April 15, 1998
THIS WEEK: The 20th-ranked Washington baseball team (22-11 overall, 8-2 (first place) Pac-10 North) hits the road for the second of three straight Pac-10 North weekend road trips this week. This week, the Dawgs face Washington State (17-14, 7-4). The Cougars are currently tied with Oregon State for second place in the North, one-half game behind Washington. The Huskies' pitching rotation for the weekend is yet to be determined. Friday's first game begins at 3:00 p.m. Saturday's doubleheader starts at noon and Sunday's weekend finale gets underway at 1:00 p.m. All four games will air live on KRPM AM-1090 and on the internet (via www.gohuskies.com). Sunday's game will air on Fox Sports Northwest at 1:00 p.m. on Monday, April 20. Next week, the Dawgs play Puget Sound on Wednesday then return to the road to face Portland State.
SERIES HISTORY: Washington State leads the all-time series against the UW, 212-145, but Washington has won 13 of the last 15 meetings. The Cougars broke the Huskies' 11-game win streak over them by beating the Huskies on April 3. Coach Ken Knutson holds a 28-12 record against the Cougars. In Pullman, the Huskies have won 16 of the last 20 games, sweeping three-game series in 1992, 1993 and 1994 and taking all four games in Pullman last season. Under Coach Knutson, Washington is 13-4 at Bailey Field.
COACH "K": In five-plus 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 207-126 (.622). With those 207 wins, he is the third-winningest coach in Washington history, trailing only Tubby Graves (209 wins) and Bob MacDonald (422). Before becoming the Husky head man in 1993, Knutson served as the Husky pitching coach for eight seasons over two separate stints. In 1985, his UW pitching staff led the nation with a 2.80 earned run average. Knutson holds a 91-26 (.777) record in home games. He is 102-48 (.680) 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. .318-4-16 Baseball America's No. 21 prospect/24 starts at catcher Pete Orgill, Jr. (1B) .353-6-21 21 RBI this season on 18 hits/4 homers in last 8 games 1B -- Ed Erickson, So. .258-6-25 12 RBI & 5 HR in last seven games/5-for-12 vs. WSU Dominic Woody, So. (C) .281-2-7 Backs up at C and 1B/1 start at C, 10 at 1B, 4 at DH 2B -- Chris Whitemarsh, Sr. .250-1-5 One of two seniors on UW roster/5 extra-base hits Marc Rittenhouse, Fr. .196-0-2 Led Newport HS to state title/23 starts at second base SS -- Kevin Miller, Jr. .300-7-30 2-time Pac-10 North Player of Year/holds HR & 3B marks 3B -- Ryan Lentz, Jr. .344-9-34 11-for-last-25/4th in UW history in doubles (40) & HR (21) OF -- Chris Magruder, Jr. .349-5-27 21 stolen bases leads Pac-10/82-of-96 career SB OF -- Jim Na, Jr. .302-2-15 '98 co-captain with Magruder/12th-inning HR beat WSU OF -- Nick Stefonick, Jr. .347-3-16 6-for-11 (.545) with 3 runs and 5 RBI last week OF -- Kyle Woods, So. .375-11-34 17-game hitting streak/11 HR are 4th in UW history OF -- Dwight DeMar, So. .333-0-6 Two triples, two RBI last Tuesday at Portland DH -- Bryan Williamson, Jr. (P).323-3-15 15 starts at designated hitter/may start at P this weekend Kevin Ticen, Jr. (C) .440-1-10 Made first three starts last week/6 of 11 hits are doubles
LAST WEEK: Washington retained its standing as the first-place team in the Pac-10 North last weekend, splitting a four-game series at Oregon State. In the series opener last Friday, OSU starter Chris Pine held the Huskies scoreless through the first seven innings, fanning 12 batters. Down 4-0, the Huskies scored runs in eighth and ninth and had tying run aboard, but lost 4-2. Jeff Carlsen threw 6.2 good innings in the loss. In Saturday's doubleheader opener, the Huskies gave up three homers in a 10-5 loss. Ryan Lentz hit his ninth homer and Mike Bomar took the loss in relief of Travis Anderson, who left the game after one inning due to shoulder pain. In Saturday's second game, Washington prevailed in a slugfest, 18-16, as the two teams traded leads six times. Cody Morrison worked two innings for the win and both Nick Stefonick and Kyle Woods had four hits for Washington. Sunday, the Huskies earned the weekend split with a tight, 11-10 victory. The Huskies got home runs from Woods, Pete Orgill, Chris Magruder and Ed Erickson and led by as many as five runs, but OSU scored four in the bottom of the ninth and had the winning run at first base when Morrison fanned the final batter for his fifth save. Jeff Heaverlo earned the win with seven innings of work.
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 303-188 (.617) overall record and a 144-70 (.673) mark in Pac-10 North play. Under coach Ken Knutson (1993-97), Washington is 149-62 (.706) against all teams from the Northwest (Washington, Oregon and Idaho) and 116-57 (.671) against Division I teams from the Northwest. Knutson has a winning record against every Northwest team (12) he has faced.
EARLIER vs. WSU: Washington and Washington State met April 3-5 at Husky Ballpark and split the four-game series. In game one, the Cougars jumped on the UW for a 12-8 win that featured four homers by each team. The WSU win broke the Huskies' 11-game winning streak over the Cougars. Pete Orgill hit two homers for Washington and Jeff Scherer hit two for WSU. In the Saturday doubleheader, the Cougs led the whole way and beat the Huskies, 7-5. Todd Meldahl held the Huskies to only six hits and three earned runs. Washington picked up a much-needed 8-0 win in second of two that day when Jeff Carlsen threw a nine-inning, one-hit shutout, losing his no-hit bid with two outs in the sixth inning. Ryan Bundy homered once for the UW and Ryan Lentz hit a pair. The Huskies pulled off a series split on Sunday, winning a 12-inning game 9-7, in dramatic fashion. Ahead 5-3 going into the ninth, the Huskies gave up a three-run homer in the top of the ninth to fall behind, 6-5. In the bottom of the inning, the Huskies scored on an error on a play that may have ended the game. Neither team scored until the 12th, when Casey Kelley put WSU ahead with a solo homer. But in the bottom of the 12th with two on and one out, Jim Na belted a three-run homer to win it.
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 12-4 in home games.
THE SCOOTER: Junior center fielder Chris Magruder (Yakima, Wash./ West Valley HS) is having another outstanding season in his third year as a Husky starter. In 33 games, he's batting .349 and leads the team in runs (42) and doubles (10). He's also stolen 21 bases in 23 attempts, including a steal of home (on a pickoff throw to first) against UCSB. With 82 career steals, he's moved into second place on the UW career chart, trailing only Joe Trippy (85). He's also closing in on the UW career records for runs (needs six more to break) , doubles (two more) and triples (three more). With 215 career hits, he has more than any three-year player in Husky history and the fourth-most among all players. 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 152 of the 153 games during his UW tenure at shortstop, and may have established himself as the greatest power hitter in school history. Only halfway through his junior season, he's set new school records for career home runs (25) 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 205), RBI (second with 139) and runs (5th with 154).
AT THE HOT CORNER: Junior Ryan Lentz (Woodinville (Wash.) HS) returns to his spot as the Husky starting third baseman for the third season this year. 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 .344 with a team-high 34 RBI and 10 doubles. Lentz ranks in the UW career top five in three important power categories: doubles (4th with 40), home runs (4th with 21) and runs batted in (fifth with 131).
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 24 of 33 games at catcher and is batting .328 with four homers, 16 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 15 RBI in 14 starts. On the mound, he has a 1-0 record and has struck out 11 in 12.2 innings.
CLASS NOTES -- SENIORS: UW has only two seniors -- 2B Chris Whitemarsh and reliever Cody Morrison . . . Whitemarsh has five extra-base hits among his nine hits . . . Morrison is 5-for-7 in save opportunities and has allowed only seven hits and fanned 17 in 14.1 innings . . . opponents are batting only .143 against Morrison, who is third in UW history with 16 career saves.
JUNIORS: RF Nick Stefonick has started 24 of 33 games this season . . . with seven steals, he's third on the team . . . 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 21 runs with his 18 hits . . . Orgill is averaging a home run every 8.5 at bats . . . reserve C/DH Kevin Ticen earned the first three starts of his career (all at DH) last week . . . of his 12 career hits, seven are doubles and one is a homer . . . reliever Wayne Lee has fanned 24 batters in 18.2 innings of work.
SOPHOMORES: LF Kyle Woods has a 17-game hitting streak alive, during which he has hit .371 (26-for-70) with 16 runs, 19 RBI and seven home runs . . . he leads the Dawgs with 11 home runs, 34 RBI and is second with 14 steals (in 15 attempts) . . . Woods was named the Pac-10 North Player of the Week last week for the second time this year . . . C/1B Dominic Woody has started 15 of 33 games at DH, 1B and C . . . Ed Erickson has started at first base and DH . . . Erickson has five homers and 17 RBI in his last 14 games . . . reserve OF Dwight DeMar has played in 16 games so far and had two triples last Tuesday 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 . . . righty Ken Ferguson has fanned 19 hitters in 11.0 innings of relief work.
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 23 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 seven pitching decisions. . . he's second on the team with 31 Ks and has allowed only 17 walks in a team-high 48.1 innings. . . John Gillespie has three starts and has surrendered only 15 hits in 20.0 IP . . . Matt Massingale leads the Huskies with 17 appearances and has given up only 15 hits in 20.0 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 nine 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 99 straight without being blanked . . . opponents have been able to shut the Huskies out through the first three innings only 21 times in that span and the UW has scored in the first inning 53 times in those 99 games . . . as a staff, Washington pitchers have allowed only 262 hits in 282 innings, an average of only 8.36 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 . . . in the meantime, Husky hitters are averaging 12.02 hits per nine . . . with 54 HRs, the Huskies are on pace to hit 96 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 (25), Lentz (21) and Magruder (20) . . . Magruder and Miller are the only 200-hit twosome in UW history to play together.