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Gonzaga Baseball Signs Seven on NLI Day

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  • Gonzaga Baseball Signs Seven on NLI Day

    Baseball Signs Seven on NLI Day

    Five high school seniors, two Juco transfers will join Zags in Fall of 2022

    SPOKANE, Wash.Gonzaga baseball head coach Mark Machtolf announced the signing of seven new Zags to National Letters of Intent Wednesday, with two junior college transfers and five incoming freshmen set to join the team in the Fall of 2022. This fall's signees have a particularly local flair — five hail from Washington state, including three from Spokane.

    "We are very excited to welcome these seven young men to our program," Machtolf said. "Our goal is to play in Omaha, and these young men will help play a large role in that process."

    Brock Bozett
    SS | Spokane, Wash. | Community Colleges of Spokane / Ferris HS

    A three-time All-Greater Spokane League First Team Selection for baseball at Ferris High, Bozett spent the past season at CC Spokane, where he hit for a .385 average while scoring 50 runs and driving in 36 more. That season, the shortstop earned First Team All-Region and Second Team All-American honors for his efforts and was an All-West Coast League Honorable Mention over the summer after driving in a team-high 33 runs in 45 appearances with the Cowlitz Black Bears.

    Bozett's brothers, Beau and Blake, both played baseball for the Zags, and he said "I chose GU because It felt like home from the start."

    "I couldn't ask for a better coaching staff to play for," he added. "I'm excited to compete in front of my hometown. Go Zags."

    Machtolf on Bozett: "Brock is a very talented local player, who will come in as a junior college transfer who will have a chance to help us right away. Brock is a true SS, who has the chance to hit at the top of the order."

    Ricco Longo
    INF | Spokane Valley, Wash. | University HS

    Another Spokane product and All-GSL infielder, Longo was ranked No. 30 amongst the state's top 2022 prospects by Baseball Northwest and named MVP of the Palouse Summer Series in his age group in 2021. Appearing at third base and shortstop this past spring while also playing football for the Titans this fall, Longo holds a 3.5 GPA.

    "I've been looking up to the coaches since I was young and it has always been my dream to play at Gonzaga University," Longo said of his choice to attend GU in the fall.

    Machtolf on Longo: "We have a long history with watching Ricco grow up and play in Spokane. He is a true spark plug, and we think his skill set is a great match for our program."

    Parker Smith
    RHP | Spokane Valley, Wash. | Central Valley HS

    Smith is the third Spokane native signing with GU this fall, a four-year letterman from Central Valley rated as the No. 24 2022 prospect in the state by Baseball Northwest. The righty touts a 3.9 GPA and was invited to the PACNW and BBNW games this past summer after a spring spent as the Bears' most-used starter, leading CV to an appearance in the 4A State playoffs.

    "I chose Gonzaga because I will get a great education while being a part of a great baseball program," Smith said.

    Machtolf on Smith: "Another local product who we have had on our radar for a long time. Parker has a great three-pitch mix and we feel has a chance to make an early impact."

    Matthew Mueller
    LHP | Brookfield, Wisc. | Brookfield Central HS

    Signing with the Zags out of Wisconsin, the 6'5 lefty Mueller was ranked amongst the Top 50 players in the state by the Milwaukee Sentinel-Journal. A two-year captain for Brookfield Central, Mueller was named First Team All-Conference his junior year and invited to participate in Perfect Game's 2021 National Showcase over the summer after finishing the 2021 season with a 1.00 ERA over 35 innings on the mound.

    "I chose Gonzaga because I felt like I connected well with the coaches when we talked, and I believe that Gonzaga's program will really highlight my style of pitching allowing me to be the best player I can be," Mueller said.

    Machtolf on Mueller: "Matthew is a very projectable LHP who we feel has a huge ceiling. We are excited to see how good he gets in his time as a Zag."

    Tyler Griggs
    3B/2B | Rochester, N.Y. | Central Arizona College / McQuaid HS

    A New Yorker by way of Central Arizona, Griggs spent his freshman year at UConn before joining one of the nation's most successful junior college programs in the country, joining former Zags NIck Trogrlic-Iverson, Brett Harris and Ryan Sullivan, who all spent time at CAC before coming to Spokane. Griggs batted for a team-high .379 average last season with the Vaqueros, culminating in an NJCAA Academic All-American nod.

    At McQuaid high school in Rochester, Griggs led the Knights to their first-ever New York state championships in 2019 while nabbing All-State honors in the process.

    "I chose Gonzaga because of the winning culture the coaches have built, as well as the opportunity to get a great education," Griggs said.

    Machtolf on Griggs: "Tyler comes from one of the premier junior colleges in the country, and we think he has a chance to make an immediate impact in our lineup next season."

    Kevin Spear
    C | Seattle, Wash. | Bishop Blanchet HS

    Spear started and lettered for Blanchet all four years, serving as captain over the past two seasons while earning First Team All-League honors and a selection to the 2021 Area Code Games over the spring. The 6'0 catcher, who also appeared at shortstop for the Braves, was ranked No. 23 in the state among 2022 prospects by Baseball Northwest.

    "I chose Gonzaga because they have one of the best coaching staffs in the nation, and are one of the top baseball schools in the country," Spear said. "I believe I'll develop the most as a human and player under their guidance."

    Machtolf on Spear: "We are getting the top prep catcher in the state of Washington with Kevin. A very good athlete who can play multiple positions as well."

    Payton Graham
    RHP/OF | Richland, Wash. | Kamiakin HS

    After a decorated career as a multi-sport star in football and baseball at Richland's Kamiakin High, Graham brings another proven athlete to GU in the fall. Ranked No. 5 in Baseball Northwest's 2022 class rankings and listed amongst the Top 25 pitchers in the state by Scorebook Live last season, Graham was the 2021 MCC Player of the Year and an All-League honoree at both pitcher and third base. As a utility player for Kamiakin in football, Graham was also named the 2021 MCC All-Purpose Player of the Year.

    "The reason I chose Gonzaga is because they have the best coaching staff in the Pacific Northwest," Graham said. "Gonzaga has a history of winning and has created a great culture. Growing up in a Catholic family and attending Catholic schools for most of my education, Gonzaga aligned my values with my passion for playing baseball at the next level.

    "I have dreamed of going to Gonzaga to play baseball ever since I was a kid attending Gonzaga baseball camps."

    Machtolf on Graham: "Payton is one of the premier athletes in the state. He has the chance to be a mid-90's arm and also has a chance to help us offensively."

    Gonzaga Article Link

    Brock Bozett Joins GU Baseball

    Payton Graham Joins GU Baseball

  • #2
    Thanks Terp.
    But we don't play nobody.