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Gonzaga baseball players, coach honored with WCC awards

Two Zags players and Head Coach Mark Machtolf took three of the top honors by the West Coast Conference, with nine Zags named to All-Conference teams.

SPOKANE, Wash. β€” Ten Gonzaga baseball players and the team’s head coach were honored on Tuesday by the West Coast Conference.

Head Coach Mark Machtolf was named Coach of the Year for the conference as he led the Zags to a WCC championship. The team finished the regular season at 34-15 and is currently ranked No. 12 in the country. Gonzaga next plays in the WCC tournament but is also considered a lock for the NCAA Tournament. This was the fifth time Machtolf has won Coach of the Year honors.

Spokane native and Gonzaga Prep alum Connor Coballes was named the WCC Defensive Player of the Year. The junior plays shortstop for the Zags. He finished the regular season with a .973 fielding percentage and helped the team turn 22 double plays. He committed just two errors in WCC play. 

Coballes is the third Zag to win Defensive Player of the Year and the second straight Bulldog after Brett Harris won last year.

Third baseman Cade McGee was named the conference's Freshman of the Year. McGee came to Gonzaga from Salpointe Catholic High School in Tucson, Arizona. McGee batted .296 in the regular season for the Zags. He also hit a team-leading seven home runs with 27 RBIs and 29 runs scored. He is only the second Zag ever to win the award.

Nine players earned All-Conference honors, including Catcher Tyler Rando and pitcher Gabe Hughes who were named to the All-WCC First Team.

Rando, a senior, started at designated hitter and catcher for the Bulldogs. Rando batted .327 in the regular season. He hit 6 home runs and added 32 runs and 29 RBIs.

Hughes came into the season with sky-high expectations and delivered in his sophomore effort. Hughes went 8-1 during the regular season with a 2.62 ERA. He struck out 124 batters over 86 innings. He is considered one of the top pitching prospects in the upcoming MLB Draft.

Pitcher Trystan Vrieling was named all WCC Second Team, while Enzo Apodaca, Cade McGee, Savier Pinales, Ezra Samperi, Michael Spellacy, and Owen Wild earned Honorable Mentions.

Apodaca and McGee were also named to the All-Freshman Team.

WATCH MORE: 'Thank you for everything': Former Gonzaga baseball players remember life of coach Danny Evans

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