Zags Gonzales, Bolinger Named To NCBWA All-America Squads
MORGANTOWN, W. Va. - Sophomore Marco Gonzales and senior Royce Bolinger each landed a spot on the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association's (NCBWA) 17th Annual All-America teams announced on Wednesday.
Gonzales, an All-America Freshman Team first-team pick a year by the NCBWA, is a second-team utility selection this season while Bolinger was a third team outfield honoree.
The three All-America squads are also made up of 10 conference players of the year, seven conference pitchers of the year winners and 10 first-round draft picks in the recent Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.
Gonzales, named the District IX Player of the Year by the NCBWA earlier this month, is a semifinalist for the Dick Howser Trophy and is in the top five for the John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award. He was also named to the Louisville Slugger All-America third team.
The native of Fort Collins, Colo., went 8-2 with a 1.55 ERA in 12 starts on the mound and hit .325 with 29 RBIs, 10 doubles and two homers. He was named the West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Year after leading the league in ERA and finishing tied for second in wins. Gonzales became the third Gonzaga hurler to earn WCC Pitcher of the Year honors in the last four years and was named the 2011 Co-Freshman and Co-Player of the Year in the WCC. He struck out 92 hitters in 92 2/3 innings while walking 23 innings, helping the Bulldogs to a 34-22 record and a third-place finish in the WCC. Opponents hit only .201 against him and managed only 12 extra-base hits.
Bolinger, a native of Scottsdale, Ariz., will begin his professional career Friday with the Spokane Indians of the short-season Class A Northwest League after being a sixth-round pick of the Texas Rangers in this year's MLB Draft. He was the 216th overall pick and the ninth player drafted by the Rangers, becoming the highest drafted Bulldog since pitcher Clayton Mortenson was the 36th overall pick of the 2007 MLB Draft.
Bolinger, who played both center field and right field, was an All-West Coast Conference first-team selection this past season. He paced the Zags in nearly every statistical category this season, starting all 56 games while leading the WCC in batting average (.392) and hits (93). He finished second in home runs (11), slugging percentage (.620) and runs scored (46); third in RBI (51), and fifth in on-base percentage (.441). In conference play, he hit .369 with five doubles, a triple and six home runs.