Freshman Marco Gonzales is extremely dynamic on offense and defense for the Zags.
He has been called the protÃ©gÃ©e. He is the freshman phenom from Ft. Collins, Colorado. Marco Gonzales is valuable and versatile for the Bulldogs, and proved it against Portland this weekend.
Gonzales produced plenty of offense and provided the necessary defense for the Zags to clinch the three game sweep at Portland.
The Bulldogs faced the Pilots Friday night, Saturday afternoon, and Monday. Sundayâ€™s scheduled game was rained out forcing the unusual Monday matchup.
The first game of the series was yet another solid opening performance by starting pitcher Ryan Carpenter. He threw eight innings notching nine strikeouts.
His defensive efforts were complimented by a balanced offensive production by the majority of the hitting rotation.
Billy Moon and Gonzales each tallied an RBI for the Zags. Gonzales, Eric Lane, and Royce Bolinger had multi-hit games with two apiece. The nine hit effort by the Bulldogs boosted the team to a 3-2 victory.
Saturdayâ€™s matinee provided a bit more of an offensive showdown as the starting pitching was not all that reliable. Gonzagaâ€™s Tyler Olson gave up four earned runs in three and two-thirds innings on the mound.
Reliever, Mark Phillips, pitched four shutout innings for the Zags.
Cody Martin, the consistent closer for the Bulldogs, finished the ninth inning up for the second straight game securing the Zags victory again.
On the offensive side of things, Gonzales continued his dynamic play with a three for four outing and two RBIâ€™s.
Cameron Edman drove in three runs for the Zags and notched two hits. Moon had the other run batted in, as well as two hits in the game. All together, Gonzaga rallied for 12 team hits in the 7-5 win.
Monday, Gonzales took his talents from first base to the mound, where he pitched his fourth complete game of the season. The freshman not only struck out seven batters in his nine innings, but was two for two at the plate. He entered the batting order in the eighth to spark the much needed offense.
The Zags compiled three team hits prior to the eighth inning. Once Gonzales entered the batting order, the team racked in six hits, and produced their first runs of the game. All of the Bulldogsâ€™ scoring happened in the eighth, as five Zags crossed home plate.
Andy Hunterâ€™s lone hit of the game led off the eighth inning, followed by Gonzalesâ€™ single and solid bunt single by Steven Halcomb to load the bases. Eric Lane was walked after a Portland pitching change, and the Zags were finally on the boardâ€”trailing 2-1.
Tyler Chism came to the plate and belted a two run double to give the Bulldogs a 3-2 lead that would never be relinquished. Moon doubled following Chismâ€™s at bat, driving in two more runs. That solidified the final score of 5-2; Gonzaga over Portland.
The series sweep gave Gonzaga the highest conference winning percentage in the WCC at .800. However, because USF (.778) has played one more conference games than the Zags, they sit atop the standings.
The Zags head to Eugene, Oregon for a mid-week, nonconference two game series against the University of Oregon Tuesday and Wednesday.
Friday, Gonzaga will resume WCC play at Pepperdine, kicking off the three game series against the Waves.