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Newly Ranked Zags Take on Rival Washington State

The Gonzaga men's baseball team finishes up a six game home stand this evening against the Cougars of Washington State.  The game will be at 6:30 PM at Patterson Baseball Complex and will feature a Gonzaga team that is playing very well.  The Zags are 3-2 thus far on the home stand, taking two of three from previously ranked San Diego and splitting a two game series with the Washington Huskies.  The Cougars (15-15) come into Spokane winners of five of their last eight games, including a win over the top-ranked Sun Devils of Arizona State.  Prior to their series with Arizona State, they had swept BYU and won their series against UCLA. 

Taking the hill for the Cougars tonight will be Jared Prince who is 1-3 on the season with a 4.95 ERA.  Gonzaga has yet to announce their starting pitcher for tonight's game but if it is anything like Steven Ames' most recent performance against San Diego, the Zags will be fine.  Ames struck out 10 on Saturday as Gonzaga took the series from the Toreros and found themselves in the baseball rankings for the first time in three years.  Gonzaga is also receiving votes in two other polls this week.  While the pitching for Gonzaga has been outstanding, the offensive production has been equally exceptional.  First baseman Ryan Wiegand and catcher Tyson Van Winkle have been outstanding at the plate this season.  Wiegand is hitting .286 with two home runs and a team-high 32 RBI's.  Van Winkle has been just as impressive as he leads the team in batting average (.343) and doubles with 14.  Senior second basemen Evan Wells is the leader in the field but has also done well thus far at the plate.  The lead off hitter has been doing his job and scoring runs as he leads the team in runs with 34. 

The last time these two teams matched up was on March 3rd when the Cougs snapped a six-game winning streak for Gonzaga with an 8-4 win.  The Zags were plagued by errors in that game as Gonzaga pitcher Steven Ames only allowed one earned run in his four innings of work.

Tonight's game is crucial as six of Gonzaga's next seven games will be on the road with a series against Portland and Santa Clara looming.  Come out to Patterson tonight at 6:30 to take in what should be some excellent baseball.