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Mortensen Named WCC Pitcher Of The Year

May 23, 2007

SAN BRUNO, Calif. - - Gonzaga University senior right-hander Clayton Mortensen has been named the West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year, one of eight Bulldogs honored on the All-WCC team announced Wednesday as voted by the conference head baseball coaches.

While Mortensen was tabbed the conference's top hurler and accorded unanimous All-WCC honors, he was joined by junior third baseman Darin Holcomb, junior outfielder Shawn Wayt and sophomore first baseman Ryan Wiegand on the All-WCC squad, Wayt and Wiegand were also unanimous selections. Right-handed pitcher Jeremy Stumetz was named to the All-Freshman team, and junior right-hander Brandon Harmon, senior shortstop Aaron McGuinness and sophomore designated hitter Mike Terry were honorable mention honorees.

Mortensen becomes the first Gonzaga hurler to take home WCC Pitcher of the Year honors after leading the Zags to their first WCC Championship Series since 2001. The senior was outstanding in conference play, posting a perfect 6-0 record in seven starts and a 1.60 ERA that ranked second in conference play. He fanned a circuit-best 63 WCC batters. Mortensen notched an 8-2 mark overall with a 4.00 ERA and 116 strikeouts, the fourth-highest single-season total in Gonzaga program history. The native of Rexburg, Idaho, becomes the most decorated Bulldog pitcher since Darin Blood was named the Pacific-10 Conference North Player of the Year in 1995, Gonzaga's last year of affiliation with the Pac-10 prior to joining the WCC.

Holcomb paced the Bulldogs with a .402 batting average in WCC play and hit .365 overall, both figures second in the WCC statistics. He is ranked in the top-10 in WCC play in hits (3), walks (11), total bases (41), on-base percentage (.485) and slugging percentage (.500). Holcomb was one of just three Bulldogs to start every game.

Wiegand, from San Diego, Calif., also had a banner year. He hit .398 in WCC play and .333 overall. In WCC action he ranked in the top-10 in hits (33), home runs (4), runs scored (15), doubles (7), RBI (20), total bases (52), on-base percentage (.453) and slugging percentage (.627).

Wayt, who hails from Beaverton, Ore., was another bright spot for the Bulldogs, hitting .356 in WCC play and .333 overall. His 13 walks and .449 on-base percentage rank in the Top 10 in WCC games.

Stumetz is one of the promising young arms on the Bulldog staff. His nine appearances and three saves in WCC play rank in the Top 10. The native of Richland, Wash., posted a 2-0 record, striking out 10 and walking just three in 14 innings of work. Overall he made 20 appearances, 18 of them in relief, and had a 4-2 record and 3.43 ERA.

Harmon was also strong on the mound for the Bulldogs, going 3-3 in WCC play with a 3.17 ERA with four of his seven starts as complete games while pitching a conference-leading 59.2 innings. Overall he was 6-7 with a 4.00 ERA, appearing in 18 games with 15 starts and six complete games, the latter leading the WCC. He pitched a team-leading 117 innings, second best in the WCC.

McGuinness was a leader both offensively and defensively for the Bulldogs. He made just 17 errors in 260 chances at shortstop for a .935 fielding percentage. He also had a hand in 22 of the Bulldogs' 37 double plays. At the plate he hit .287 in WCC games, .282 overall. The Glendale, Calif., product was one of three Bulldogs to start all 55 games.

Another youngster in the Bulldog lineup was Terry, who hit .314 in WCC play with a .500 slugging percentage. All three of his home runs for the season came in conference action.

The eight honorees matches the most for the Bulldogs since joining the WCC in 1996. Gonzaga had eight players receive WCC recognition in 2003 with one first team, three second team and four honorable mention selections. This is the first year the conference went to a 25-man first-team and honorable mention format with no second team.

The Bulldogs, who finished second in the WCC, will travel to regular-season champion University of San Diego for the WCC Championship Series for a best-of-three series beginning Friday.

The Toreros were rewarded for capturing the WCC regular-season title as senior Shane Buschini was named WCC Player of the Year and head coach Rich Hill was tabbed for WCC Coach of the Year recognition. Loyola Marymount University's Angelo Songco was named WCC Freshman of the Year.

Buschini, an All-WCC first team selection for the sec¬ond time in his career, becomes just the third Torero to earn WCC Player of the Year honors and the first since WCC/Rawlings 40th Anniversary Team honoree Kevin Herde took home the award in 1993. The San Ramon, Calif. native turned in a dominant senior campaign, lead¬ing the conference with 13 home runs and collecting 55 RBI to rank second in the league. Buschini was even more dominant against conference opponents, pacing the circuit in batting (.418), RBI (25), total bases (55), on base percentage (.500), and slugging percentage (.696) during league play.

Songco is the eighth WCC Freshman of the Year to come from the LMU campus, and the first since Sean Smith earned the award following the 2003 season. Songco enjoyed a stellar rookie campaign, batting .321 on the season, including a .392 clip in conference play. The Granada Hills, Calif. native pounded out a WCC-best 22 doubles on the season, tying him for eighth place on the LMU single-season doubles list, and tied for the league lead with 10 two-baggers in WCC action. In conference play, he ranked second in the WCC in slugging percentage (.635) and sixth in on base percentage (.464).

Hill was tabbed for Coach of the Year honors for the second time in his career, previously earning the distinc¬tion in 2002. Hill guided the Toreros to a record-setting campaign, as USD set a program mark with 41 wins and captured the WCC regular season title for the first time. The San Diego squad also garnered a USD-record No. 5 national ranking, and reeled off 17 straight victories against WCC opponents during the 2007 campaign

2007 West Coast Conference/Rawlings All-Conference Baseball Team

Player Of The Year: Shane Buschini, San Diego
Pitcher Of The Year: Clayton Mortensen, Gonzaga
Freshman Of The Year: Angelo Songco, LMU
Coach Of The Year: Rich Hill, San Diego

All-WCC Team

Jordan Abruzzo# - San Diego - C - SR
James Allan - Portland - DH - SR
Mitchell Bialosky# - San Francisco - 1B - SR
Donald Brown - Pepperdine - OF - JR
Shane Buschini#* - San Diego - OF - SR
Matt Couch - San Diego - RHP - JR
Barry Enright#* - Pepperdine - RHP - JR
Logan Gelbrich - San Diego - DH - JR
AJ Griffin - San Diego - RHP - FR
Darin Holcomb - Gonzaga - 3B - JR
Jonnie Knoble# - San Francisco - OF - SR
Brian Matusz# - San Diego - LHP - SO
Tommy Medica# - Santa Clara - C - FR
Brad Meyers - LMU - RHP - JR
Clayton Mortensen# - Gonzaga - RHP - SR
Jon Norfolk - San Francisco - C - SR
Adam Olbrychowski - Pepperdine - RHP - JR
Adrian Ortiz - Pepperdine - OF - JR
Aaron Poreda* - San Francisco - LHP - JR
Josh Romanski# - San Diego - UT - SO
Justin Snyder# - San Diego - 2B - JR
Angelo Songco# - LMU - OF - FR
Shawn Wayt# - Gonzaga - OF - JR
Ryan Wiegand# - Gonzaga - 1B - SO
Danny Worth - Pepperdine - SS - JR
*Previous Times an All-WCC First Team Pick; #Unanimous Selection

All-Freshman Team
Nate Garcia - Santa Clara - RHP
AJ Griffin - San Diego - RHP
Steve Kalush - Santa Clara - RHP
Tommy Medica - Santa Clara - C
Derek Poppert - San Francisco - 3B
Travis Tartamella - Pepperdine - C
Alex Rivers - Santa Clara - RHP
Angelo Songco - LMU - OF
Jeremy Stumetz - Gonzaga - RHP
Randy Wells - Saint Mary's - 2B

Honorable Mention
GON- Brandon Harmon, Aaron McGuinness, Mike Terry
LMU- Eric Farris, DeAndre Miller
PEP- Jason Dominguez
POR- David Gruener, Given Kutz
SMC- JP Musgrove
USD- Kevin Hansen, Daniel Magness
USF- Brian Chavez, Jason Dufloth, Derek Poppert
SCU- Gabe Alcantar, Ryan Conan, Matt Wickswat