Marco Gonzales took care of his injured knee about as well as he’s batted and pitched this season.
So it was no surprise when the Gonzaga sophomore returned to the field last weekend, not even three weeks after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right knee.
First, Gonzales pitched, allowing two earned runs through five innings while working on an 80-pitch limit in a Saturday win over Santa Clara. Then he went 2 for 2 at the plate while playing first base in a win on Sunday.
Again, no surprise – Gonzales leads the team with a .433 batting average in 22 games, and has the longest active winning streak of any Division I pitcher – 16 games, dating back to Feb. 26 of last season.
As for his knee? Gonzales said his doctor evaluated it prior to his return last weekend and said it looked more as if it had been four weeks since surgery instead of not quite three.
“I was walking the day after, which is pretty incredible,” Gonzales said. “I took really good care of it. Lots of therapy and strengthening stuff. It really came along great.”
Doctors told Gonzales the tear in his meniscus likely occurred a while back, though he doesn’t remember when. He said he may have aggravated it in early March by attempting a leaping catch against a fence in foul territory during Gonzaga’s three-game series at New Mexico. The tear was discovered shortly thereafter, but he continued to play – and play well – until opting for surgery after the Bulldogs’ March 25 win over Hawaii.
“The doctor said it was a really good decision” to have surgery, Gonzales said. “The tears were really big.”
He was able to keep his arm in shape with stationary throwing, and was able to do some light jogging about a week after the surgery. Gonzales said there were times when it was hard to watch from the dugout, though he only wound up missing 10 games, and the Bulldogs only lost three of them.
The biggest issue for him going forward may simply be knocking off the rust. Gonzales said he felt “a little sluggish, more than anything” against Santa Clara last weekend, but that he doesn’t think his knee will bother him on the mound or in the batter’s box.
“I think it’ll affect me more running, as far as the bases and outfield and all that,” said Gonzales, who can also play left field. “As far as actually throwing and hitting, I don’t think it has any issue with that.
“I’ve had no swelling. The only thing I need to get back is my strength. Usually, around three weeks is the average, with good therapy and a good health record before this.”
Gonzales will be Gonzaga’s starting pitcher against San Francisco on Saturday. He’s 5-0 this season with a 1.54 ERA.
The Bulldogs (26-9, 6-3) are one game out of first place in the West Coast Conference. The Dons beat Gonzaga on the final day of the regular season in 2011 to win the WCC title, but have struggled to an overall record of 16-24 and are just 3-6 in conference.
Around the area
Gonzaga beat WSU 7-4 on Tuesday to take the second game of a three-game series between the teams this season. The Bulldogs also won the first game in Spokane on April 3. They’ll play for a final time in Pullman on May 22.
Washington State (18-15, 5-6 Pac-12) is in Eugene this weekend for a three-game series against Oregon, which is ranked among the nation’s top 15 teams in all four of the major college baseball polls. Collegiate Baseball ranks the Ducks at No. 6. That means the Cougars’ last three Pac-12 road series will have been against teams ranked in the top seven – they lost two of three to No. 6 Arizona and did the same against No. 6/7 UCLA on back-to-back trips in March.
Whitworth made up a game in the Northwest Conference standings by taking two of three games from first-place Pacific (Ore.) last weekend. Pacific (17-14, 14-4) leads the Pirates (20-13-1, 13-5) by one game. Whitworth lost a nonconference game to Lewis-Clark State on Tuesday and hosts a three-game series against Willamette this weekend, beginning with a doubleheader on Saturday.
Singer Carole King, a long-time resident of Idaho, performs during the final day of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia earlier today. King, whose hits include "You've Got A Friend," ...
Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador is the sixth-poorest member of Congress, according to a comparison by InsideGov.com, with an average net worth, based on his federal financial disclosures, of minus $216,000. ...
21. California envy. 20. Water recreation. 19. Mental illness. 18. Conducive to frolicsome attire. 17. "I feel the need, the need for chlorine." 16. Have AC and enjoy cranking it ...
While there aren’t any new additions to the Spokane Indians weekly prospect rankings, there is a new No. 1. And a great deal of movement. Six of last week’s 10 ...
sponsored According to two 2015 surveys, 62 percent of Americans do not have enough savings to handle an unexpected emergency, much less any long-term plans.