Bulldogs Announce Signing of Three Top Baseball Prospects
Head coach Mark Machtolf.
 
Head coach Mark Machtolf.

Dec. 4, 2009

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University head baseball coach Mark Machtolf has announced that three players have signed National Letters of Intent to join the Bulldogs for the 2010-11 school year.

Following a record setting 2009 season that produced the program's inaugural West Coast Conference Regular and Championship Series titles along with a trip to the NCAA Tournament, the Bulldogs are set to welcome infielder Ryan Brett from Burien, Wash., left-handed pitcher/first baseman Marco Gonzales from Fort Collins, Colo. and outfielder Josh Sale out of Seattle, Wash to Gonzaga next season.

"I am extremely excited about this recruiting class. This class is probably the best class we have ever brought in," stated Machtolf. "Although it is a not a large class, I believe these three players are three of the best players in the country and will help us take our program to the next level."

Sale signs with the Bulldogs while being the fifth best high school prospect in the country rated by Baseball America. Out of Bishop Blanchet high school, Sale earned Louisville Slugger Pre-season High School All-American and AFLAC All-American honors last season in addition to being a three-time All-Metro League selection, including first team as a sophomore and junior. The left-handed hitting outfielder is also ranked as the second best prospect in Washington by Baseball Northwest after being Washington All-State selection as a junior. He also earned a spot on the Seattle Times All-Area team and has played the past two summers for the Washington Nationals in the Area Code games. This past summer Sale became the first player ever to hit for the cycle during an Area Code game.

"Gonzaga is both a great school academically and a great fit for me personally. I enjoy the Spokane area and attending Gonzaga allows me to remain close to my family while participating in a very solid program," commented Sale, pronounced (Saw - Lee). "I am very comfortable with the coaching staff and the campus. I look forward to gaining a great education at Gonzaga, and furthering my dream of playing baseball. I will do all I can to help the team further its efforts towards winning a title."

"Josh is one of the top three power hitters in the country at the high school level and could hit in the middle of the order as a freshman," stated Machtolf. "Josh is one of those special players that only comes along every once in a while. He plays the game at a very high level and we are extremely excited to have one the top high school players in the country come and join the Gonzaga family next season."

Brett, an infielder out of Highline high school near Seattle is ranked as the third best high school prospect in Washington by Baseball Northwest and rated the 95th best prospect in the country by Baseball America. Following his junior season, Brett was a Washington All-State selection and later became the only player from the state of Washington to earn Louisville Slugger All-American First Team honors. After being named the Seamount League MVP and earning a spot on the Seattle Times All-Area team, Brett went on to play in the Area Code games for the Washington Nationals this past summer.

"I had a great visit to the campus," commented Brett. "I was really impressed with the facilities and got along great with the coaching staff."

"Ryan is probably the most versatile player in the state of Washington, if not the country, stated Machtolf." He can play in the middle infield or in centerfield. He has a great combination of strength and speed and will make an immediate impact as a leadoff hitter for us next season."

Gonzales is a two-way prospect that is viewed by many as one of the top ranked high school prospects in the Western Region. He is a three-time All-State selection out of Rocky Mountain high school where he has helped the Lobos claim the past three Colorado state titles, starting on the mound and earning the win in all three championship games. He received Louisville Slugger High School All-American accolades last season and was a member of the Cincinnati Reds Area Code team this past summer.

"I chose Gonzaga University because I believe it is the best place for me to grow and develop as a student-athlete. My first experience in Spokane was being snowed in with my family at the Red Lion Hotel last Christmas. And even under three feet of snow, I knew this was the school, program, and community that I wanted to devote my college life to," stated Gonzales. "I look forward to attending classes, developing into a Division I athlete, and meeting new people. I want to thank the Gonzaga baseball coaching staff and players for supporting and welcoming me and my family into the Gonzaga community. I am humbly honored to become a member of the Zag Family."

"Marco is one of the top two-way prospects in the country," commented Machtolf. "I believe that he will be an impact player both as a hitter and on the mound. He is another one of those types of players that will come to GU and make an immediate impact on our ball club during his first year. He pitches with great confidence and command and could make the weekend rotation as a freshman."

The Zags open the 2010 season on the road at the Cactus Classic in Tucson, Ariz. Feb. 19-21.

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