View Full Version : Gonzaga Baseball Picked To Finish Third In WCC Preseason Poll

02-06-2013, 07:39 PM
Senior Clayton Eslick (left) and junior Marco Gonzales (right) were named on the preseason All-WCC team.

Gonzaga Baseball Picked To Finish Third In WCC Preseason Poll

SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Gonzaga University baseball has been selected to finish third in the 2013 West Coast Conference baseball championship, according to a preseason poll of the nine WCC head coaches released by the conference Wednesday.

Two Zags were named to the All-WCC team, senior Clayton Eslick and junior Marco Gonzales. Gonzales, the reigning WCC Pitcher of the Year, was named as both an infielder and pitcher.

Gonzaga tallied 49 total points in the poll along with one first place vote. With 62 points and six first place votes, the University of San Diego was picked to win the conference. In second, with 53 points and two first place votes, is Pepperdine University.

The Bulldogs finished 2012 with a 34-22 record, their fifth 30-win season in six years. In WCC action, Gonzaga finished 14-10, which was good for third place. Head coach Mark Machtolf enters his 10th season at the helm of the Bulldogs and will welcome back his senior leadership of Steven Halcomb, Billy Moon, Tyler Olson and Eslick.

Gonzales, preseason first-team All-American by Baseball America, Perfect Game and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, returns to Gonzaga after an incredible sophomore campaign. He finished 2012 with an 8-2 record and a 1.55 ERA, but also was a force at the plate with a .325 average.

Eslick, a Gilroy, Calif., native capped off his 2012 season with a .340 average, two homers and 23 runs batted in.

Both were named to the 2012 All-WCC team.

In total, seven of the nine WCC schools are represented on the All-WCC team, led by Loyola Marymount University with four selections followed by the Zags three. This year's preseason All-WCC team were All-WCC selections last year, headed by Gonzales and Freshman of the Year Travis Radke of University of Portland.

For the first time this year, the conference is hosting a four-team playoff format at a neutral site to declare the WCC champion with an automatic berth into the NCAA Baseball Championships. Action will take place in Stockton, Calif., at Banner Island Ballpark beginning May 23...

Gonzaga Article Link includes 2013 West Coast Conference Preseason Poll and 2013 Preseason All-West Coast Conference Team (http://www.gozags.com/ViewArticle.dbml?DB_OEM_ID=26400&ATCLID=206296564)

Gonzaga Coach Mark Machtolf's 2013 WCC Baseball Preview video link (http://www.youtube.com/watch?ATCLID=206296564&SPSID=627525&SPID=90843&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=26400&v=8EdPbSsJj64)

WCC Website Baseball Release (http://www.wccsports.com/sports/m-basebl/spec-rel/020613aac.html?ATCLID=206296564&SPSID=627525&SPID=90843&DB_LANG=C&DB_OEM_ID=26400)

02-06-2013, 09:38 PM
The College Baseball Today Top 298 Power Ranking for 2013:

28- GONZAGA (34-22)

1B/LHP Marco Gonzales may be the best two-way player in the country and he’ll have a pair of draft dodgers to torment opponents with in incoming flinger Andrew Sopko, a 14th round pick, and LHP Tyler Olson, who returns for his senior year after being selected in the 17th round...

College Baseball Today's Top 298 for 2013 (http://blogs.eastonbaseball.com/collegebaseballtoday/2013/01/28/the-top-298-for-2013/)

02-06-2013, 10:03 PM
2013 Preview West Coast Conference:



1- San Diego

2- Gonzaga

3- Pepperdine

4- LMU

5- Santa Clara

6- San Francisco

7- St. Mary’s

8- Portland

9- BYU...


Yep, you read right. See that “4″ next to the Conference ISR ranking? That tells you that the WCC had a bounce-back season in 2012. And boy, was it a long time coming. Remember how cursing-mad I was in this space last year? After three straight seasons of being a one-bid league, the WCC put the wood to people last season. Sure, there were *only* two teams in the NCAAs last season (Pepperdine and San Diego) but face it, the West Coast Conference is always better than its RPI says it is. Gonzaga… you got screwed. Those three teams should be the big dogs again for 2013. But put a heavy emphasis on the word “should.” You really have to keep an eye on everyone here. If last year was any hint, look for a lot more early season upsets and keep in mind that LMU, SCU, USF, SMC, Portland and BYU are ALL capable of ruining somebody’s weekend. Still, if Michael Wagner transitions well to the starters role and Dylan Covey is as close to 100% as coach Rich Hill says, mark this down as USD’s title to lose.


- Gonzaga.

I’m not saying this is a “breakthrough” in WCC play, I’m saying they could put a big footprint on the national scene. Last year, the Zags had things going on and inside the Top 25 of the RPI and all, but then got skunked in five big games vs. Oregon and Arizona State and never recovered. The key will be the early games vs. Oregon State (opening weekend), Arkansas and Arizona State (in the Coca-Cola Classic). A couple wins there and the Zags are on their way to a Top 25 season...


- Andrew Sopko, RHP, Gonzaga.

Here’s another reason why the Bulldogs could really make a loud noise nationally. If the Missoula, Montana product can live up to the hype (he was a 14th round draft pick last June), the Zags will have another top-shelf arm to put the clamps on people. Now… if fellow frosh righty Taylor Jones can also acclimate quickly, this Zags pitch staff gets nasty...

- GONZAGA (34-22, 14-10)

2012 ISR: 25

Starters Returning: 4

Weekend Starters: 2

Mid-Week Starters: 2

Key Relievers (15+inns.): 3


All Conference Candidates:

LHP/1B Marco Gonzales (.325-2-29 & 8-2, 1.55, .201OBA)

LHP Tyler Olson (5-4, 2.77, .251OBA)

SS/2B Clayton Eslick (.340-2-23)



- The Zags were one of the hottest teams in the nation in the early going last season. In fact, through Tax Day they were 26-9 and had an RPI that was as high as No. 14. Think about that for a second. That’s incredibly impressive for a team isolated on the eastern side of the Palouse. But the 3-11 spell that followed, including an 0-3 weekend vs. Arizona State and a pair of losses to Oregon, was what sunk that promising start and kept the Bulldogs at home in June.

- Two of the better dual-threat players in the country are Bulldog ace and 1st Baseman Marco Gonzales, who San Diego head coach Rich Hill told me was possibly the most underrated pitcher in the country, and LHP/OF Billy Moon, who made only six mound appearances but five of those were starting assignments as he went 3-2, 2.84 on the hill while hitting .248 with two home runs at the plate.

- Baseball America called the incoming class as the best in the West Coast Conference and is headlined by 14th round draft pick Andrew Sopko, a hard-throwing RHP. Also watch for 6′7″ flinger Taylor Jones, who is an upper-80s burner with an intimidating presence on the hill and RHP Michael Rucker, who throws even harder.

- Senior-to-be LHP Tyler Olson (8-6, 4.46 career) was drafted in the 17th round in last June’s Amateur Draft, but chose to come back for one more go-round at GU.

- Two lockdown relievers also come back in righties David Bigelow (3-3, 2.86, 4svs) and Zach Abbruzza (2-4, 3.32) who are both sophomores and provide for a deep bullpen that should be a great asset this spring...

College Baseball Today Article Link (http://blogs.eastonbaseball.com/collegebaseballtoday/2013/02/01/2013-preview-west-coast-conference/)

02-12-2013, 11:35 AM
Have to say I'm excited to follow these guys this year. Hopefully I'll be able to catch a game or two on espnu.