May 2, 2000
THIS WEEK: The Washington baseball team (20-23 overall, 4-11 in the Pac-10) returns home after three straight weekends on the road as the Huskies take on cross-state rival Washington State (16-29, 4-14) in a three-game series at Husky Ballpark. Due to graduation at WSU, the series will be played Saturday, Sunday and Monday, with Saturday's game being switched to a 6:30 p.m. start (early schedules called for a 1 p.m. game). Sunday's game will air live in the Northwest on Fox Sports with Tod Pickett and former Mariner pitcher Bill Krueger calling the action. None of the games will air on radio in Seattle, but out-of-town fans can hear the Cougar radio broadcast on the internet by going to www.gocougars.com. The Huskies continue the five-game homestand Tuesday and Wednesday when they take on Portland in a pair of non-conference games. Next weekend, the Huskies travel to Tempe to play their first-ever games at Arizona State. Here's a look at this weekend's games, with probable UW starters:
Sat., May 6, 6:30 p.m. -- Washington State at UW -- RHP Matt Massingale (5-5, 5.18)
Sun., May 7, 1:00 p.m. -- Washington State at UW -- LHP Taylor Grant (1-4, 7.94)
Mon., May 8, 2:00 p.m. -- Washington State at UW -- RHP Jeff Carlsen (5-2, 5.80)
SERIES HISTORY: Washington has played more games against Washington State than any other opponent, with the Cougars holding a 218-151 advantage in the all-time series. The Huskies won a pair of non-conference games against WSU earlier this season in Pullman. In the first, the Huskies took advantage of nine walks, three hit batters, four wild pitches and four errors to roll to a 16-6 win. Michael Done led the way with a homer, three hits and three RBI and Matt Massingale worked six innings for the win. In game two, Washington belted five homers and overcame a 5-0 first-inning deficit for an 8-7 victory. Despite the homers, the Huskies needed two in the ninth to pull ahead. An error allowed the tying run to score and Jefferson Thiel drove in the winning run with a groundout. Tyler Shepple threw 5.2 innings of relief, allowing only two hits, and Cam McCoy worked two scoreless innings for the victory. Ken Knutson is 34-18 against Washington State as the Huskies' head coach.
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 279-178 (.611). With those 279 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 133-47 (.739) record in home games. He is 127-74 (.632) 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. .277-2-17 Freshman has started 33 of 43 Tim Rice, So. .172-0-2 JC transfer has made 10 starts at catcher 1B -- Ed Erickson, Sr. .331-8-35 Last 10 games: 18-for-43 (.419) 2B -- Marc Rittenhouse, Jr. .272-11-30 Hit safely in 19 of last 25: 29-for-91 (.319) Brent Robertson, So. .175-0-3 RBI triple in Saturday game at Wichita State SS -- Tila Reynolds, Fr. .291-1-15 Hit safely in 19 of last 24: 28-for-81 (.346) 3B -- Michael Done, So. .273-6-27 4-for-9, 4 RBI, 3 runs, 2 HR vs. WSU April 4-5 OF -- Todd Linden, So. .384-5-41 14-game hitting streak: 23-for-55 (.418) OF -- Tyler Davidson, Fr. .309-4-22 3-for-4 with 2B, 3B, HR, 2 RBI April 5 at WSU OF -- Justin Drake, Fr. .200-1-5 Has started 21 of last 29 games OF -- Matt Hollod, So. .289-3-13 All three HR have come in last 13 at bats OF -- Daniel Jahn, Jr. .220-1-12 Two-run double in two ABs at Wichita State DH -- Jay Garthwaite, Fr. .260-8-28 8 HR tied for most ever by UW freshman
WEEKEND RESULTS: Washington travelled to Oregon State and lost two of three to the Beavers. Friday, the Huskies scored three in the first, but were shut out the rest of the way in a 6-3 loss. Todd Linden went 2-for-3 with two RBI and Jeff Carlsen suffered the loss. Saturday, Matt Massingale struck out 10 in a complete game for the victory as the UW won, 8-3. Ed Erickson went 3-for-4 with a double and a home run and Tyler Davidson was 3-for-5 with four RBI. In Sunday's game, the Huskies led on several occassions, but entered the ninth inning behind 9-6. Matt Hollod led off the ninth with a home run, and eventually, Jay Garthwaite belted a three-run shot to put the Dawgs in front, 10-9. But in the bottom of the ninth, the Beavers scored two runs on three hits and two errors to win, 11-10. Linden went 3-for-5 with two RBI and Brian Barton took the loss.
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 180-79 (.695) record against all teams from the Northwest (Washington, Oregon and Idaho) and is 142-74 (.657) 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 133-47 record in home games, good for a .739 mark. In 1998, the Huskies moved into Husky Ballpark and have notched a 54-26 (.675) 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 80 games at Husky Ballpark, the Huskies have belted 132 home runs, an average of 1.7 per game, while visitors have hit 98 home runs, or 1.2 per game. In 80 games, a total of 1,133 runs have been scored (both teams combined), an average of 14.2 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 outfielder Todd Linden has been the Huskies' most consistent hitter this season, leading the Huskies in batting average, hits and runs batted in throughout the year. The switch hitter began the season on a roll at the Rawlings Spring Training Tournment, where 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. 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 .384 mark. He also is tops in hits (58) and RBI (41), steals (13) and second in doubles (11). Linden has hit safely in 14 straight and 16 of the last 17. Over the 14 games, he's gone 23-for-55 (.418) with 20 runs, 15 RBI and 11 steals in 11 tries. Since being caught stealing in his first two tries, he's stolen 12 straight.
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 39. 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 the top 10 in the following categories: games (10th with 178), at bats (9th with 576), runs batted in (5th with 146), doubles (10th with 37), homers (1st with 39), strikeouts (5th with 109), and hit by pitch (2nd with 31). Erickson currently leads the Huskies with 14 doubles, is second in batting (.331), hits (54), runs batted in (35) and homers (8). Over the last 10 games, he's 18-for-43 (.419) with 10 runs and 12 runs batted in.
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 third with 187. With his next start, he'll tie Jeff Heaverlo's UW career record (41). This season, he has left the game with the Huskies in front in nine of 11 starts, good for a 5-2 record. April 1 against Cal, he fanned a career-high 10 batters. April 7 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 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. This season, after struggling and dropping to .178, Rittenhouse has responded and has raised his average to .272 and leads the team in runs (45), walks (33) and home runs (11). Over his last 92 plate appearances, he has reached base 48 times (.522). With 11 home runs already this year, he has more than tripled 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 16 of his last 18 games at second. Rittenhouse has hit safely in 19 of his last 25 games, going 29-for-91 (.319) over that stretch.
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 a 14-game hitting streak, he was batting only .235 on March 27. After getting the streak up to 14 games, he had it broken by going 0-for-4 April 19 vs. USF. But he has raised his average up to .273, and over the last 22 games has batted 28-for-91 (.308) with 16 runs, 16 RBI, three doubles, four homers and four stolen bases. 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 made only three in the last 28 games (61 chances).
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 six games at shortstop for the Huskies. He was batting only .167 on March 21, but has hit safely in 19 of 24 games since then and is now hitting .291. Over the last 24 games, he is batting .346 (28-for-81) with 29 runs, 11 RBI, 20 walks, three hit by pitch and six stolen bases ... Jefferson Thiel has started 33 of 43 games behind the plate and performed admirably. Currently batting .277, Thiel has remained a consistent .250 to .300 hitter all season. He has surrendered only four stolen bases over the last 13 games, catching six runners in that span ... Jay Garthwaite has started 36 of 43 games, mostly at DH (34 of 36 starts). Known as a power hitter at the prep level, Garthwaite has shown plenty of power recently, belting seven home runs over the last 16 games. Two weeks, he became the first freshman this year to be named Pac-10 Player of the Week after going 9-for-18 with eight RBI last week. With eight home runs this year, he has tied Ed Erickson (1997) for the most ever by a UW freshman ... Tyler Davidson has started 16 of the last 17 games in right field. He has collected four three-hit games in that span (at WSU, vs. Arizona, at Wichita State and at OSU). In 21 hits, Davidsion has 22 RBI, and 10 of those 21 hits have been for extra bases ... Justin Drake is called by coach Ken Knutson the fastest Husky ever. Drake has started 20 of the last 29 in center field.
BULLPEN NOTES: Brian Barton leads the team with 18 appearances ... has yet to allow a home run in 22.1 innings ... has given up a run in eight of last nine outings ... the last two Wednesdays, Zack Daniels has picked up victories in starts vs. San Francisco and St. Martin's, allowing only four earned runs in 13 innings in those two outings ... Matt Gardner threw twice in relief at Wichita State after earning a victory vs. USF April 18 ... did not pitch at OSU ... other victory was March 26 at UCLA ... in his last two outings, Shawn Kohn has not allowed a hit in two innings ... Cam McCoy has been solid over his last 10 outings, allowing only three runs in 9.2 innings (2.80 ERA) with seven hits and seven Ks ... seven of his 12 earned runs came in one outing ... his ERA minus that one appearance would be 4.63 ... Tyler Shepple worked two innings, allowing no hits, runs or walks, in the Friday game at Wichita for his first career victory ... Shepple's last three outings: 3.2 innings, two hits, one ER, four Ks and a 2.45 ERA ... Randy Vanderplow has fanned 21 and walked only five ... his top outing was in relief vs. Cal, going 6.1 innings and allowing five hits, two runs and no walks while fanning seven ... freshman Sean White has made two starts -- at No. 5 Stanford and at No. 23 Wichita State (rankings at the time of the games) ... over his last five relief outings: three walks, nine Ks in 6.2 innings.
MORE NOTES: Junior RHP Matt Massingale has four complete games this year, most by a Husky since Jamie Day in 1994 ... Massingale has won his last two starts (Wichita State and Oregon State), both in complete games ... he leads the team in wins (tied with Carlsen), innings and starts (tied with Carlsen) ... sophomore OF Matt Hollod has hit three home runs this year, all in his last 13 at bats ... over his last eight games, he is 11-for-26 (.423) with seven runs and six RBI ... after 16 relief appearances, sophomore LHP Taylor Grant made his first start Sunday vs. Oregon State, getting no decision ... in his only start last season, he had a strong outing vs WSU in the next-to-last game of the year, but got no decision ... in that start: 6.1 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 SO