WENATCHEE – Three freshmen and a junior from Gonzaga University will spend their summer in Wenatchee playing for the AppleSox. Left-handed pitcher Eli Thornquist, left-handed pitcher Justin Blatner, catcher/outfielder Jordan Rathbone, and infielder Steve Machtolf will don an AppleSox uniform this season.
“I know over the years Gonzaga has sent more players to the AppleSox than any other college,” said AppleSox head coach AJ Proszek. “Having played at Gonzaga myself, keeping the strong connection with the school is extra special to me.”
Thornquist, a product of Arvada, Colo., is in his first season with Gonzaga after transferring from Lamar Community College. He spent his freshman campaign at the University of Sioux Falls before moving on to play at Lamar CC as a sophomore. This spring he has made five appearances with one start, compiling a 0-1 record with a 3.00 ERA.
The three freshmen, Blatner, Rahbone, and Machtolf, are all Spokane natives who played together at Gonzaga Prep High School.
Blatner redshirted last season in his first year with the Bulldogs. The lefty earned the win last Tuesday against Washington State University in his first college start after tossing five scoreless innings. He is 1-0 with a 1.86 ERA this spring. At Gonzaga Prep High School he was named the Greater Spokane League MVP in 2013 and was the top-ranked prospect in Washington by Baseball Northwest.
Rathbone has not appeared in a game this season with Gonzaga. Last spring at Gonzaga Prep High School he had a .471 batting average with 22 extra base hits. In high school he earned Perfect Game All-America Honorable Mention accolades and First Team All-Greater Spokane League honors.
Machtolf has yet to play in a game for Gonzaga this season. In high school he earned First Team All-State honors as a senior. The redshirt freshman plays for his father Mark Machtolf at Gonzaga, who is the head coach of the Bulldogs.
The 2016 season will begin at home on June 3 with a three-game series against the Yakima Valley Pippins. The team’s 17th season will include 33 home games at Paul Thomas Sr. Field.
Single game tickets start at just $7 for adults and $6 for kids. Season tickets are available now and can be purchased by contacting the AppleSox office at (509) 665-6900.