SPOKANE, Wash.—Gonzaga baseball head coach Mark Machtolf announced Monday that four more players will join the Bulldogs for the 2018 season.
Isaac Barrera | Outfielder | Kent, Wash.
Barrera started for three years at Kentridge HS, serving as leadoff hitter for the Chargers. As a senior, he hit .468 with 11 extra-base hits while scoring 21 runs. That and a strong glove in center field earned him All-League honors, First Team All-Area accolades from the Tacoma News Tribune, and a Star Times All-Area Selection from The Seattle Times. In club ball, he played two years for Baden Baseball, winning the 2017 Seattle Premier League.
Coach Machtolf on Barrera: “Barrera brings a dynamic speed element to our roster that we think will make a huge impact offensively and in the outfield. We envision Isaac as a top-of-the-order hitter in our lineup.”
Carson Breshears | Infielder | North Bend, Wash.
Breshears is a redshirt junior, having spent the first three years of his career at Oregon. The brother of former Zag Dustin Breshears, Carson appeared in 79 games for the Ducks, starting 31. He earned Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention accolades in both 2016 and 2017, reaching base at a .378 clip while making 25 starts at second base in 2016. In all, Breshears tallied 17 hits – three for extra bases – 10 RBIs, and maintained a .342 on-base percentage in Eugene.
Coach Machtolf on Breshears: “Carson comes to us as a very versatile and skilled player. We had his older brother Dustin for two years, who we thought was one of the toughest players we’ve ever had. We think Carson is cut from the same mold.”
Slade Heggen | Catcher/Outfielder | Missoula, Mont.
Heggen too comes to Gonzaga from Oregon after playing two years in a Ducks uniform. He made 41 total appearances, over half of them starts behind the plate. As a redshirt freshman, Heggen picked up Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention honors, and during his second season he hit .225 with seven hits, four RBIs and posted an on-base plus slugging percentage of .605. Defensively, tallied a fielding percentage of .993 and threw out 30 percent of all attempted base stealers at Oregon.
Coach Machtolf on Heggen: “Slade brings to us an experienced catcher who has handled a Division I pitching staff. He is very skilled as a defender and we think has a chance to really improve offensively.”
Mason Marenco | Infielder | Snoqualmie, Wash.
Marenco was a two-sport star at Mount Si High School, playing baseball for three years and wrestling for four. He had a standout senior year on the diamond, earning a spot on the All-State Team, KingCo 4A Player of the Year honors, and a spot in Washington’s All-State Game. On the mat, Morenco was also a force, captaining the squad as a junior and a senior – like he did for baseball as well – while twice reaching the state tournament. The Snoqualmie native also was named 2017 Kingco Wrestler of the Year, and his strong senior campaign in both sports earned him Mount Si’s Male Athlete of the Year award.
Coach Machtolf on Marenco: “Marenco brings a blue collar, tough-nosed mentality to our ball club. He’s a state champion wrestler who plays the game with the type of toughness that we look for in our infielders. We are very excited about Mason’s future as a Zag.”
Barrera, Breshears, Heggen, and Marenco join 10 more players as Gonzaga’s incoming class. The new school year begins August 2017, but the Zags won’t take the diamond until February 2018.