March 14, 2007

Spokane, Wash. -

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Games 22-24
Rider at Gonzaga
Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field (1,500)
Spokane, Wash.
Thursday, Mar. 15, 2 p.m.
Friday, Mar. 16, 2 p.m.
Satruday, Mar. 17, 2 p.m.

THIS WEEK: Gonzaga University will finally play its much anticipated first game at the new Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field this weekend. Rider University travels to Spokane for a three-game series which will start Thursday and run through Saturday. This week marks the first time in nearly three and half years that the Bulldogs have played a game on Gonzaga's campus. All three games are scheduled for a 2 p.m. first pitch.

PATTERSON BASEBALL COMPLEX AND WASHINGTON TRUST FIELD: This season the Zags will call the Gonzaga University campus home for the first time in nearly three and a half years. The 2007 season marks the inaugural year of play at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. The new home of Bulldog baseball is a state-of-the-art facility that also incorporates an old-time baseball feel. The new stadium includes 1,300 theater-style seats and includes classic brick detailing. Major League amenities include a state-of-the-art infield, a professional candle lighting system and authentic home and visitor dugouts with underground passages to full-service clubhouses. The first game at the new facility is scheduled for March 15 against Rider University. Dedication ceremonies will be held April 20 prior to the game against Saint Mary's College.

DEDICATION CEREMONIES: Thursday will mark the first game at Gonzaga University's new baseball facility, Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field. Although the game will be the first game played at the new ballpark, special pre-game dedications ceremonies will not be held until April 20, when Gonzaga hosts Saint Mary's College. April 20 will also mark the first night game held at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field, with the game time scheduled for 6:30 p.m.

TICKETS TO PATTERSON BASEBALL COMPLEX AND WASHINGTON TRUST FIELD: The gates to Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field will open one hour prior to the scheduled game time. Tickets are available before the game at the two ticket booths at the new facility. The ticket booths are located at the northeast and southwest corners of the ballpark. Admission is five dollars for adults and three dollars for seniors and kids 12 and under.

LAST OUTING: Gonzaga University returns home from what should have been a five-game road trip to the state of Utah. The Zags opened the road trip dropping a three-game series at Brigham Young University 2-1. The Zags opened the series with an 11-5 victory, before falling 10-3 and 9-4, respectively, in the remaining games. Monday and Tuesday, Gonzaga was scheduled to play a two-game set with the University of Utah, but ended up playing just one game. Monday's game was canceled due to wet field conditions. After changing locations Tuesday, the Bulldogs battled Utah to a 13-12 ten inning victory.

ON DECK: Gonzaga University will continue play at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field next week with five scheduled home games. Tuesday, the Zags will host in-state rivals Washington State University at 3 p.m. Gonzaga will then host another in-state opponent Wednesday, when it plays the University of Washington at 3 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the Zags will host Utah Valley State College, a team the Bulldogs posted a 6-5 victory over earlier in the season.

SCHEDULE NOTE, TIME CHANGES: Due the a delay in the installation of the lights at Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field, the game time of six home games on the Gonzaga University baseball team's schedule have been changed. The games on March 20, March 21, March 23, March 27, March 30 and April 17 have been changed to a 3 p.m. first pitch. All six games were originally scheduled for 6:30 p.m. The games on April 20 and May 4, also scheduled for 6:30 p.m., will remain at the originally scheduled time. April 20 against Saint Mary's College will mark the first night game held at the new facility, as well as serve as the Dedication Game for Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field, with the dedication ceremonies occurring prior to first pitch.

SCOUTING THE BRONCS: The Rider University Broncs travel to Spokane after a three-game series with Washington State University, in which Rider dropped two of three games. Rider currently has a 2-7 record, with wins coming against Eastern Tennessee State University and Washington State.The Broncs have also played a three-game series with No. 30 Virginia Military Institute. Rider is led at the plate by Brad States who is batting .391 and with a four-game hit streak. On the mound, Mike Petrowski boasts a 2-0 reacord with a 0.56 earned run average. The three-game series this week will mark the first games in the all-times series between Rider and Gonzaga University.

HOT HITTERS: Michael Rhodes, Bryan Winston and Dustin Colclough each hit over .400 during the four-game road trip to Brigham Young University and the University of Utah. Rhodes led the Zags hitting at a .575 clip (8-for-15) with a double, a triple, five runs scored and two runs batted in. Winston went 9-for-19 for a .474 average, with two doubles, four runs and three RBI. Winston is currently on a six game hitting streak and has recorded multiple hits in three of the past four games, including a four-hit performance Friday against the Cougars. Colclough, who hit. 500 in the three-game BYU series, posted a .471 average for the trip. The catcher went 8-for-17 with a double, a home run, five runs and three RBI. For the season, Winston is leading all Gonzaga University batters with a .391 average, while Colclough is second on the team batting at a .313 clip. Rhodes is currently batting .219.

RHODES STEALS GONZAGA RECORD: Michael Rhodes stole a Gonzaga University record Thursday, literally. In the 11-5 win over Brigham Young University the junior transfer stole three bases, setting a program record for stolen bases in a game. Rhodes stole third twice in the game, once in the fifth inning and once in the eighth frame. He also stole second in the sixth inning. For the season, Rhodes leads the Zags with eight stolen bases out of nine attempts. Overall, Gonzaga has stolen 17 bases this season.

HOMECOMING, OF SORTS: When Chris Highmark took the mound Saturday in his start against Brigham Young University; the sophomore pitched against his former teammates. Highmark, who has started six games for Gonzaga University this season, was a letter-winner for the Cougars last season. Saturday, the sophomore suffered the loss throwing 4.2 innings allowing six runs, three earned on eight hits and four walks. With BYU, Highmark posted a 6.38 earned run average with a 0-1 record in 14 appearances, all of which came in relief. In his 18.1 innings pitched, Highmark allowed 19 runs, 13 earned, on 31 hits and eight walks, while striking out 19. As a Zag, the native of Scottsdale, Ariz. has posted a 2-4 record with a 6.32 ERA. In 31.1 innings of work, he has allowed 27 runs, 22 earned, on 37 hits and 18 walks, while striking out 24. Highmark is holding opponents to a .298 batting average.

HURLERS RECORDING STRIKEOUTS AT QUICK PACE: Entering the 2007 season, no Gonzaga University pitcher had struck out 10 or more batters in a single game since 2003. To date this season, a Bulldog hurler has struck out 10 or more in a single outing three times. Chris Highmark also hit the 10+ K's mark with ten punch outs against Southern Utah University on March 3. The Gonzaga pitching staff is recording, on average, 6.75 strikeouts a game.

STREAK SNAPPED: Darin Holcomb's 13 game hitting-streak was snapped Saturday in a 9-4 loss to Brigham Young University. The streak marked the longest of the season for any member of the Gonzaga University baseball team. The streak originated on Feb. 16 in a 6-5 victory over then-No. 9 and defending national champion Oregon State University. Holcomb hit .340 during the streak, recording 17 hits, including four doubles, scoring 14 runs while driving home six. Throughout the streak, the junior posted four two-hit games as well as a two-RBI performance on Feb. 22 against the University of Texas - Arlington. The Gonzaga record for hits in consecutive games is 26, set by Barry Matthews in the 2000 season.

LONG ROAD SWING: The Gonzaga University baseball team just returned from a 21-consecutive road swing. Over the first month and a half of the season, the Bulldogs visited five states, including two trips to Arizona. Besides Arizona, GU traveled to California, Texas, Idaho and Utah, totaling nearly 10,500 miles. During the stint, the Zags posted an 11-10 record.

MORTENSEN EARNS NATIONAL AND CONFERENCE RECOGNITION: Clayton Mortensen lifted Gonzaga University to its first win of the season on Feb. 11, as the senior earned the decision in a 3-2 win over UC Riverside. For his efforts, the junior was named West Coast Conference Pitcher of the Week for the week of Feb. 12 and was also named to the College Baseball Foundation National Honor Roll. Mortensen tossed a complete game, allowing just one earned run on six hits and three walks, while striking out a career-high 11 Highlander batters. Mortensen held UC Riverside hitless through five innings and scoreless through seven frames during the outing, and became the first Bulldog since 2003 to fan 10 or more batters in a single game.

ROOKIES LEAD CANADA TO BRONZE: Mark Ellis and Cory Hall, a pair of freshman on the Gonzaga University baseball team, helped lead the Canadian Junior National team to a bronze medal last summer at the 2006 World Junior AAA Championships in Sancti Spiritus, Cuba. Hall pitched seven innings of relief allowing two runs on eight hits while posting five strikeouts earning a 6-2 win over Mexico for third place. For the tournament, Hall posted a 3-1 recording with a 1.13 earned run average and 15 strikeouts. Ellis, Canada's starting third baseman, posted a .207 average with one double and two runs batted in. The bronze medal was Canada's fifth-ever medal at the World Junior AAA Championships and it's first medal since 1997.

HEAD COACH Steve Hertz, who moved into an administrative position in the Gonzaga Athletic Department. Machtolf has posted an 81-77 record at Gonzaga, including a 40-38 mark in West Coast Conference play. During his first three seasons he has led the Bulldogs to three top-five finishes and produced the WCC Player of the Year in 2004, former Zag Kiel Thibault. During the summer of 2006, Machtolf served as an assistant coach for Team USA. Under his guidance, the Zags posted a 28-2-1 record, including  going a perfect at the Federation Internationale du Sport Universitaire (FISU) World Championships in Havanna, Cuba. A 1987 graduate of Stanford University, Machtolf was a member of the Cardinal's 1987 College World Series championship team and was an All-CWS selection.

NEWCOMERS MAKE STRONG IMPACT: Six position players and one pitcher that are newcomers to this season's Gonzaga University baseball team have seen time in the starting lineups. Freshmen Bryan Winston and Chris Highmark have earned starts for the Zags. At the plate, the newcomers have combined for over a third of the Zags' runs scored (45), hits (81), doubles (18), triples (2), home runs (2) and runs batted in (35). They have also combined to steal 12 of Gonzaga's 17 stolen bases. As a whole, the newcomers are batting at a .252 clip. Winston leads all newcomers with a .391 average. Highmark marks the lone newcomer to earn a start on the mound. The Brigham Young University transfer has posted a 2-4 record in six starts. Jeremy Stumetz and Chris Griffith, both freshmen on the squad, have also seen time on the mound.

MOVING UP ON THE ALL-TIME LIST: Gonzaga University pitcher Brandon Harmon is only four strikeouts shy of earning a spot on the Bulldog all-time strikeout leaders list. The junior, who has posted 20 K's this season, has posted 185 strikeouts to date. With four more strikeouts, he would be tied for tenth on the all-time list with Tom Gorman. Billy Walker holds the school career record with 332 K's during the 1987-90 seasons. Harmon is also four appearances shy of ranking in the top-10 for all-time appearances. Currently, Harmon has made 55 career appearances. Harmon already holds a stop in the career record books. He is ranked fifth all-time with eight career saves.

BULLDOGS EARN TWO STRAIGHT TOURNAMENT TITLES: Gonzaga University earned its second straight tournament title this season after posting a 4-0 record at the Banana Belt Tournament in Lewiston, Idaho. Previously this season, Gonzaga won the Southwest Diamond Classic after posting a 2-1 record in Frisco, Texas. Two other teams, the University of Houston and Missouri State University both posted 2-1 records at the event, but the Zags were awarded the title based on run differential. The two titles marks the second consecutive season that Gonzaga has earned two tournament titles. Last season, Gonzaga was crowned the champions of both the Texas Pan American Tournament as well as the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic.

GONZAGA POSTS .700 RECORD IN TOURNAMENT PLAY: For the sixth straight season, Gonzaga University has posted a winning record while playing in tournaments. This season the Zags posted a 7-3 record (.700) in tournament play. The last time the Zags did not post a winning record in tournament play was in 2000, when the Bulldogs earned a record of 2-4. The Zags did not play in any tournaments during the 2001 campaign and have posted a .500 record or higher every season since. The highest winning percentage for Gonzaga during tournament play was recorded last season, with the Zags went 9-4 (.733).

TOURNAMENT PLAY SINCE 1990: Since the 1990 season, the Gonzaga University baseball team holds a 78-62-2 record when playing in tournaments. This season, Gonzaga has gone  7-3 in tournament play, including capturing the Southwest Diamond Classic Tournament Title and the Banana Belt Tournament Title. Last season, the Zags participated in four tournaments, compiling a 11-5 record in which they earned tournament titles at both the Texas Pan American Tournament and the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic.

FOUR ZAGS NAMED TO ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAMS: Mark Castellitto, Brandon Harmon, Shawn Wayt and Aaron McGuinness of the Gonzaga University baseball team, have all been named to all-tournament teams this season. Castellitto and Harmon were bestowed with the honor at the Southwest Diamond Classic, while Wayt and McGuinness were honored at the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic. Castellitto finished the Southwest Diamond Classic going 6-for-11 (.545) with two runs scored and six RBI. At the same event, Harmon threw a complete game on Feb. 23 in a loss to University of Texas San Antonio. McGuinness and Wayt earned all-tournament accolades after combining to lift the Zags over then-No. 9 Oregon state Unviersity 6-5 on Feb. 19. Wayt went 2-for-4 with two run-scoring singles and three runs batted in, while McGuinness drove home the game winning run in the top of the ninth inning.

LIVE ON THE INTERNET: All Gonzaga University home games will be available via Gametracker on the internet at http://www.gozags.com. Check the Gonzaga web site for all Gametracker links.

TRIO NAMED TO WCC 40th ANIVERSITY TEAM: Three former Gonzaga University baseball standouts were named to the West Coast Conference/Rawlings 40th Anniversary Baseball Team. Former Bulldogs Barry Matthews were named to the ceremonial team that consists of 40 of the top players that have graced WCC baseball diamonds over the past four decades. Bay, the 2004 National League Rookie of the Year, compiled a .374 career average with 125 runs, 152 hits, 24 doubles, 35 home runs and 121 runs batted in as a Bulldog. Gold, the WCC single-season home run champion, hit a league-record and NCAA leading 33 long balls in the 2002 season. The 2002 WCC Player of the Year posted a .307 career average with 147 hits, 95 runs, 46 home runs and 124 RBI. Matthews was one of the top two-way players in Gonzaga history. At the plate, Matthews compiled a .332 career average with 144 runs, 207 hits, 29 home runs and 130 RBI. On the mound, he posted a 21-12 career record, registering a 5.01 earned run average with 11 complete games, 284 innings pitched and 215 strikeouts.

ZAGS PICKED TO FINISH FIFTH: The Gonzaga University baseball team has been selected to finish fifth in the 2007 West Coast Conference preseason poll, as voted on by the conference's head coaches. Pepperdine University, received six first place votes and a total of 47 points to edge out the University of San Diego and 2006 WCC regular season co-champion University of San Francisco for first place. The Toreros and Dons tied for second place with 41 points apiece, with each team garnering a first place vote. Loyola Marymount University checked in at fourth with 28 points, just edging out the Zags, who received 25 points. Santa Clara University was tabbed for a sixth place finish with 19 points, while Saint Mary's College and the University of Portland were picked to finish seventh and eighth with 16 and eight points, respectively.