April 13, 2000
THIS WEEK: The Washington baseball team (14-17 overall, 3-6 Pac-10) travels to face No. 5 Stanford (26-9, 6-3) for a three-game Pac-10 series this weekend at Sunken Diamond. The Huskies and Cardinal get the series started Friday night at 6:00 p.m. as two of the conference's winningest pitchers square off. Justin Wayne (24-2 career record) will take the hill for Stanford against Washington junior Jeff Carlsen (21-5 career record). Saturday and Sunday's games both begin at 1:00 p.m. All three games will air live on KKOL AM-1300. Next week, the Dawgs play host to San Francisco in a two-game midweek series before hitting the road to play Wichita State. The following weekend, the Huskies will make it three straight weekend road series when they travel to Corvallis to play Oregon State. Here's a brief look at this weekend's games, with probable starting pitching matchups:
Fri., April 14, 6 p.m. -- UW at Stanford -- RHP Jeff Carlsen (5-1. 5.37) vs. RHP Justin Wayne (8-1, 2.09)
Sat., April 15, 1 p.m. -- UW at Stanford, -- RHP Matt Massingale (3-4, 5.58) vs. RHP Jason Young (4-0, 4.34)
Sun., April 16, 1 p.m. -- UW at Stanford -- TBA vs. RHP Tim Cunningham (2-1, 2.39)
SERIES HISTORY: Stanford leads the all-time series against Washington, 22-9. But in recent years, the Huskies have had a slight advantage. The Huskies and Cardinal have met 11 times over the last three years with Washington winning six of those meetings. In '97, Washington beat the Cardinal, two games to one, to win the Pac-10 Championship at Sunken Diamond. In 1998, the Huskies lost two of three in the regular season at Stanford, but swept a pair of games at Husky Ballpark for another Pac-10 title. Last season at Husky Ballpark, Stanford won two of three in a Pac-10 regular-season series. The Husky highlight of the weekend came in game one when Jeff Heaverlo and the Huskies out-dueled Jason Young and the Cardinal for a tight, 3-2 win. Heaverlo struck out 10 over seven innings and Young fanned 12 in an eight-inning complete game. Stanford won game two, 7-4 in 11 innings, and took the final game, 13-10, scoring six runs in the ninth.
COACH "K": In seven-plus seasons as the head coach of his alma mater, Ken Knutson has led the Dawgs to two Pac-10 championships, four Pac-10 Northern Division titles, two second-place finishes and three NCAA Regionals. His career overall record stands at 273-172 (.613). With those 273 wins, he is the second-winningest coach in UW history, trailing only Bob MacDonald (422). Before becoming the Husky head man in 1993, Knutson served as the Husky pitching coach for eight seasons. In 1985, his UW pitching staff led the nation with a 2.80 ERA. Knutson holds a 130-47 (.734) record in home games. He is 126-69 (.646) in conference games, the highest mark (percentage-wise) of any active Pac-10 coach. A 1981 All-Pac-10 left-handed pitcher at the UW, he is joined by assistant coaches Joe Ross, Ed Gustafson, and Joe Weis.
PLAYER NOTES: Here's a look at the possible starters at each position, with current stats and notes:
Pos. Player, Year Avg.-HR-RBI Notes C -- Jefferson Thiel, Fr. .261-2-12 Started 24 of 31 games behind the plate Tim Rice, So. .174-0-1 JC transfer has made seven starts at catcher 1B -- Ed Erickson, Sr. .310-5-22 UW's career home runs leader with 36 2B -- Marc Rittenhouse, Jr. .278-8-25 UW 4-2 in games he's started at 2B Josh Fulton, So. .143-0-1 Played one year at Brigham Young SS -- Tila Reynolds, Fr. .309-1-13 Hit in 12 of last 14: 19-for-45 (.422) Brent Robertson, So. .200-0-2 Started all three at 2B last weekend 3B -- Michael Done, So. .287-6-22 10-game hit streak: 16-for-41 (.390) OF -- Todd Linden, So. .357-4-31 Leads team in BA (.357), hits (41), RBI (31) OF -- Justin Drake, Fr. .218-1-4 Has started 13 of last 16 games OF -- Tyler Davidson, Fr. .323-3-10 Has started last five straight in RF OF -- Matt Hollod, So. .228-0-7 Started all three vs. Cal in RF OF -- Daniel Jahn, Jr. .194-1-10 Hit three-run HR in 3-2 win over Dayton DH -- Jay Garthwaite, Fr. .237-4-13 Started 26 as DH, 3 HR over last 6 games
RECENT RESULTS: Last weekend, the Huskies lost to of three to Arizona in a series at Husky Ballpark. Friday night saw a matchup of aces in Arizona's Ben Diggins and Washington's Jeff Carlsen. Carlsen got the better of the duel as he threw a four-hit complete game in a 6-2 victory. Michael Done broke a 2-2 tie in the sixth with a two-run homer. Saturday, Arizona's Erik Torres belted three home runs and the Wildcats hit six as a team in a 16-6 rout. Sunday was another pitchers' duel as Washington's Matt Massingale went the distance, but still lost, 3-2. Rob Shabansky and Mike Meyer held the Huskies to only three hits. Tuesday, the Huskies built a 9-0 lead against 10-time NAIA champion Lewis-Clark State, but had to hold on to win, 9-7. Mike Bomar made his return from injury and held the Warriors to only one hit over the first four innings before running out of steam. Taylor Grant earned his sixth save of the season and both Marc Rittenhouse and Done homered.
DOMINATING THE NORTHWEST: During the decade of the 1990s, the UW baseball program grew to be the unquestioned dominant team in the Pacific Northwest. During the decade, the Huskies won five Pac-10 North titles, two overall Pac-10 championships and went to four regionals. No Northwest team besides UW has gone to an NCAA Regional since 1991. In the 1990s, Washington posted a 355-218 (.620) overall record and 167-85 (.663) in Pac-10 play. Under coach Ken Knutson (1993-), UW has posted a 178-77 (.698) record against all teams from the Northwest (Washington, Oregon and Idaho) and is 141-72 (.653) against Division I teams from the Northwest. Knutson has a winning record against every Northwest foe (12) he has ever faced.
MORE IN THE 90'S: Among the nine current Pac-10 teams, Washington posted the fourth-best record during the 1990s with a 355-218 (.620) overall record. Stanford (.673), USC (.657) and Arizona State (.651) were the three league schools with better marks. The Huskies' .635 conference winning percentage during the decade was third-best behind the Cardinal (.650) and Trojans (.639). With four NCAA regional appearances in the 90's, the Huskies were behind USC (6), Stanford (5) and UCLA (5).
PAC-10 IS NO. 1 AGAIN: Baseball America once again ranked the Pacific-10 as the toughtest conference in the nation in this spring's preseason issue. Five of the league's nine schools (Oregon has no baseball team) rank in the top 25 and all nine made the top 86. Five of the 14 spots on BA's preseason All-America team were held by Pac-10 players and eight of the 14 second-teamers were conference members. Five of the top 11 college prospects in the nation (in terms of the 2000 draft) are Pac-10 players, including the first, second and sixth picks, according to Baseball America.
FRIENDLY CONFINES: Washington was very tough at home in the 1990s, posting a mark of 160-52 (.755) over the last 10 seasons. Under coach Ken Knutson, the Huskies have posted a remarkable 130-47 record in home games, good for a .734 mark. In 1998, the Huskies moved into Husky Ballpark and have notched a 50-24 (.676) record so far. In two seasons, the Huskies have averaged 30 home games a year after usually having played 15 to 20 each season at old Graves Field. This season, the Dawgs are scheduled to play 30 home games.
THE POWER HOUSE: History will eventually be the judge of whether the new Husky Ballpark favors the hitters or the pitchers. So far, however, it definitely has been advantageous to the offense. Through 77 games at Husky Ballpark, the Huskies have belted 125 home runs, an average of 1.6 per game, while visitors have hit 97 home runs, or 1.3 per game. In 77 games, a total of 1,088 runs have been scored (both teams combined), an average of 14.1 per game.
MORE COACH K FACTS: In only seven years as the head coach of the Washington baseball team, Ken Knutson has posted a list of accomplishments that already far outdistances any of his predecessors'. Aside from his outstanding won-lost record (see first page), Knutson has led the Dawgs to four Pac-10 North titles and two overall Pac-10 crowns. His teams have never finished below .500 in conference play and he earned the Pac-10 North Coach of the Year award three times. In seven seasons, he has coached 35 first-team all-league players, 11 different All-Americans and seven different USA National Teamers. Prior to his arrival, no Husky had ever tried out for the national team. Knutson has also seen 33 players move on to the professional ranks. Of those 33, all but one improved his draft standing compared to where he went prior to coming to the UW.
LINDEN: Sophomore first baseman Todd Linden was downright dominant in the opening weekend's Rawlings Spring Training Tournment. The switch hitter from Bremerton, Wash., finished the five-game weekend with a .750 batting average (12-for-16) and reached base safely in 16 of his 20 plate appearances (four walks). Linden also showed tremendous power and run production, tallying two doubles, a triple, three home runs and 11 RBI. He slugged 1.563 and struck out only once, and he even managed to throw out two baserunners from left field. Linden accounted for 11 of the Huskies' 25 RBI (44 percent) and 12 of their 38 hits (32 percent). For his efforts, Linden was named the first Pac-10 Player of the Week for the 2000 season. Linden still leads the Huskies in batting with his .357 mark. He also is tops in hits (41) and RBI (31) and second in doubles (8). Linden has hit safely in five straight and seven of the last eight. Over the eight games: 11-for-33 (.333) with eight runs, six RBI and six steals in six tries.
ERICKSON: Senior first baseman Ed Erickson would like to finally put in a full season this year. After seeing action as a part-time starter his first two seasons, Erickson was a full-timer last year, starting at first base and hitting cleanup. However, his 1999 season was shortened when he suffered broken bones in his right wrist and hand in a collision at first base against UCLA on March 27. Erickson played 17 games after the injury, but wasn't the same. In the 21 games prior, he batted .325 with eight homers and 24 RBI. After the injury, he hit only one more home run and had nine RBI while his average dropped to .270. After extensive and delicate off-season surgery and an amazing 21 weeks in a cast, Erickson is once again healthy. The Huskies' only senior already holds the UW career home runs record with 35. With a good season, the Yakima, Wash., native should rank among the top-10 in UW history in runs, hits, runs batted in and doubles. He already ranks in RBI (seventh with 133), strikeouts (sixth with 103) and hit-by-pitch (fourth with 29). Erickson currently leads the Huskies with nine doubles, is second in batting (.310), hits (35) and third in runs batted in (22) and homers (5). He has hit safely in 17 of the last 19.
CARLSEN: At 6-foot-7, junior right-handed pitcher Jeff Carlsen is the tallest member of the Washington roster. He's also the most successful and experienced member of the Husky pitching staff. Carlsen, who has been a regular member of the Husky starting rotation since his arrival from North Kitsap High in Poulsbo, Wash., has compiled an impressive 21-5 career won-lost record, including a 9-1 overall mark and 4-1 Pac-10 record last season. He is only the fifth Husky ever to win 20 games in a career. Carlsen was a freshman All-America in 1998 and the only freshman on the All-Pac-10 North first team. Last season, he was a second-team Academic All-Pac-10 pick and was invited to try out for the U.S. National Team before going to the Cape Cod League, where he was an all-star for the second straight season. In two season with the Bourne Braves in the Cape, Carlsen has posted a 9-3 record. Carlsen ranks fifth in UW history with his 21career wins, six victories short of Mike Smith's Husky record (27). He also has worked his way onto the career strikeouts list, where he ranks sixth with 169. This season, he has left the game with the Huskies in front in seven of eight starts, good for a 5-1 record. April 1 against California, he fanned a career-high 10 batters. Last Friday against Arizona, he threw a four-hit complete game in a 3-2 win. He walked only one and struck out seven as he faced only four batters over the minimum. He earned the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week award for his efforts.
RITTENHOUSE: Like many members of the Husky roster, junior Marc Rittenhouse had his 1999 season cut short by injury. The Huskies' leadoff man was having a great season before fouling a ball of his foot and breaking a bone during a game in Arizona. In his second season as the Huskies' starting second baseman last year, Rittenhouse was hitting .375 before getting hurt. He played in 10 more games, still managing to hit .360 overall, but ended up missing 21 games due to the broken bone. Rittenhouse, from Belleuve's Newport High, started the year with a 15-game hitting streak during which he hit .400 and scored 23 runs. After having that streak broken with one hitless game, he went on to hit in 11 games in a row. In games in which Rittenhouse played last year, the Huskies were 24-11. Without him, they went only 9-12. After struggling and dropping to .178, Rittenhouse has responded and has raised his average to .278 and leads the team in runs (32), walks (26) and home runs (8). Over his last 62 plate appearances, he has reached base 35 times (.565). With eight home runs already this year, he has more than doubled his career total, which was five coming into this season. Rittenhouse has also moved back to the infield from center, as he has started the last six games at second. In those six games, the Huskies are 4-2 and have excellent statistics across the board: .309 batting average, a 5.83 earned run average and a .973 fielding mark. Rittenhouse is batting .350 with three homers and eight RBI as the second baseman.
DONE: After a sluggish start, sophomore third baseman Michael Done has begun to turn into the player that the Husky coaches thought he would be. Done (pronounced like "Cone") is a transfer from Seward County CC in Kansas, and had to sit out last season after having burned the year by playing in a fall game at Seward. After missing last season, he got off to a slow start in 2000. Before going on his current 10-game hitting streak, he was batting only .235 on March 27. However, he has now hit in 10 in a row (the longest streak by a Husky this year), going 16-for-41 (.390) wiht eight runs, 11 RBI, four homers, three stolen bases and three sac flies over the streak. He has also hit in 14 of the last 15 and 17 of the last 19. He has hit four home runs in the last six games. With the glove, Done has been perhaps the best fielding UW third baseman in at least five years. Since making four errors over a three-game span (March 7, 17 and 18), he has gone 16 games (30 chances) without an error.
THE FRESHMEN: Five true freshmen have become regulars in the Husky starting lineup. Here are some notes on each: Tila Reynolds has started all but two games at shortstop for the Huskies. He was batting only .167 on March 21, but has hit safely in 12 of 14 games since then and is now hitting .309. Over the last 14 games, he is batting .422 (19-for-45) with 17 runs, 10 RBI, 15 walks, three hit by pitch and four stolen bases. He has gone nine games (38 chances) without an error ... Jefferson Thiel has started 24 of 31 games behind the plate and performed admirably. Currently batting .261, Thiel has remained a consistent .260 to .300 hitter all season ... Jay Garthwaite has been the Husky designated hitter in 26 of 31 games. Known as a power hitter at the prep level, Garthwaite has started to show power in college, belting three home runs over the last six games. He has hits safely in 10 of the last 13 games and has six RBI in the last four games ... Tyler Davidson has started the last five games in right field. In those five games, Davidson is 7-for-18 with a double, a triple, two homers and four walks. He has played error-free defense all season and robbed a home run from a Lewis-Clark State hitter on Tuesday ... Justin Drake is called by coach Ken Knutson the fastest Husky ever. Drake has started the last 10 games in a row in center field.
BULLPEN NOTES: RHP Randy Vanderplow has allowed only nine hits, four runs and one walk while fanning 10 over his last 10.2 innings over work (three outings, 3.38 ERA) ... over his last five outings, RHP Sean White has given up five hits, four runs and struck out nine in 6.2 innings (5.40 ERA) ... last week at WSU, RHP Tyler Shepple worked 5.2 innings, allowing only two hits and two runs (one earned) in an 8-7 UW win ... seven of the 10 runs that LHP Cam McCoy has allowed came in one outing -- March 5 vs. Oregon State ... other than that one game, he would have a 3.86 ERA over nine outings ... over his last five appearances, he has allowed three hits and no runs in 5.0 innings ... LHP Taylor Grant has earned a save in each of his last four outings ... he currently leads the Pac-10 with six saves ... he didn't pitch vs. Arizona thanks to two complete games (by Carlsen and Massingale) and a blowout loss (16-6) ... RHP Brian Barton leads the Huskies with his 3.50 ERA and has had more appearences (12) than any UW pitcher besides Grant ... the redshirt freshman has allowed only 16 hits and fanned 18 in 18.0 innings.
RANDOM NOTES: Junior RHP Matt Massingale has two complete games this year ... unfortunately for him, both have been losses -- 2-1 at UCLA on March 25 and 3-2 last Sunday vs. Arizona ... Washington has played error-free in three of its last four games after having posted only three previous zero-error games all season ... the Huskies have committed only six errors over the last nine games ... Washington has made a habit of playing quick games this season ... 18 of their 31 games have finished at three hours or less, including seven under two and a half hours ... the Huskies are 5-1 in night games this season, with Jeff Carlsen posting a 3-0 mark with a 1.88 ERA in such games ... at night, the Dawgs have hit .276, but have held opponents to a .232 average ... Washington has fielded at a .982 clip (only four errors) in night play and has a team ERA of 4.00.