Bulldogs Baseball In Hawai'i For A Five Game Series
ON DECK: Coming off a successful weekend at the Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise, Ariz.., the Gonzaga University baseball team is set for a five-game series in Honolulu, Hawai'i, against the University of Hawaii. The Bulldogs are 6-4-1 in 2013 and the Rainbows are 1-12. The Zags will begin the series Friday with a 8:35 p.m. (PT) first pitch as reigning West Coast Conference Rawlings Pitcher of the Week Marco Gonzales takes the mound. Senior Tyler Olson will pitch Saturday and the rest of the Bulldog rotation will be determined. Games will be played at Les Murakami Stadium.
Baseball Game Notes
GAME 12 | Mar. 8 | vs. Hawai'i | Les Murakami | 8:35 p.m.
GAME 13 | Mar. 9 | vs. Hawai'i | Les Murakami | 8:35 p.m.
GAME 14 | Mar. 10 | vs. Hawai'i | Les Murakami | 3:05 p.m.
GAME 15 | Mar. 11 | vs. Hawai'i | Les Murakami | 8:35 p.m.
GAME 16 | Mar. 12 | vs. Hawai'i | Les Murakami | 8:35 p.m.
All times Pacific Time Zone and subject to change
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Gonzaga Bulldogs (6-4-1, 0-0 West Coast)
Probable Pitching Rotation
LHP - 7 Marco Gonzales, L-L, 6-1, 185, Jr., Fort Collins, CO
(2-1, 2.45 ERA)
LHP - 13 Tyler Olson, R-L, 6-3, 190, Sr., Spokane, WA
(1-1, 2.21 ERA)
Head Coach - Mark Machtolf (Stanford 1987, 10th Year - 23rd at Gonzaga)
Gonzaga Record - 272-224 Career Record - Same
Hawai'i Rainbows (1-12, 0-0 Big West)
Probable Pitching Rotation
RHP - 15 Connor Little, R-R, 6-5, 225, RS-Sr., San Diego, CA
(0-2, 4.35 ERA)
RHP - 13 Corey MacDonald, R-R, 6-6, 205, Sr., Davis, CA
(1-1, 3.74 ERA)
LHP - 31 Scott Squier, L-L, 6-6, 190, So., Phoenix, AZ
(0-2, 2.60 ERA)
Head Coach - Mike Trapasso (Oklahoma State 1987, 12th Year)
SCOUTING HAWAI'I: The University of Hawai'i has struggled thus far in the 2013 season. The Rainbows are 1-12 and 0-8 in Les Murakami Stadium in Honolulu, Hawai'i. The team's lone victory was an 8-3 decision over West Coast Conference member Loyola Marymount University. The team's most recent defeat was 14-1 against UNLV. Adam Hurley is hitting .277 for the 'Bows with 5 RBI. Corey MacDonald is 1-1 on the mound with a 3.74 ERA. Hawai'i was selected to finish 6th in the Big West Preseason Poll.
FAMILIAR FOE: The last time Gonzaga University baseball and the University of Hawai'i played was in the 2012 season in Spokane. The Bulldogs swept the four-game series over the Rainbows. The Zags last played in Honolulu, Hawai'i, was in 2010 where the Rainbows won two of three.
BULLDOGS SURPRISE IN SURPRISE: At the 2013 Coca-Cola Classic, Gonzaga University baseball had quite the weekend. The Zags went 2-0-1 in Surprise, Ariz., with victories over #2 University of Arkansas (3-0) and the University of the Pacific (7-3). Unusually, the Bulldogs tied #24 Arizona State University (6-6) due to a game curfew for team travel.
ZAGS DOWN #2 ARKANSAS: Pitcher Marco Gonzales threw a complete game shutout and Gonzaga University baseball opened the Coca-Cola Classic with a bang by defeating the second-ranked University of Arkansas 3-0. Gonzales struck out nine batters while scattering eight hits throughout the game. It was Gonzales first shutout since Apr. 28, 2012 when he pitched 11 innings against Loyola Marymount University in Spokane.
IT ENDS IN A TIE?: The finale of the Coca-Cola Classic between Gonzaga University and Arizona State University ended in a 6-6 tie last Sunday. The game was called after the 8th inning because of a travel curfew the two teams agreed upon before the game. The thriller saw the Zags rally in the 8th bringing in five runs but ASU would homer in the bottom of the inning to even up the score. The last GU tie was in 2011 against Notre Dame University.
ZAGS AND TIGERS FINISH SERIES: Gonzaga University baseball was set to square off against future West Coast Conference member University of the Pacific for two consecutive weekends. At the Pacific Baseball Invitational, the Bulldogs and Tigers spilt its two games against each other. Gonzaga won the rubber match at the Coca-Cola Classic last weekend with a late comeback 7-3. In the fall of 2013, Pacific will become the 10th member of the WCC.
PITCHER OF THE WEEK: Junior Marco Gonzales was recognized by the West Coast Conference Monday as he was named the Rawlings WCC Pitcher of the Week. It was the southpaws complete game shutout over #2 Arkansas that garnered the accolade. The honor is the fourth for Gonzales in his career. He was recognized once as a sophomore (Apr. 30, 2012) and twice as a freshman (Mar. 28, 2011 and May 23, 2011).
NEW ZAGS IN THE LINEUP: Gonzaga University baseball has a number of new faces on the field than a year ago. With the departure of five starters, catcher Travis Forbes, second baseman Cabe Reiten, third baseman Mitchell Gunsolus and outfielders Alex Bonczyk and Cory LeBrun have all stepped into new roles. On the mound, Andrew Sopko and Zach Abbruzza have gotten a starting nod as the Zags continue to solidify its rotation.
GONZALES ON THE NATIONAL RADAR: Gonzaga University left handed pitcher and infielder Marco Gonzales has had the accolades pile up during the off season. Headlining his preseason honors is his inclusion in the 2013 Golden Spikes Award Watch List. The Fort Collins, Colo., native was also named preseason first-team All-American by Baseball America, Perfect Game, Louisville Slugger and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The southpaw is reigning West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year and NCBWA District IX Player of the Year. The Bulldog was also a finalist for the 2012 College Baseball Hall of Fame's John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year award. Gonzales finished 2012 with an 8-2 record with a 1.55 ERA. At the plate he hit .325 for the Zags.
TOUGH ROAD AHEAD: To open the 2013 season, Gonzaga University baseball will have 16 road games before the first home contest. During that 16 game span, the Zags will face three of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association top 25 teams. Feb. 16 the Bulldogs face No. 8 Oregon State University, then Mar. 1 they take on No. 3 University of Arkansas followed by a Mar. 3 battle with No. 22 Arizona State University. Gonzaga will open the season Mar. 15 when the University of San Francisco visits Spokane for a weekend series.
ZAGS PICKED THIRD IN WCC PRESEASON POLL: In a preseason poll of the nine West Coast Conference coaches, the Gonzaga University Bulldogs were picked to finish third in the league behind the University of San Diego and Pepperdine University. The Bulldogs received 49 points in the poll with one first place vote. San Diego tallied 62 points with six first place votes and the defending WCC champion Pepperdine had 53 points with two first place votes. Rounding out the poll was Loyola Marymount University (4th) with 47 points, University of San Francisco (5th) with 39 points, BYU (6th) with 24 points, University of Portland (7th) with 19 points, Santa Clara University with 16 points (8th) and Saint Mary's College (9th) with 15 points.
GONZALES AND ESLICK RECOGNIZED BY WCC: Gonzaga University junior pitcher Marco Gonzales and senior Clayton Eslick were both recognized by the nine West Coast Conference head coaches when they were named to the preseason All-WCC team. Gonzales was named as both a pitcher and a infielder for the second consecutive season. The Zags selections were second most in the conference. Both Bulldogs were named on the 2012 All-WCC team that was released at the end of the season.
BULLDOGS BUSY DURING THE OFFSEASON: A number of Gonzaga University baseball players played summer ball across the nation during the offseason. Last summer, infielder Mitchell Gunsolus was named the 2012 West Coast League Most Valuable player. Gunsolus played for the Wenatchee AppleSox and hit .371 with three home runs and 48 RBI to help the club win the 2012 WCL title. Pitcher Derek Callahan, for the AppleSox, was named to the All-WCL second-team and infielder Steven Halcomb, for the Bellingham Bells, was named All-WCL honorable mention. In the Horizon Air Summer Series, pitcher Kenny Smith was honored as the Pitcher of the Year with a 6-1 record and a 1.29 ERA. Pitcher Marco Gonzales played for the USA Baseball Collegiate National Team and helped the team earn the bronze medal at Honkbal Week in Haarlem, The Netherlands. Gonzales was named Best Pitcher of the tournament and posted a 1.20 ERA with two victories.
RECAPPING 2012: Before April 20, 2012, Gonzaga University baseball was 26-9 overall and 6-3 in West Coast Conference action. The Zags unfortunately dropped 13 of its remaining 21 games, seven of which were to WCC foes. The Bulldogs finished third in the conference behind Pepperdine University (36-23, 16-8 WCC) and San Diego (40-17, 15-9 WCC). Both Pepperdine and San Diego advanced to the NCAA Regionals.
GONZAGA SIGNS TWO FOR 2014: Brandon Bailey from Broomfield, Colo., and Jack Morello from Sherman Oaks, Calif., both signed national letters of intent to play for the Gonzaga University baseball team in 2014. Bailey is a right-handed pitcher who has a laundry list of accolades that include 2013 Under Armour Preseason All-American and winner of the 2012 Colorado 4A State Championship. Morello, also a pitcher, was ranked the 86th best pitcher in California and 159th best nationally by Perfect Game.
ON THE RADIO: Starting Apr. 12 against Saint Mary's College, 1510 AM KGA Sports Talk radio with Tom Hudson and Gonzaga's winningest baseball coach Steve Hertz will broadcast home games on the radio.
PROGRAM CONSISTENCY: Gonzaga University baseball has won 30 games in five of the last six seasons. The Zags won at least 30 games in 2007 (33-25), 2008 (30-23), 2009 (36-18), 2011 (32-19-1) and in 2012 (34-22). During the six year span, the Bulldogs have a winning percentage of 56.
2013 RECRUITING CLASS GETTING ATTENTION: The Gonzaga University baseball freshman class for 2013 has been recognized for its talent by Baseball America. The group that includes pitcher Taylor Jones from Covington, Wash., pitcher Andrew Sopko from Missoula, Mont., catcher Jimmy Sinatro from Sammamish, Wash., infielder Cabe Reiten from Olympia, Wash., and Michael Rucker from Aubrun, Wash., was named for being one of the 35 best in the nation and the best in the West Coast Conference.
EXPERIENCED VETERANS: Seven seniors fill the Gonzaga University baseball roster. Pitchers Tyler Olson and Karl Myers; outfielders Billy Moon and Alex Bonczyk; infielders Steven Halcomb and Clayton Eslick; and catcher Travis Forbes will be counted on to lead a young roster. Of the 35-man roster, 22 are underclassmen.