It didn't take Gonzaga long to show who the top team in the West Coast Conference was. After winning the regular season championship by defeating LMU a week ago, the Zags had all the momentum and rode it into the championship series. The championship series kicked off on Friday and Loyola Marymount largely controlled the game through the first seven innings. Gonzaga was shut out durin this time with the Lions gathering a 2-0 lead and looking like they were going to steal game one at Patterson Baseball Complex. The Zags were able to get one run off a sacrifice fly in the seventh and in the eighth they broke through as Mark Castilleto hit a solo-home run to tie the game up at 2-2. Loyola Marymount, feeling no pressure after the Gonzaga comeback, fired back at the Zags in the top half of the ninth. LMU's Shon Roe took a Matt Fields pitch over the left field wall to reclaim the lead for the Lions. The bottom of the ninth started with a LMU fielding error that put pinch hitter Grant Kveder on base. Freshman sensation Ernesto Ortiz followed Kveder and lined a two-strike fastball into the outfield which gave the Zags two men on with no outs. Gonzaga threw in some small ball as lead off hitter Evan Wells came up next and laid down a sacrifice bunt which advanced the runners. LMU was now forced in to a terrible situation because they were forced to walk the bases loaded for the two best Gonzaga hitters, Tyson Van Winkle and Ryan Wiegand. Both did their part as Van Winkle drew a full-count walk which brought Kveder home. The stage was then set for Wiegand and LMU could have just given up the series after this at bat. Wiegand hit a chopper over the head of the Lion pitcher and scored Ortiz to give Gonzaga the 4-3 win and the advantage in the series.
If their was any doubt about who had the momentum in this series, Gonzaga made it clear early and often in Saturday's series clinching game for the Zags. Someone could have told Gonzaga coach Mark Machtolf that the only person that needed to show up Saturday was Gonzaga first baseman Ryan Wiegand. The senior carried the momentum from his game-winning hit into game two and hit three home-runs on Saturday to help Gonzaga rout LMU 14-3. His three home-runs drove in eight runs which was more than enough to overcome the Lions. The Zags were up five runs by the end of the second inning and put it on cruise control from there. Starting pitcher Steven Ames stifled the Lions all day and went the distance for a complete game win to put his record at 8-1. The only runs for LMU came off some Gonzaga errors once the game was well in hand. Gonzaga does not have to wait long to find out what is next as the sites for the 16 regional locations will be announced tonight and the 64 team-field will be announced Monday morning on ESPN.
Summer is the time when we are going to start hearing the names of a bunch of new Gonzaga basketball prospects. Jordan Railey is one of those prospects. The 2010 center prospect measures out at 6'10'' and a Gonzaga-typical skinny 215 pounds. Railey attends Beaverton High School in Oregon and plays his AAU ball for the I-5 Elite. His team took part in the Memorial Day Classic and has been impressing the scouts. Here is a look at his school list according to Scout.com:
Underrated big man prospect Jordan Raley of I-5 Elite has a wide range of interest and rattled off Colorado State, Utah State, Santa Clara, Fresno State, Portland, Portland State, Gonzaga, Washington State, Washington and others as showing interest.
continue reading more about Railey after the jump...
Here is a video done by OregonLive.com about Railey. Sounds like an impressive kid who has some good ability and could fill a major "need" for Gonzaga in the future.
|Player Spotlight: Beaverton's Jordan Railey|
Railey is widely known as an underrated prospect due to his skinny frame but every write-up about him has noted his impressive skill set. His recruitment has really started to take off recently. One of his first offers was from Ken Bone and Portland State so you can bet that Washington State will be all over this kid. He will probably be a top Oregon prospect along with guys like Kyle Wiltjer.
We will keep you up to date on the recruitment of Railey and the rest of the 2010 prospects. It is good to know that they are going after some bigs, hopefully Railey is just the tip of the iceberg.