASU). This week's opponent, Pepperdine University , currently checks in at No. 17.

 

ZAGS POST .405 AVERAGE VS. LMU: The Gonzaga University baseball team posted its best team batting average during a West Coast Conference series last weekend against Loyola Marymount University when the Zags hit at a .405 clip during the three-game series. Eight of the Bulldogs' starting nine hit over .300, with senior Aaron McGuinness and junior Evan Wells leading the way with a .500 average. Ryan Wiegand (.462), Shawn Wayt (.455), Mike Terry (.417), Dustin Colclough (.385), Darin Holcomb (.364) and Brandon Blank (.333) all hit over .300 for the Zags against the Lions.

 

MORTENSEN RECORD WATCH: Senior pitcher Clayton Mortensen, of the Gonzaga University baseball team, has struck out 101 batters this season, moving him into a tie for sixth place on the Bulldogs' single-season list. The right hander is currently tied with Mike Davey, who posted 101 K's in the 1974 season. Mortensen's four strikeouts Sunday against Loyola Marymount University propelled the senior over the century mark, becoming the sixth Bulldog in school history to post 100 or more strikeouts in a single season. The single season strikeout record is held by Darin Blood who struck out 145 batters faced during the 1995 campaign.

 

SENIORS LOOK TO FINISH STRONG: As the regular season winds down, six members of the Gonzaga University senior class are looking to finish their careers as Zags on a strong note. Seniors Aaron McGuinness, Dustin Colclough, Clayton Mortensen, Josh Monroe, Bobby McEwen and Mike Terry are all looking to continue the Bulldogs success this season and improve on their career stats as they travel to Malibu, Calif. to face No. 17 Pepperdine University in a three-game series. McGuinness, the Zags starting shortstop has appeared in all 209 games of his collegiate career. The Glendale, Calif. native has posted a .249 career average with 188 hits, 29 doubles, three triples, 16 home runs, 129 runs scored and 106 runs batted in. Colclough, the Bulldogs' starting catcher has played for Gonzaga for two seasons, posting a .279 average with 90 hits, 16 doubles, seven home runs, 41 runs scored and 56 RBI. Mortensen has posted an 11-10 overall record on the mound for GU, earning a 4.99 earned run average in 181.1 innings pitched, while recording 154 strikeouts in two seasons. Monroe, a right handed pitcher, has earned a 4.74 ERA in 235.1 innings, 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. Terry, who is a junior eligibility-wise but will graduate this year, has posted a .266 career average with 50 hits, 11 doubles, a triple, two home runs, 29 RBI and 24 career runs scored.

 

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 four remaining Gonzaga University regular season 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: This weekend's three Gonzaga University games at Pepperdine University will be aired live on the radio in the greater Spokane area. Games on May 11-13 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.

 

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 111-98 record at Gonzaga, including a 53-43 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.