4 Zags taken in MLB draft - SWX Right Now-Sports for Spokane, CdA, Tri-Cities, WA

Gonzaga Baseball

4 Zags taken in MLB draft

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Matt Fields was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 22nd round (Photo: SWX) Matt Fields was selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 22nd round (Photo: SWX)

SPOKANE, Wash. - Gonzaga University had four players selected in the 2009 Major League Baseball Amateur draft Wednesday. Tyson Van Winkle was selected in the 10th round by the Arizona Diamondbacks, Steven Ames was taken in the 17th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Matt Fields went in the 22nd round to the Toronto Blue Jays and Ryan Wiegand was taken in the 25th round by the Tampa Bay Rays.

The four players drafted is the most for the Zags since the 2003 team saw five players taken in the draft. A total of 55 Bulldogs have now been drafted including 27 players who have been drafted during head coach Mark Machtolf's 19-year tenure at Gonzaga.

"We are very proud to have four players selected in the draft," said Machtolf. "Tyson, Matt, Steven and Ryan each played huge roles in the team's success this year, earning a WCC Championship and a trip to the NCAA Tournament. We are very excited for each one of those guys and the opportunities that lie in front of them. Matt and Ryan will now get a chance to play at the next level while both Tyson and Steven each have a couple options in front of them."

Van Winkle, the 306th overall pick, enjoyed a breakout season for the Zags this year after choosing to return to Gonzaga after being drafted in the 39th round by the Houston Astros last year. The Vancouver, Wash. native earned All-West Coast Conference honors this season after leading the conference and setting a new school single-season record with 27 doubles. He also posted team-highs in batting average (.362), hits (84) and in slugging (.543) all while starting all 54 games behind the plate this season. Van Winkle also slugged five home runs, recorded 26 multi-hit games, had a team-best 19 multi-RBI games and drove in 61 RBI to record the eighth highest single season total in GU history.

Ames, the 517th overall selection, is the first Gonzaga pitcher drafted since Clayton Mortensen was a Compensation "A" first round pick in 2007. Ames earned All-West Coast Conference honorable mention honors after posting an 8-2 record and a team-high three complete games. The Vancouver, Wash. native led the Zags in innings (96.2) and was second in strikeouts (70). Ames moved into the weekend rotation a couple weeks into the season before ending the season as the team's number two pitcher, posting notable wins against #21 University of San Diego and Santa Clara University along the way, both with complete game efforts. He picked up two wins over Loyola Marymount University on consecutive weeks as the first win clinched the WCC regular season title and the second came in the game two clinching win of the WCC Championship Series to earn a NCAA Tournament automatic berth for the Zags. Ames then went on to strikeout four in seven innings of work against number two national seed Cal State Fullerton in the NCAA Tournament.

Fields, the 670th pick of the draft becomes the fourth pitcher to be drafted during Machtolf's six years as head coach for the Bulldogs. Fields closed out his GU career with his finest season, earning WCC Pitcher of the Year and All-WCC honors after posting a team-best 8-1 record including a 5-0 mark in conference play. The Lake Stevens, Wash. native and Friday night starter for the past season and half produced a 3.47 overall ERA, a 2.81 ERA in WCC play, a team-high 74 strikeouts, a personal five-game winning streak and two complete-game victories including the Zags lone complete-game shutout of the season. Fields most notable wins came against #26 Pepperdine University and #21 San Diego on consecutive starts and later went on to post back-to-back wins over LMU lead the Zags to a WCC title and into the NCAA Tournament.

Wiegand, the 769th overall pick, just completed one of the most impressive four-year careers at Gonzaga, leaving as the school's all-time leader in hits, doubles and RBI. The San Diego, Calif. native took home All-WCC honors after producing his fourth consecutive season with at least a .318 batting average. Wiegand finished the season with 21 doubles, seven home runs and 65 RBI, marking the second straight season he has recorded 60-plus RBI. Also during his senior year, he tied a school record with three grand slams hit in a single season and capped his final game the Patterson Baseball Complex and Washington Trust Field with a three-homer eight-RBI performance in the WCC Championship Series clinching game two win for the Zags to send the Bulldogs to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1981.

The MLB draft concludes Thursday. Complete draft coverage is available at www.MLB.com.

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