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Baseball Inks Seven For 2009 Season

Dec. 14, 2007

Spokane, Wash. - Gonzaga University baseball head coach Mark Machtolf has announced the signing of seven players who have signed National Letters of Intent to play for the Bulldogs.

Joining the Zags will be Ryan Carpenter, a left-handed pitcher from Cactus High in Glendale, Ariz., Nick Carrillo, a right-handed pitcher/first baseman from Sandra Day O'Connor High in Glendale, Ariz., Royce Bolinger, a right-handed pitcher/outfielder/third baseman from Chaparral High in Scottsdale, Ariz., Ernesto Ortiz, a shortstop/second baseman from Chaparral High in Scottsdale, Ariz., Andy Hunter, a right-handed pitcher from Catalina Foothills High in Tucson, Ariz., Tyler Olson, a left-handed pitcher from University High in Spokane, and Steve Ames, a right-handed pitcher from Columbia Basin Community College in Vancouver, Wash.

"I am very excited about this recruiting class," said Machtolf. "I feel confident that we have addressed some of our needs as a ball club. Thanks to the work of our recruiting coordinators - Coach Evans and Coach Van Tol, I'm pleased with this incoming group of Bulldogs."

Carpenter is a four-year letterwinner for head coach Mike Tirella and one of the top pitchers in the state of Arizona. Carpenter, who is expected to contribute immediately to the Zags' pitching staff, also played club ball for coach Jonn Feitas, competing in the 2004, 2006 and 2007 Junior and Senior Fall Classics. He also participated in the 2007 Junior Sunbelt Classic for the state of Arizona.

"I am very proud and thrilled to start my journey as a Zag," Carpenter said. "I can not wait to put on a Bulldog uniform and step out onto the field."

"We are thrilled to have Ryan as part of our program," added Machtolf of the 6-5, 195 pound, hurler who throws a fastball in the high 80s, low 90s. "We project him making an immediate impact on the mound. It will be exciting to see Ryan reach his full potential in a Gonzaga uniform."

Carrillo, a two-way player who is expected to contribute both on the mound and at the plate, is a two-time 5A All-State honorable mention selection. He is a two-time first team All-5A Northwest Region selection as well as an All-Arizona Diamond Report selection his sophomore and junior seasons. Carrillo, who stands 6-2, weighing in at 215 pounds, was named to the All-Tournament team at the 2007 Junior Sunbelt Tournament in Oklahoma. As a result of his ability at the plate, Carrillo has been selected to represent Arizona at the second annual International High School Home Run Derby as a member of the 2008 Power Showcase All-World and All-American Baseball Team. In addition to playing for coach Jeff Baumgartner at Sandra Day O'Connor, Carrillo also played on the Los Angeles Dodgers Elite team in 2006 and 2007, as well as playing for the Arizona Diamondbacks High School Elite Team in the fall 2007 under the guidance of Rodney Davis.

"I feel Gonzaga is a great fit for me thanks to the coaches, players, `top of the line facilities' and education," commented Carrillo. "It's where I want to be."

"We feel Nick brings many qualities to our program, both on the mound and at the plate," said Machtolf of the 5A Arizona Interscholastic Association record holder for most home runs in a game (three). "Nick has a closer mentality on the mound, which is something we are looking for. Offensively, we also expect him to battle for a spot in the middle of our lineup."

Bolinger and Ortiz both come to Gonzaga from Chaparral High, which is considered to be one of the best high school baseball programs in the nation. At Chaparral, they played under the guidance of Jerry Dawson.

Bolinger is a 2007 All-4A Desert Sky honorable mention honoree. He recently participated in the Perfect Game National Showcase and is ranked in the top 200 by the scouting service. Bolinger, who is 6-2 195 pounds, is a two-way player who posses enough arm strength to play outfield or third base as well as throwing a fastball in the high 80s to low 90s and a slider in the mid-to-high 70s.

"I am excited to join my fellow Arizona players as well as current team members in Spokane," said Bolinger. "I'm also excited to work under Coach Machtolf towards a goal of winning a National Championship."

"Royce is a complete and polished player," Machtolf commented. "He should compete for a starting position in the outfield or infield, as well as log significant innings on the mound. His make-up will be a great addition to the Gonzaga baseball program in 2009."

Ortiz joins the Bulldogs as a three-year letterwinner, after earning two letters at Thunderbird High before, more recently, playing a season at Chaparral. He is a three-time All-region honoree, including second team selections as a freshman and junior. He was also named to the All-Sophomore team. Last season, Ortiz recorded 16 doubles, nine triples, a pair of homeruns and 43 runs batted in during 286 at-bats. Ortiz is also regarded as one of the best defenders in the state of Arizona and on the West Coast.

"I am thrilled to become part of the Zag family," said Ortiz, who stands at 5-9 and weighs in at 155 pounds. "This was the right choice for me because of the great coaching staff, who I feel can help me get to the next level."

"Ernesto will be a great addition to our infield," added Machtolf. "He is the type of player that will find anyway to beat his opponent. We are very fortunate that Ernesto selected Gonzaga baseball."

Hunter is a two-time first-team All-Region honoree under the guidance of head coach Lance Robertson. The right handed pitcher, who stands at 6-6 weighing 215 pounds, was also a second team All-Southern Arizona in 2006 and 2007. In 2006, he was also named to the Westminster Classic All-Tournament team. A 2007 Junior Sunbelt Team selection, he was recently tabbed as an Arizona Daily Star Pre-season All-Star. For his career, Hunter has posted a .405 average with three home runs while posting a 2.00 earned run average with 41 strikeouts in 38 innings pitched. In addition to excelling athletically, he is also a three-time AIA Scholar Athlete Award recipient and a member of the National Honor Society.

"I see a bright future for the Gonzaga baseball program," said Hunter. "I am very excited to be a part of it."

"Andy is an outstanding pitcher, who will make an immediate impact to our program and pitching staff," commented Machtolf of Hunter, who has been clocked as high as 92 mph. "His strike throwing ability is outstanding and compliments the rest of his arsenal on the mound. Andy also works hard in the classroom and truly puts the `student' in student-athlete."

Olson is considered to be one of the best left handed pitchers in the state of Washington, being ranked fourth by Baseball Northwest. He is a three-time letter inner under head coach Don Ressa and was a 2007 second team all-Western Catholic Athletic League pick in San Jose, Calif. Olson, who stands at 6-3, 180 pounds, has a strong fastball in the mid to high 80's as well as a hard sharp slider that will be tough on hitters at the college level.

"It has been a long time dream to be a Zag, as well as to play in my hometown of Spokane," said Olson. "I feel very fortunate for the opportunity that I have been given."

"We are very please to have one of the best pitchers in the state of Washington coming to Gonzaga," commented Machtolf. "Tyler will add to the commitment we have made on the mound and look for innings on our staff as a true freshman."

Ames comes to Spokane from Columbia Basin Community College, where he played under the direction of head coach Scott Rogers. During his rookie season at CBCC, Ames was a first-team All-Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges East Region selection, as well as a second-team All-NWAACC honoree. In 2007, he recorded a 4-1 record with a 1.38 ERA while posting 47 strikeouts and three saves in 52 innings pitched. Ames, who stands 6-2, weighing 205 pounds, is a competitor on the mound with very good control of all three of his pitches. As one of the best right-handed pitchers in the NWAACC this season, Ames throws between 87-89 mph, as well as throwing as hard at 91 mph.

"I chose Gonzaga for its coaches, facilities and education," commented Ames.

"We are very excited to have Steve join the Zags," added Machtolf. "He will bring a bulldog mentality to the mound, as well as adding some experience and leadership to our pitching staff."