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Marco Gonzales was selected to the preseason All-West Coast Conference team.
Courtesy: Torrey Vail

Baseball Picked To Finish Second In WCC Preseason Poll

Courtesy: Gonzaga Athletics
          Release: 02/10/2012
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SAN BRUNO, Calif. - The Gonzaga University baseball team has been picked to finish second in the 2012 West Coast Conference standings according to a preseason vote by the conference's head coaches.

Reigning WCC Co-Player of the Year and Co-Freshman of the Year Marco Gonzales was the lone Zag named to the preseason All-WCC team, listed as both an infielder and a pitcher.

The Bulldogs received 57 votes and picked up three first-place votes. The University of San Diego was picked to win the WCC championship after garnering 59 points and five first-place votes. For the third straight season there will not be a WCC Championship Series. The regular-season champion will receive the WCC's automatic berth to the NCAA Baseball Championships.

The Bulldogs finished the 2011 season with an overall record of 32-19-1, their fourth 30-win season in five years. In conference play, the Bulldogs went 15-6 for a second-place finish after having been picked to finish sixth in the coaches' preseason poll. Mark Machtolf, entering his ninth year at the helm of the Zags, welcomes back seven position starters, including seniors Royce Bolinger, Andy Hunter and Eric Lane, juniors Billy Moon, Clayton Eslick and Steven Halcomb, and Gonzales. Gonzales and senior Tyler Olson are the two pitchers out of the rotation expected to return to the same role in 2012.

The left-hander Gonzales started 46 games last season, 15 as a pitcher. On the mound, he led the conference in wins (11) and had the second most strikeouts (90). On the offensive side, he carried a .291 batting average with 10 doubles and 14 runs driven in. He committed only one error at first base and recorded 253 putouts and 35 assists for a fielding percentage of .997.

The defending WCC champion University of San Francisco garnered a first-place vote and tallied 51 points to finish third in the poll. Loyola Marymount University captured 37 points to finish fourth. Pepperdine University and Saint Mary's College - each with 30 points - tied for fifth, while WCC newcomer BYU was tabbed seventh with 28 points. The University of Portland (23 points) and Santa Clara University (nine points) rounded out the poll.

In all, six of the nine WCC schools are represented on the preseason all-conference team, led by Saint Mary's with five selections, and San Diego with four. Ten members of this year's Preseason All-WCC Team were All-West Coast Conference selections last year, led by Gonzales and the other WCC Co-Player of the Year and Co-Freshman of the Year Kris Bryant of San Diego.

The Bulldogs open the 2012 season Feb. 17 against the University of Nebraska in Peoria, Ariz. First pitch is at 7 p.m. PT.

2012 WEST COAST CONFERENCE PRESEASON POLL

Team (First Place Votes)

Points

San Diego (5)

59

Gonzaga (3)

57

San Francisco (1)

51

Loyola Marymount

37

Pepperdine

30

Saint Mary's

30

BYU

28

Portland

23

Santa Clara

9

2012 PRESEASON ALL-WEST COAST CONFERENCE TEAM

Player

School

Yr.

Pos.

Kris Bryant

San Diego

So.

3B/1B

Troy Channing

Saint Mary's

Sr.

IF

Turner Gill

Portland

So.

IF/OF

Marco Gonzales

Gonzaga

So.

IF

Bryan Haar

San Diego

Sr.

UTIL

Brenden Kalfus

Saint Mary's

Jr.

OF

Corey LeVier

San Diego

Sr.

1B/OF

Matt Lowenstein

Loyola Marymount

Jr.

OF

Joe Sever

Pepperdine

Jr.

IF

Patrick Wisdom

Saint Mary's

Jr.

INF

Pitcher

School

Yr.

P

Martin Agosta

Saint Mary's

Jr.

RHP

Kyle Barraclough

Saint Mary's

Sr.

RHP

Dylan Covey

San Diego

So.

RHP

Marco Gonzales

Gonzaga

So.

LHP

Kyle Kraus

Portland

Sr.

RHP


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