April 29, 1998
THIS WEEK: The 22nd-ranked Washington baseball team (30-13 overall, 14-6 Pac-10 North) will try to win its third straight Pac-10 North title this weekend when it plays host to division co-leader Oregon State (31-11-1, 14-6) for the final league series of the season. The North champ will host the Southern Division winner May 14-16 in the Pac-10 Championship Series (for more info, see "The Situation" below). Friday at 3:00 p.m., the Huskies will send sophomore RHP Jeff Heaverlo (4-1, 4.81) to the mound.
In Saturday's noon doubleheader, junior LHP Matt Hampton (3-3, 5.84) will start game one and freshman RHP Jeff Carlsen (6-3, 4.42) will get the call for game two. In Sunday's series finale, a 1:00 p.m. game, junior RHP Bryan Williamson (1-0, 8.85) will get the ball. All four games will air live on KRPM AM-1090 and on the internet (go to "www.gohuskies.com"). Sunday's game will be televised by Fox Sports Northwest on Tuesday, May 5, at 1:00 p.m. Next Tuesday and Wednesday, the Huskies continue the 10-game homestand with non-conference games vs. Portland. May 8-10, the regular season comes to a close with a three-game series vs. California.
THE SITUATION: Washington and Oregon State enter the weekend in a dead tie. In other words, not only do the Huskies and Beavers have the same league record, they also have split their four games against each other so far, both have 4-4 marks vs. Washington State and 8-0 records vs. Portland State. Therefore, one team must win this weekend's series (3-1 or 4-0) to avoid the two teams tying for the Pac-10 North championship. If a 2-2 split does occur, the teams may play a one-game playoff, but the two schools' administrations and the conference office are still working out details on that. If it can't be worked out, the tie will be broken by a coin flip. Regardless, the Pac-10 North champ will host the Southern champ May 14-16 in the best-of-three Pac-10 Championship Series, the winner of which receives the Pac-10's automatic berth to the NCAA tournament.
COACH "K": In nearly six seasons as the head coach of his alma mater, Ken Knutson has led the Dawgs to a Pac-10 championship, three Pac-10 Northern Division titles, two second-place finishes and two NCAA Regionals. His career overall record stands at 215-128 (.627). With those 215 wins, he is the second-winningest coach in Washington history, trailing only Bob MacDonald (422). He has passed the legendary Tubby Graves (209), who coached 24 seasons. 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 93-26 (.782) record in home games. He is 108-50 (.684) in Pac-10 Northern Division games and holds a winning record against every Nor-Pac team (including now-departed Portland and Gonzaga). A 1981 All-Pac-10 left-handed pitcher at the UW, he is joined by assistants Joe Ross, Kevin Johnston and Joe Weis.
PLAYER NOTES: Here's a look at the possible starters at each position, with 1998 stats and notes:
Pos. Player, Year Avg-HR-RBI Notes C -- Ryan Bundy, Jr. .295-6-19 Baseball America's No. 21 prospect/.447 at home Pete Orgill, Jr.(1B) .338-8-28 28 RBI on 23 hits this year/16 career HR is 9th at UW 1B -- Ed Erickson, So. .254-9-32 22 RBI & 7 HR in last 16 games/6 RBI in 3 games at OSU Dominic Woody, So.(C) .311-4-12 Backs up at C and 1B/4 HR, 10 RBI in 8 starts at home 2B -- Marc Rittenhouse, Fr. .260-1-5 Led Newport HS to state title/BA up 60 points in 6 gm. SS -- Kevin Miller, Jr. .344-9-43 Holds UW career marks for 3B, HR/11-17 last weekend 3B -- Ryan Lentz, Jr. .337-10-45 Holds UW career (46) and season (29) doubles records OF -- Chris Magruder, Jr. .384-9-38 25 steals leads Pac-10/holds career runs, SB records OF -- Jim Na, Jr. .269-2-18 '98 co-captain with Magruder/10 RBI in 8 league games OF -- Nick Stefonick, Jr. .382-3-24 Has had 3 or more hits in five of last nine games OF -- Kyle Woods, So. .333-12-40 12 home runs 2nd in UW history/28-for-32 career SB DH -- Bryan Williamson, Jr.(P).338-3-17 Has played RF, DH, starting P and relief P/starts Sunday Kevin Ticen, Jr.(C) .395-1-15 6-for-11 with four runs, 2 RBI, three doubles at OSU
OSU-UW SERIES HISTORY: Except for Washington State, Washington has played more games against Oregon State than any team. The Beavers lead the all-time series 198-155-1, but the series has been very even recently. The two teams have split the last 26 meetings, 13-13, splitting the league series each of the last three seasons. The Huskies, however, have not lost a season series to OSU since 1991, and Ken Knutson holds a 21-18 record against OSU. Earlier this season, the Huskies and Beavers split a four-game set in Corvallis, with the Beavers winning the first two and the Huskies taking games three and four. Nick Stefonick, Kevin Ticen and Kyle Woods led the way for the Huskies offensively in that series. Stefonick batted .556 and drove in five runs in two games. Ticen, in three games, went 6-for-11 with three doubles and Woods batted .438 with four extra-base hits and four RBI in four games.
LAST WEEK: The Huskies moved into a tie for the Pac-10 North lead with a four-game sweep of Portland State last week. On Friday, Jeff Heaverlo struck out 12 and allowed only one earned run in eight innings as the Huskies won, 9-2. Ed Erickson and Kyle Woods both homered for the UW. In Saturday's first game, Jeff Carlsen earned a complete-game victory in a 6-3 win. Chris Magruder homered and drove in two. In game two, Ken Ferguson had his second straight outstanding outing in long relief. Entering the game down 3-1, he worked six and one-third inning, allowing no runs and only one hit in a 14-3 Husky win. Ryan Lentz drove in four runs.
On Sunday, it was Wayne Lee's turn to throw well in long relief. He threw the final four and two-thirds innings, allowing two runs and striking out eight in a tight 8-7 win. The Huskies broke a 6-6 tie in the eighth when consecutive doubles by Magruder, Nick Stefonick and Lentz scored two runs. Tuesday, the Huskies struggled to avoid an upset by NAIA St. Martin's. Washington broke an 11-11 tie in the eighth inning and held on to win 13-12.
DOMINATING THE NORTHWEST: If there was any question about the Huskies' recent dominance of college baseball in the Pacific Northwest, it was quelled last season when the Huskies won their fourth Pac-10 North title in the 1990s, won the Pac-10 overall championship and came within one win of the College World Series. In the 1990s, Washington has made three NCAA Regional appearances, more than any team from the Northwest. During the current decade, the Huskies have posted a 311-190 (.621) overall record and a 150-72 (.676) mark in Pac-10 North play. Under coach Ken Knutson (1993-97), Washington is 157-64 (.710) against all teams from the Northwest (Washington, Oregon and Idaho) and 122-59 (.674) against Division I teams from the Northwest. Knutson has a winning record against every Northwest team (12) he has faced.
HUSKY BALLPARK: This season marks the beginning of a new era for Husky baseball as Washington moves to a new home -- Husky Ballpark. Graves Field, where the Huskies played since the early 1960s, is gone as Washington played its first game at the new site Feb. 27 vs. Gonzaga. This season, the new facility features a new field, with the stadium to come in the future. The new field includes an AstroTurf infield and a beautiful view of Lake Washington, the Cascades and Mount Rainier. Already, the new field, which includes a state-of-the-art outfield drainage system, has paid dividends as the Huskies have been able to practice on a real baseball field every day since opening spring practice on January 6. In past years, the Huskies have often been able to practice only on the football turf prior to playing the first game of the year. The new home has been friendly to the Dawgs thusfar, as the UW is 14-4 and has hit 46 home runs in 18 home games. Ryan Lentz, Pete Orgill, Kyle Woods and Ed Erickson have each hit six home runs at home. The Huskies are batting .324 on the new field while opponents are hitting only .226. Washington has also fielded an impressive .971 in the 18 home contests, allowing only six unearned runs.
THE SCOOTER: It would be tough to find a hotter player and UW junior center fielder Chris Magruder (Yakima, Wash./ West Valley HS), who has established himself as one of the best players in UW history. Over the last seven games, Magruder is batting .667 (14-for-21) with 19 runs, nine RBI, 16 walks, three homers and four stolen bases. Over that span, he has reached base in 33 of 39 plate apperances (.846 on-base pct.). He ranks in the top 10 in virtually every important UW career category only part way through his third season. He stands second in UW lore with his 231 career hits and holds the Husky record for runs with 198. Despite being a leadoff man, he's second on the Washington career home runs list and fifth in career RBI with 137. Last week, he broke the Husky career steals record and now has 86. He's also is only one base on balls short of matchin Bill Langen's 13-year old season record of 48. The speedy leadoff man was named a first-team preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball and a second-teamer by the Sporting News. Last year, he broke UW records for hits (104), runs (96) and steals (43) while batting .400. He completed the 1997 season on a tear, batting .619 at the NCAA Mideast Regional and closing out the year with a 16-game hitting streak. He went on to start in right field for the USA Baseball National Team, batting .336 over the summer.
MILLER TIME: Junior shortstop Kevin Miller returns to defend his back-to-back titles as the Pac-10 North Player of the Year as he was the first man ever to win the award twice (and, in 1996, the first freshman to win it). The power hitter from Seattle's Ballard High was named a first-team preseason All-American by the Sporting News and a second-teamer by Collegiate Baseball this year. Last year, he batted .384 and broke the UW RBI record with 73 while leading the team with 12 home runs. After his sophomore season, he was named to the NCBWA second-team All-America while making the third team on two other lists. He has started 161 of the 163 games during his UW tenure at shortstop, and may have established himself as the greatest power hitter in school history. Only partway through his junior season, he's set new school records for career home runs (27) and triples (12) and is mounting attacks on several other UW marks. A career .359 hitter and one of only six Huskies ever to record 200 hits, he ranks in several career categories other than homers: hits (third with 223), RBI (second with 152), runs (4th with 168) and doubles (eighth with 38). Over the last five games, Miller has batted 13-for-21 (.619) with 10 RBI and nine runs, raising his batting average 43 points to .344.
AT THE HOT CORNER: Junior Ryan Lentz (Woodinville (Wash.) HS), another of the fabulous junior class, is in his third season as the everyday starter at third base. If the left-handed hitter with the strong arm improves this year as much as he did last year, his statistics will be monsterous. Last year, he started 64 of the Huskies' 66 games at third, batting .327 with nine home runs and 69 RBI. He also broke the UW doubles record with 26, smashing the old record by eight. His 251 at bats, 82 hits and 58 runs were all among the top 10 in Husky history and his 69 runs batted in would have broken the school record except that Kevin Miller had 73 in 1997. Named a third-team All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers in 1997, he was tabbed the No. 50 college prospect in the nation by Baseball America this preseason. As a sophomore, he improved his average by 65 points and posted 30 more extra-base hits over his freshman season. Currently, Lentz is batting .337 with a team-high 45 RBI and 16 doubles. Lentz ranks in the UW career top five in three important power categories: doubles (1st with 46), home runs (4th with 22) and runs batted in (third with 142).
BEHIND THE PLATE: Ryan Bundy (Lake Stevens (Wash.) HS) is another star member of the Huskies' junior class. A tremendous defensive catcher, Bundy's offense has shown steady improvement over the last two seasons. Last year, he batted .311 with 17 doubles, six homers and 40 runs batted in over 193 at bats. Perhaps, most impressive, he stole 14 bases in 16 attempts and is one of the Huskies' fastest players. He showed great improvement over his freshman year in the power categories as he had only three doubles, no homers and 19 RBI in 135 ABs as a freshman. This preseason, Baseball America called him the No. 44 college prospect in the nation, the highest of the five Husky players to make the top 100. Several weeks ago, Baseball America put out an updated prospect list and named Bundy the No. 21 college prospect in the nation. Bundy has started 30 of 43 games at catcher and is batting .295 with six homers, 19 RBI and six stolen bases.
BIG WILLY: Last season, junior Bryan Williamson (Kennewick, Wash./Kamiakin HS) developed into one of the nation's top two-way players, posting a 4-2 record with six saves and a 2.89 ERA on the mound and a .381 batting average with 58 RBI as a designated hitter and outfielder. At the conclusion of last season, the 6-foot-6 righthander was given a tryout with the USA National Team, but withdrew with a shoulder injury that was repaired in the off-season. This year, Williamson still hopes to move into the starting rotation and plays only DH in the batting order. A tricky, yet hard-throwing pitcher, Williamson fanned 49 batters and allowed only 34 hits in 43.2 innings a year ago. All of his statistics were a vast improvement over his freshman season, when he batted .254 and had an 11.12 earned run average. This preseason, Williamson was named the No. 61 college prospect in the nation by Baseball America. Williamson is currently batting .338 with 17 RBI in 18 starts. On the mound, he has a 1-0 record and has struck out 15 in 20.1 innings.
CLASS NOTES -- SENIORS: UW has only two seniors -- 2B Chris Whitemarsh and reliever Cody Morrison . . . Whitemarsh will miss the remainer of the season to undergo shoulder surgery . . . Morrison is 6-for-9 in save opportunities and has allowed only 10 hits and fanned 21 in 16.0 innings . . . opponents are batting only .175 against Morrison, who is third in UW history with 17 career saves.
JUNIORS: RF Nick Stefonick has started 32 of 43 games this season and is the hottest Husky right now . . . in Pac-10 games, Stefonick is batting .381 with four doubles and 15 runs . . . Jim Na won a game with a homer for the second time in his career April 5 vs. WSU . . . his first career hit was a game-winning HR in extra innings vs. Gonzaga in 1996 . . . Pete Orgill, a part-time player throughout his career, is ninth on the UW career homers with 16 . . . this year, he has one homer every 8.5 at bats . . . reserve C/DH Kevin Ticen earned the first six starts of his career in the last three weeks . . . of his 16 career hits, seven are doubles and one is a homer . . . reliever Wayne Lee has fanned 35 batters in 26.1 innings of work.
SOPHOMORES: Starting pitcher Jeff Heaverlo is 3-0 in Pac-10 North games and has struck out 53 batters in 39.1 innings this season . . . he has fanned 12 batters in each of his last two outings . . . LF Kyle Woods leads the Huskies with his 12 home runs, the second highest single-season total in UW history (tied) . . . C/1B Dominic Woody is 10-for-his-last-23 with nine runs . . . Ed Erickson has started at first base and DH . . . only a sophomore, Erickson has 17 career homers, seventh in UW history . . . reserve OF Dwight DeMar has played in 19 games so far and had two triples April 7 at Portland . . . on the mound, Travis Anderson is 4-2 and has allowed only 40 hits in 46.0 innings . . . righty Ken Ferguson has fanned 32 hitters in 23.0 innings of relief work . . . Ferguson's last two outings (combined): 12 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 BB, 13 K.
FRESHMEN: Even on this veteran-laden team, the Husky freshmen are making a huge impact this year as nine true freshman have played . . . Marc Rittenhouse has started 31 games at second . . . . . . the other infielder to see action is SS Greg Brooks, who doubled in his first AB (vs. UCSB) . . . Jeff Carlsen has won six of nine pitching decisions. . . he leads the team in wins (6), innings (57.0) and is second in strikeouts (47). . . John Gillespie has three starts and has surrendered only 15 hits in 21.0 IP . . . Matt Massingale leads the Huskies with 19 appearances and has given up only 18 hits in 24.2 innings . . . the side-armer is 4-1 . . . freshman lefty Matt Gardner earned his first victory at San Francisco.
RANDOM NOTES: The UW has had a player hit two home runs in 11 games this season . . . the Huskies were last shut out in the final game of the 1996 season (5-0 at USC), meaning that they've gone 109 straight without being blanked . . . opponents have been able to shut the Huskies out through the first three innings only 23 times in that span and the UW has scored in the first inning 62 times in those 109 games . . .
as a staff, Washington pitchers have allowed only 342 hits in 366.2 innings, an average of only 8.39 hits per nine innings . . . of the 12 Husky pitchers that have thrown more than nine innings this season, only four are allowing more than one hit per inning . . . with 80 HRs, the Huskies are on pace to hit 97 this year (counting regular season only), smashing the school record of 84, set last year . . . only five players in UW history have hit 20 career home runs, and three of them are current Huskies -- Miller (27), Lentz (24) and Magruder (22).
CAREER WATCH: Here's a look at where current Huskies rank on the UW career top 10 charts:
HITS 1. 264 Jeb Best 1979-82 2. 231 Chris Magruder 1996- 3. 223 Kevin Miller 1996- 4. 221 Joe Trippy 1992-95 5. 218 Derrin Doty 1990-93 6. 205 Tom Riley 1978-81 7. 192 Ron Johnson 1978-80 8. 191 Ryan Lentz 1996- 9. 184 Randy Jorgensen 1991-93 10. 183 Timo Donahue 1986-89
RUNS 1. 198 Chris Magruder 1996- 2. 183 Joe Trippy 1992-95 3. 170 Derrin Doty 1990-93 4. 168 Kevin Miller 1996- 5. 155 Jeb Best 1979-82 6. 152 Tom Riley 1978-81 7. 142 John Kritsonis 1982-85 8. 135 David Nokes 1989-92 9. 129 Ryan Lentz 1996- 129 Kevin Stocker 1989-91
RUNS BATTED IN 1. 157 Jeb Best 1979-82 2. 152 Kevin Miller 1996- 3. 142 Ryan Lentz 1996- 4. 139 Randy Jorgensen 1991-93 5. 137 Chris Magruder 1996- 6. 135 Derrin Doty 1990-93 7. 123 J. Vander Griend 1993-95 8. 118 Christian Shewey 1993-96 9. 114 Ryan Soules 1995-97 114 Timo Donahue 1986-89
DOUBLES 1. 46 Ryan Lentz 1996- 2. 43 Chris Magruder 1996- 3. 42 Timo Donahue 1986-89 4. 41 J. Vander Griend 1993-95 5. 40 Jeb Best 1979-82 6. 39 Christian Shewey 1993-96 39 Derrin Doty 1990-93 8. 38 Kevin Miller 1996- 9. 36 David Nokes 1989-92 10. 34 Ryan Soules 1995-97
HOME RUNS 1. 27 Kevin Miller 1996- 2. 24 Chris Magruder 1996- 3. 23 J. Vander Griend 1993-95 4. 22 Ryan Lentz 1996- 22 Timo Donahue 1986-89 6. 19 Randy Jorgensen 1991-93 7. 17 Ed Erickson 1997- 17 Ryan Soules 1995-97 9. 16 Pete Orgill 1996- 16 David Nokes & Mike Blowers
STOLEN BASES 1. 86 Chris Magruder 1996- 2. 85 Joe Trippy 1992-95 3. 67 Kevin Stocker 1989-91 4. 58 Matt Wimmer 1991-94 5. 55 Derrin Doty 1990-93 6. 53 Jeb Best 1979-82 7. 51 Brent Shimokawa 1985-88 51 John Kritsonis 1982-85 9. 50 Timo Donahue 1986-89 10. 37 Ryan Rutz 1992-94