May 10, 2006
FRIDAY - May 12
Gonzaga at San Diego, 3 p.m.
SATURDAY - May 13
Gonzaga at San Diego, 1 p.m.
SUNDAY - May 14
Gonzaga at San Diego, 1 p.m.
2006 GONZAGA BULLDOGS RECORD: 27-21, 8-10 WCC
GONZAGA NOW IN ROLE OF SPOILER: Gonzaga University heads into the final weekend of West Coast Conference action playing the role of spoiler in the WCC playoff race. The Bulldogs were eliminated for the WCC playoff picture following a series loss to Pepperdine over the weekend. Gonzaga now stands at 8-10 in the WCC four games behind Pepperdine and San Francisco which are tied for first at 12-6. This week's opponent, San Diego, is in third place in the WCC standings at 11-7. San Diego lost the season series to both Pepperdine and USF, so the Toreros would need to finish ahead of both to advance to the WCC playoffs. Following the weekend series, Gonzaga will host Washington State and Lewis-Clark State to end the season.
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 79-74 record at Gonzaga including a 39-35 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.
BULLDOGS ASSURED OF WINNING SEASON: Despite the series loss to Pepperdine, Gonzaga did get one positive out of the weekend. The Bulldogs are assured of finishing with a winning record for the second time in head coach Mark Machtolf's three year career. The winning season will also be the sixth for Gonzaga in the last eight years. Gonzaga also has a chance to finish with at least 30 wins if the Bulldogs can win three of their final five contests. Gonzaga has not won 30 or more games in a season since the 1990 season when they finished 37-21.
TWO MORE AT HOME: Even though the Bulldogs honored their eight man senior class at last Sunday's game against Pepperdine, the Bulldogs still have two more home contests on the docket. Gonzaga will host Washington State next Tuesday afternoon at 3 p.m. before closing out the season against Lewis-Clark State on Friday, May 19 at 3 p.m. This will be the last games for GU at Avista Stadium.
SAN DIEGO TOREROS (30-21, 11-7 WCC): Gonzaga hits the road one more time as the Bulldogs play their final WCC games at San Diego. The Toreros are currently in third place in the WCC and need wins over Gonzaga to make a run at the WCC playoffs. Gonzaga won two out of three at San Diego last season, splitting the season series 3-3 with the Toreros. USD is 15-5 at home this year and the Toreros are led by the solid starting pitching of Josh Butler (8-5, 2.59 ERA), Matt Couch (6-2, 3.27 ERA) and Brian Matusz (4-3, 3.91 ERA). Steve Singleton is the Toreros top hitter with a .356 average and 33 RBI.
DONOVAN GETS ANOTHER RANKED WIN: Senior left-hander Patrick Donovan picked up another win against a ranked opponent as he worked seven innings during the Bulldogs Friday win over No. 27 Pepperdine. Donovan allowed only one run while surrendering 10 hits. It was his second win over a ranked opponent this year after he defeated No. 10 Arizona State earlier this year. Donovan also moved his career win total to 19, one shy of the Bulldogs Top 10. He will get another start this weekend at San Diego and may see action against Lewis-Clark State in the season finale.
BRENNAN JOINS DOUBLES LIST: Senior outfielder Jackson Brennan added two doubles to his season total against Pepperdine as he climbed into the Gonzaga single-season Top 10 list. Brennan now has 18 doubles which ties him with four other players in seven place. The last Gonzaga player to finish the season with 18 doubles was Jerrod Wong in 1994. Jim Carnell is the Zags single-season doubles leader with 25 during the 1981 season.
HOLCOMB NEEDS TWO RBI: Sophomore third baseman Darin Holcomb needs two more RBI over the final five games to crack the single-season Top 10 list. Holcomb enters the weekend with 53 RBI. Jeff Hainline (1984) and Larry Patterson (1977) are tied in 9th place with 55 RBI. Bobby Carlson was the last Gonzaga player to join the single-season Top 10 list with 57 RBI last season. Nate Gold is the Bulldogs single-season RBI leader with 76 in 2002.
CAMPBELL NEEDS FIVE HITS: Junior second baseman Scott Campbell needs five more hits over the five remaining games to join the Bulldogs single-season Top 10 list. Casey Parsons currently ranks 10th on the list with 79 hits while Jason Bay sits in 9th with 80 hits. Campbell has 74 hits and a team-high .383 average. Campbell is currently second in the WCC batting race trailing Daniel Nava of Santa Clara who owns a .392 average. Sam Carter of Saint Mary's stands in third in the title hunt with a .370 clip. A Gonzaga player has won the WCC batting title twice since the 2000 season with Jason Bay winning 2000 and Kiel Thibault in 2004.
WIEGAND SECOND AMONG WCC FRESHMEN: Freshman designated hitter Ryan Wiegand currently ranks second among freshmen hitters in the WCC as the Bulldogs enter their final weekend of conference action. Wiegand is hitting .333 on the year with 13 doubles, 1 home run, 41 RBI and 27 runs scored. The left-handed hitter from San Diego trails Matt Long of Santa Clara in the freshmen batting title race. Long has a .346 average but his power numbers are less than Wiegand's with only 8 doubles and 21 RBI. Wiegand is also having a solid year in WCC play with a .297 average.
DONOVAN STRONG IN WCC OUTINGS: While having a solid year overall on the mound, senior starter Patrick Donovan has been even more solid during his starts in conference play. Donovan is 3-2 overall with a 2.86 ERA during six starts against league opponents. He has worked a team-best 44 innings over those six games with only 14 earned runs allowed. For the year, Donovan has a 7-4 record with a 3.22 ERA in 92.1 innings on the mound.
BULLDOGS PRO UPDATES: With the professional seasons nearly a month old, Gonzaga takes a quick look at how former Bulldogs are doing at the next level. Nate Gold is currently hitting .260 with 8 doubles, 3 home runs and 11 RBI for the AA Frisco Roughriders. Kevin Richardson is hitting .213 with 10 RBI for the Frisco Roughriders. Ed Clelland is 0-1 in relief pitching for the Lakeland Tigers of the Florida State League. Jeff Culpepper is hitting .234 for the Daytona Cubs of the Florida State League. Brian Munhall has caught eight games for the AA Connecticut Defenders in the Eastern League with 4 RBI. Bo Hart is hitting .259 with 5 doubles playing for the AAA Colorado Springs Sky Sox. Eric Rodland is hitting .333 with 7 doubles and 11 RBI playing for AA Arkansas Travelers. Errol Simonitsch has a 1-2 record pitching for the AA New Britain Rock Cats in five starts this season. Kiel Thibault is hitting .245 with five doubles and 15 RBI while catching for the Burlington Bees in the Midwest League. On the Major League level Jason Bay is hitting .254 with six home runs and 14 RBI playing left field for the Pittsburgh Pirates. Mike Redmond is hitting .393 as the back-up catcher for the Minnesota Twins. Redmond has appeared in eight games with four doubles and four RBI.
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.