April 23, 1998
THIS WEEK: The Washington baseball team (25-13 overall, 10-6 in the Pac-10 North) complete the regular season road schedule this weekend with a four-game league series at Portland State (13-25, 1-15). The Huskies, ranked as high at No. 21 in the national polls, enter the weekend in second-place in the Northern Division, trailing Oregon State by a game and a half. The Beavers play Washington State in a five-game series this weekend in Corvallis. Friday at 3:00 p.m., the Huskies will send sophomore Jeff Heaverlo (3-1, 5.46) to the mound against PSU. Saturday's noon doubleheader starters will be freshman Jeff Carlsen (5-3, 4.50) in game one and sophomore Travis Anderson (4-2, 3.95) in game two. In Sunday's 1:00 p.m. game, junior Bryan Williamson (1-0, 8.44) will get the start. With the Cougars and Beavers playing eachother, the Huskies could move into first this weekend with a sweep of PSU and a 3-2 OSU-WSU split (one way or the other). Tuesday, the Huskies host St. Martin's in a 3:00 p.m. game.
SERIES HISTORY: Washington holds a 60-48 all-time record against Portland State, having pulled away to that 12-game lead very recently. The Huskies have won the last 15 straight against PSU and 21 of the last 22, having won all eight last year and all four games earlier this season at Husky Ballpark. Under head coach Ken Knutson, the Huskies are 30-8 against Portland State.
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 210-128 (.621). With those 210 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 92-26 (.780) record in home games. He is 104-50 (.682) 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. .313-6-18 Baseball America's No. 21 prospect/ 2 HR in last 8 AB Pete Orgill, Jr. (1B) .306-6-23 23 RBI this season on 19 hits/11 RBI in last 6 games 1B -- Ed Erickson, So. .275-8-30 22 RBI & 7 HR in last 16 games/16 career HR is 8th at UW Dominic Woody, So. (C) .328-4-12 Backs up at C and 1B/2 HR, 2B and 3B Wed. vs. UPS 2B -- Chris Whitemarsh, Sr. .229-1-6 One of two seniors on UW roster/ .953 fielding pct. Marc Rittenhouse, Fr. .238-1-5 Led Newport HS to state title/ 27 starts at second base SS -- Kevin Miller, Jr. .301-9-33 2-time Pac-10 North Player of Year/ holds HR & 3B marks 3B -- Ryan Lentz, Jr. .342-10-39 Holds UW career (45) and season (29) doubles records OF -- Chris Magruder, Jr. .336-7-31 23 steals leads Pac-10/185 career runs is UW record OF -- Jim Na, Jr. .286-2-17 '98 co-captain with Magruder/ 12th-inning HR beat WSU OF -- Nick Stefonick, Jr. .396-3-21 Over last eight games: 16-for-27 (.593), 11 runs, 10 RBI OF -- Kyle Woods, So. .350-11-35 17-game hit streak earlier in year/ 27-for-30 career SB OF -- Dwight DeMar, So. .286-0-7 Half of four base hits this year are triples DH -- Bryan Williamson, Jr.(P).323-3-16 16 starts at designated hitter/will start at P Sunday Kevin Ticen, Jr. (C) .394-1-13 Made first five career starts in last three weeks
LAST WEEK: Washington travelled to Pullman last weekend and came away with a 2-2 split with rival Washington State. In game one, the Cougars came out strong and cruised to a 13-4 victory. Washington scored all of its runs on homers from Ryan Lentz, Chris Magruder and Ryan Bundy. In game one of Saturday's doubleheader, Jeff Heaverlo fanned 12 batters and allowed only four hits in a seven-inning complete game as the Huskies prevailed, 3-2.
The Cougars came back in game two Saturday and pulled out a 10-9 win with a five-run rally in the ninth. WSU's Steve Curran hit a two-out, two-run homer to win it after the Huskies had scored six runs in the eighth to take a 9-5 lead. Sunday, the Huskies closed out the weekend with an 11-7 win, breaking 7-7 tie with four runs in the ninth. Ken Ferugson threw five and one-third innings of one-run relief for the victory.
Wednesday, the Huskies returned home and pounded NAIA foe Puget Sound, 23-0. The Huskies scored in every inning and held the Loggers to only two hits. Mike Bomar earned the win, fanning 10 in five innings, and Dominic Woody went 4-for-6 with two homers, a double, a triple and five RBI. He hit two of the Huskies' six homers on the day.
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 306-190 (.617) overall record and a 146-72 (.670) mark in Pac-10 North play. Under coach Ken Knutson (1993-97), Washington is 152-64 (.704) against all teams from the Northwest (Washington, Oregon and Idaho) and 118-59 (.667) against Division I teams from the Northwest. Knutson has a winning record against every Northwest team (12) he has faced.
EARLIER vs. PSU: Washington opened the Pac-10 North season with a four-game series against Portland State March 13-15 in Seattle. The Dawgs won all four to extend their win streak over PSU to 15 games. In game one, Matt Hampton, Wayne Lee and Matt Massingale combined to throw a five-hit shutout in an 8-0 win. In game two, the Huskies knocked 16 hits in a seven-inning game for a 10-7 win. Saturday's nightcap saw the Huskies score four runs each in four different innings and roll to an 18-5 win as Travis Anderson fanned 10 Vikings in 6.2 innings.
Sunday, the Huskies' bats took a while to come to life, but finally did in an 8-2 win as freshman John Gillespie threw five innings for his first career win. For the series, the Huskies batted .399 and posted a 3.71 ERA. Individually, the Huskies were led by catcher Ryan Bundy (6-for-8 with four RBI), second baseman Marc Rittenhouse (5-for-7, 3 runs) and right fielder Nick Stefonick (7-for-11 with six runs, three doubles, triple, homer). Anderson's 10 Ks and Hampton's six shutout innings paced the pitching staff.
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 will feature 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 13-4 and has hit 43 home runs in 17 home games
THE SCOOTER: Junior center fielder Chris Magruder (Yakima, Wash./ West Valley HS) has established himself as one of the best players in UW history. He ranks in the top 10 in virtually every important UW career category only part way through his third season. He stands third in UW lore with his 218 career hits and holds the Husky record for runs with 185 (broken on Wednesday). Despite being a leadoff man, he's third on the Washington career home runs list and sixth in career RBI with 130.
He needs only one more stolen base to match Joe Trippy's UW career mark of 85. He's also on pace to set a season record for walks this year. 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 156 of the 158 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 (10) and is mounting attacks on several other UW marks. A career .351 hitter and one of only six Huskies ever to record 200 hits, he ranks in several career categories other than homers: hits (fifth with 210), RBI (second with 142), runs (4th with 159) and doubles (ninth with 35).
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 .342 with a team-high 39 RBI and 15 doubles. Lentz ranks in the UW career top five in three important power categories: doubles (1st with 45), home runs (3rd with 22) and runs batted in (fourth with 136).
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. Three weeks ago, Baseball America put out an updated prospect list and named Bundy the No. 21 college prospect in the nation. Bundy has started 26 of 38 games at catcher and is batting .313 with six homers, 18 RBI and four 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 .323 with 16 RBI in 16 starts. On the mound, he has a 1-0 record and has struck out 14 in 16.0 innings.
CLASS NOTES -- SENIORS: UW has only two seniors -- 2B Chris Whitemarsh and reliever Cody Morrison . . . Whitemarsh has five extra-base hits among his 11 hits . . . Morrison is 5-for-8 in save opportunities and has allowed only nine hits and fanned 20 in 15.2 innings . . . opponents are batting only .164 against Morrison, who is third in UW history with 16 career saves.
JUNIORS: RF Nick Stefonick has started 29 of 38 games this season and is the hottest Husky right now . . . last weekend at WSU, he was 10-for-18 with five RBI and four doubles . . . he leads the Huskies with his .396 average . . . 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 has driven in 23 runs with his 19 hits . . . Orgill is averaging a home run every 10.3 at bats . . .
Reserve C/DH Kevin Ticen earned the first five starts of his career in the last two weeks . . . of his 14 career hits, seven are doubles and one is a homer . . . reliever Wayne Lee has fanned 25 batters in 20.2 innings of work.
SOPHOMORES: LF Kyle Woods had a 17-game hitting streak broken last weekend at WSU . . . he leads the Dawgs with 11 home runs, the fourth-highest total in UW history . . . C/1B Dominic Woody is 8-for-his-last-13 with eight runs . . . Ed Erickson has started at first base and DH . . . Erickson has seven homers and 22 RBI in his last 19 games . . .
Reserve OF Dwight DeMar has played in 18 games so far and had two triples April 7 at Portland . . . on the mound, Travis Anderson is 4-2 and has allowed only 37 hits in 43.1 innings . . . Anderson leads the Dawgs with his 43 Ks . . . starter Jeff Heaverlo, in only four starts, has fanned 41 batters (in 3.1 innings) . . . righty Ken Ferguson has fanned 24 hitters in 16.2 innings of relief work . . . opponents are batting only .197 against Ferguson.
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 27 times at second . . . . . . the other infielder to see action is SS Greg Brooks, who doubled in his first AB (vs. UCSB) . . . Jeff Carlsen has won five of eight pitching decisions. . . he's second on the team with 42 Ks and has allowed only 19 walks in a team-high 50.0 innings. . . John Gillespie has three starts and has surrendered only 15 hits in 21.0 IP . . . Matt Massingale leads the Huskies with 18 appearances and has given up only 15 hits in 23.1 innings . . . the side-armer is 3-1 . . . freshman lefty Matt Gardner earned his first victory at San Francisco.
RANDOM NOTES: The UW has had a player hit two home runs in 10 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 104 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 57 times in those 104 games . . .
As a staff, Washington pitchers have allowed only 298 hits in 323.2 innings, an average of only 8.29 hits per nine innings . . . of the 12 Husky pitchers that have thrown more than two innings this season, only four are allowing more than one hit per inning . . . with 74 HRs, the Huskies are on pace to hit 101 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 (22) and Magruder (22).