March 10, 2003
This Week: The Washington baseball team (9-6), a winner of five straight, continues its stretch of non-conference games vs. northwest Pac-10 rivals as it travels to face Oregon State in a two-game series Tuesday (3:00 p.m.) and Wednesday (1:00 p.m.). The OSU radio broadcast of both games can be heard at gohuskies.com or osubeavers.com. The Huskies, who swept a three-game series from Washington State over the weekend, then return home for a three-game series vs. Cal State Northridge. March 1 at a tournament in Lancaster, Calif., the Huskies beat Northridge, 21-10.
Tue., Mar. 11: UW at OSU, 3:00 p.m. -- listen on gohuskies.com Wed., Mar. 12: UW at OSU, 1:00 p.m. -- listen on gohuskies.com Fri., Mar. 14: CS Northridge at UW, 6:30 p.m. -- no radio Sat., Mar. 15: CS Northridge at UW, 1:00 p.m. -- radio: KKNW AM-1150 Sun., Mar. 16: CS Northridge at UW, 1:00 p.m. -- radio: KKNW AM-1150
Series History: Other than Washington State, the Huskies have faced Oregon State more times than any other team. The Beavers hold the series advantage with a 207-168-1 record against the Huskies. Husky coach Ken Knutson is 34-27 against OSU in his 10 seasons at the UW. Last year, the Dawgs and Beavs faced one another only three times in a three-game Pac-10 series in Corvallis. Washington won two of three. In the opener, Shawn Kohn went the distance in a 6-5 win, getting a popout with two on in the ninth to end the game. Tila Reynolds had three hits for the Huskies. In the second game, the UW got two homers from Michael Done and a homer and a double each from Aaron Hathaway and Tyler Davidson in a 13-3 win. Sean White threw 7.2 innings for the win. OSU salvaged the split on Sunday with a 5-3 win. Mark McLemore went 6.2 innings, fanning seven, for the victory and Seth Pietsch capped a three-run Beaver first with a two-run homer.
Coach "K": In 10-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 four NCAA Regionals. His career overall record stands at 356-241-1 (.596). With those 356 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 172-78-1 (.687) record in home games. He is 152-106 (.589) in conference games. Knutson has coached 37 first-team All-Pac-10 selections in 10 seasons, and has been named league coach of the year three times. A 1981 All-Pac-10 left-handed pitcher at the UW, he is joined by assistants Joe Ross, Travis Jewett, and Gregg Swenson and undergrad assistant Jeremiah Porter.
Probable Starters: Here's a look at the probable starters at each position, with current stats and notes:
Pos. Player, Year Avg.-HR-RBI Notes C -- Aaron Hathaway, So. .341-1-2 Freshman All-America in 2002; 1st HR of 2003 Sunday vs. WSU Jefferson Thiel, Jr. .000-0-0 2000 Freshman All-America; elbow surgery prior to 2002 1B -- Kyle Larsen, So. .357-6-13 Freshman All-America in '02; 6 HRs surpasses 2002 total 2B -- Greg Isaacson, Jr. .220-0-3 Started 44 of last 46 last year; GW RBI in ninth Feb. 14 at LMU Brent Lillibridge, Fr. .318-0-3 Has started at second base, third base, shortstop, center field SS -- Tila Reynolds, Sr. .400-0-5 13th-round draft pick last June; hit safely in last 9 games 3B -- John Otness, Jr. .269-0-5 4-for-13 with two doubles and a triple last weekend vs. WSU Nick Batkoski, So. .625-0-1 5-for-8 as pinch hitter and backup 3B this season OF -- Mike Wagner, Jr. .276-5-15 Baseball America Summer All-America; 15 RBI leads team OF -- Taylor Johnson, So. .240-3-13 Finished 2002 as starter in right; 2 homers Sunday vs. WSU OF -- Simi Reynolds, Fr. .333-0-2 Younger brother of UW SS Tila; 3 hits, 3 runs 3/1 vs. CSUN OF -- Justin Drake, Jr. .355-0-6 6-for-8 opening weekend; started Sunday: 2-for-3, RBI DH -- Chad Boudon, Jr. .286-2-10 Transfer from Hawaii; started all three vs. WSU: 5 RBIs Steve Ramsey, So. .000-0-0 Can play 1B, DH or LF; posted six pinch hits in 2002
Last Week: Despite mostly cold, wet weather, the Huskies put together a solid weekend, sweeping a non-conference, three-game series from Washington State. Sean White threw six innings (five hits, two earned runs, seven Ks) for the victory Friday night in an 11-8 win. Both Kyle Larsen and Mike Wagner went deep for the Huskies and Taylor Johnson drove in three runs. Saturday, the Huskies never trailed in a 6-5 win. Chad Boudon hit a two-run homer to get the UW started and Jeff Petersen struck out seven over five and two-thirds in a no decision. David Dowling got his fourth win in relief and Will Fenton fanned the side in the ninth for his fourth save. Sunday, Trevor Gibson returned from injury to make his first career start and held the Cougars to two hits over six innings while fanning seven in an 8-1 win. Brian Carter threw three innings of no-hit relief for a save. Taylor Johnson belted two homers while Aaron Hathaway hit his first of the season for the Huskies.
Clean Fielding: Washington has gotten off to a very strong start in terms of its fielding, playing nine of 15 games this year without an error. Through 15 games, the Huskies have made only 12 errors (one by a catcher, one by a pitcher, five by outfielders) and are fielding at an outstanding .978 clip. Generally, the national leader in fielding at the Division I level finishes around .975 to .980. With the seven of 12 errors being committed by non-infielders, Washington's infielders have made only three thusfar.
Tough Schedule: Counting those in the "others receiving votes" category, the preseason USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll ranked 57 teams this season. Washington, which picked up five points to rank the equivalent of 46th in that poll, will play a total of 30 games (more than half of its 56-game schedule) against teams that received votes in the preseason ranking. The 30 games come against 12 different teams, including seven Pac-10 opponents (all but Washington State received votes). The UW will play a total of 10 games against four teams ranked in the preseason top 11.
Northwest Flavor: As is usually the case, the Husky baseball roster is made up primarily of players from the state of Washington. In fact, 36 of the 40 players on the preseason roster are from the state of Washington, and another, Trent Baysinger, grew up in the city of Moscow, Idaho, just a few miles from the Washington border. Aside from Washington and Idaho, only one other state is represented on the Husky roster as three players come from the state of Colorado. All three -- freshmen Grant Gerrard and Matt Tucker and sophomore Devin Warner -- are new to the Huskies.
Preseason Accolades: College baseball's preseason publications predicted a solid season for the 2002 Huskies. Baseball America ranked the Dawgs No. 47 in its preseason poll and counted the Huskies among the five Pac-10 teams it predicts will make it into the NCAA tournament. Senior pitcher Sean White was tabbed the Pac-10's best control pitcher and was named the No. 14 senior prospect in America. Shorstop Tila Reynolds was picked as the No. 9 senior in the country while sophomore first baseman Kyle Larsen was selected as the No. 39 sophomore prospect. Neither Collegiate Baseball nor USA Today Sports Weekly ranked the Huskies in the preseason, though the Huskies were among those receiving votes in USA Today's preseason coaches' poll (ranked No. 46, counting past the 25 ranked teams).
POSITION PLAYER NOTES (in alphabetical order):
Nick Batkoski, Soph. IF: Expected to get some time at third base, but also backs up at second, short and DH ... 1-for-2 as DH in lone start Feb. 22 ... four pinch hits ... as a freshman, started five at DH, two at SS, two at second and one at third ... played summer ball for Aloha (Ore.) in the Pacific International League, hitting .323 in league play.
Brian Bauer, RS-Freshman IF: A transfer from San Diego State University, where he redshirted last season ... came off the bench to play second base and got first AB Feb. 22 vs. Gonzaga, his only action thusfar a two-time 4A All-KingCo first-team selection at Woodinville High, the alma mater of current Huskies Mike Wagner and Brian Carter ... MVP of the Washington State all-star game following his senior season at Woodinville.
Chad Boudon, RS-Junior OF/1B: Transferred to Washington after spending the last three years at the University of Hawaii ... redshirted one season with the Rainbows and then played the last two ... RBI single in first Husky AB ... started each of last six at DH ... 2-run HR and two RBI Mar. 8 vs. WSU ... 3-for-5 with an HR Mar. 1 vs. CSUN ... started two of three at LMU, going 3-for-5 with two doubles and two RBI Feb. 14 ... in 2001, played in 46 games, batting .223 with five homers, 25 RBI and 10 steals ... three-time all-district pick at Shorewood High School, just north of Seattle.
Justin Drake, RS-Junior OF: A fourth-year Husky outfielder ... started two of three vs. Gonzaga, one in Lancaster and one vs. WSU ... 2-for-3 with an RBI double Sun. vs. WSU ... started vs. UCSB and Houston opening weekend, going 6-for-8 with three RBI ... hadn't had a hit in nearly two years ... had been injury-plagued the last couple of seasons, playing in only eight games last year and in nine in 2001, when he was granted a medical redshirt season ... as a freshman in 2000, started 20 games, primarily as a center fielder ... one of the Huskies' fastest runners.
Aaron Hathaway, Soph. C: Had started two of three each weekend before catching all three vs. WSU ... first homer of the year in Sunday's 8-1 win ... 4-for-10 last weekend vs. WSU ...Cougars didn't steal a base in six tries ... has picked off three baserunners ... last season vs. OSU: 4-for-13 (.308) with two homers in three games ... turned in an outstanding freshman campaign, earning first-team Freshman All-America acclaim from Collegiate Baseball ... started 48 games at catcher in 2002, including 31 of the last 33 ... hit safely in 16 of the last 20 and 21 of the last 26 regular season games last year ... in the UW's second-half turnaround last year, hit .302 while allowing only four passed balls and 10 stolen bases over the last 32 games, mostly against Pac-10 competition ... played so well defensively in the NCAA Houston Regional at Rice that he made the all-tournament team despite going 1-for-17 at the plate.
Greg Isaacson, Junior 2B: In his second season as the Huskies' starter at second base ... only two hits in WSU series, but walked five times and scored five runs ... error-free in 46 chances so far ... three runs in win over CSUN ... RBI single in only AB vs. SDSU ... started two of three opening weekend, going 2-for-6 with a double ... had game-winning RBI single in the ninth Feb. 14 at LMU ... a walk-on who played in only four games as a freshman and didn't play at all the first 15 games of last year ... started 44 of the last 46, however ... batted .343 (37-for-108) when hitting No. 9 in the lineup last year ... batted .333 with a wood bat over the summer for Bend (Ore.)
Ben Johnson, Junior C: Has served as the Huskies' No. 2 catcher in each of the last two seasons ... started Feb. 15 at Loyola ... a switch-hitter ... started 19 games as a freshman and 12 last year ... missed most of the fall practice season with a medical condition, but is fully recovered now ... drafed by the Astros in the 29th round of the 2000 draft.
Taylor Johnson, Soph. OF: Closed out the 2002 season as a regular starter in right field, particularly against right-handed pitchers ... one of the Huskies' best arms and best baserunners ... started 14 of 15 games this season in right ... two homers in Sunday's win over Washington State ... 3-for-12 with six RBIs in WSU series ... 4-for-10 at Lancaster tournament... homer and four RBI March 1 vs. CSUN ... had a hit in each of the three games at Loyola Marymount ... started 21 of the last 33 in right to end last year ... Huskies went 15-6 in those 21 games ...batted .326 with a wood bat in league play last summer for the Bend (Ore.) Elks in the Pacific International League.
Kyle Larsen, Soph. 1B: Homered in three straight games (UCSB, Houston and first at LMU) ... six homers beats 2002 total of five already ... 3-for-3 with four runs and a two-run homer Friday vs. WSU ... has at least one homer in each weekend series this year ... 5-for-6 with homer, double, four RBI March 1 vs. CSUN ... last season vs. Oregon State: 6-for-14 (.429) in three games ... led off the ninth vs. UCSB with a homer to tie the game at 5-5 ... two-run HR in the first inning vs. Houston, a 4-1 win ... 2-for-4 with a double and HR Feb. 14 at LMU ... 2-for-4 Feb. 16 vs. the Lions ... 4-for-11 with a homer and a double in Gonzaga series... named a first-team Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball after a strong first season at UW ... finished with the second-best average on the team (.342) after having spent much of the year as the Huskies' top hitter ... has yet to make an error in 603 career chances ... when hitting as the No. 3 hitter last year, batted .436 (24-for-55) in 14 games ... Huskies were 10-4 in those games.
Brent Lillibridge, Freshman IF: Had an outstanding fall, and despite the return of fourth-year starting shortstop Tila Reynolds, figures to get some game action as a freshman ... has started at 2B, SS, 3B and CF ... started two of three last weekend vs. WSU, going 3-for-6 with four runs ... started once at third and once at second opening weekend and again at 2B Feb. 16 at Loyola ... only AB vs. Gonzaga resulted in a double ... drove in the game-winning run with a single in the ninth vs. UCSB ... a three-year team captain at Jackson High in Everett ... led Jackson to a 31-5 league record over his last two seasons ... career .420 hitter in high school.
John Otness, Freshman 3B: Began last year as the starter at third base, then didn't play much through the middle of the season before re-emerging as the starter at DH through the stretch run ... won a battle for the vacant starting third base position in the fall ... has started 14 of 15 this year, one at DH and 13 at 3B ... 4-for-13 with two doubles and a triple last weekend vs. WSU ... 3-for-5 Friday vs. WSU ... three hits in win over SDSU ... had two hits in the season opener vs. Pepperdine ... Huskies were 13-7 with him at DH in 2002 ... hit in 26 of 32 starts overall last year ... went 6-for-16 in the NCAA regional last year and reached on a two-strike HBP one batter before Jay Garthwaite's two-out, three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth beat Rice, 7-6, to force a second championship game.
Steve Ramsey, Junior OF/1B: After seeing limited action in his first two seasons, has earned a shot as the Huskies' starter DH (at least against righties) this year ... started twice as DH so far ... one of the team's top natural power hitters ... was probably the UW's top pinch hitter last season, connecting for six pinch hits on the year.
Simi Reynolds, Freshman OF: A top candidate to start in center field this year ... younger brother of Husky senior SS Tila as well as Oregon State second baseman Kerisi ... three hits, three runs March 1 vs. CSUN ... started opening day vs. Pepperdine and Feb. 15 at LMU, when he went 3-for-3 with a double and an RBI ... spent the fall as a walkon cornerback on the football team, but red-shirted the year ... one of the most decorated athletes in recent Washington high school history ... led Skyline to three straight league titles in baseball and three straight top-five finishes in the state ... led summer baseball teams to three top-three national finishes over the last four years ... helped football team to state championship as a junior and a third-place finish as a senior ... earned the 2002 Athletes for a Better World "Spirit of ABW" award after co-founding "Athletes for Kids" ... one of several community service awards he's received.
Tila Reynolds, Senior SS: Returns for his senior year despite being drafted by the Brewers in the 13th round of the 2002 draft ... fourth straight season as the Husky starter at shortstop ... started 14 of 15 at SS so far, sitting out Sunday vs. WSU ... 4-for-7 in two WSU games ... two errors in 59 chances so far (.966) ... has hit in nine straight games, going 18-for-36 (.500) during the streak ... last season vs. Oregon State: 6-for-14 (.429) in three games ... 3-for-6 with a single, a double and a triple in win over Northridge ... 2-for-5 in win over San Diego State ... 3-for-4 Feb. 23 vs. Gonzaga and 6-for-10 in the three-game series ... 2-for-5 with 2 RBI Feb. 14 at LMU ... younger brother, Simi, is a freshman CF ... named the No. 9 senior prospect in the U.S. by Baseball America ... named to the NCAA Regional all-tournament team last year ... often the Huskies' No. 2hitter last year, batting .403 (60-for-149) when hitting in that spot last season ... led the tam with .347 average and withi 19 stolen bases last year ... had hitting streaks of 13 and 14 games last season.
Jefferson Thiel, RS-Junior C: Returns to full duty after missing last season due to surgery ... had "Tommy John" surgery just prior to last season ... started vs. UCSB, once vs. Gonzaga and against San Diego State ... had been the Husky starter at catcher the previous two years (2000-2001), earning USA Today freshman All-America honors in 2000 ... had been hitting .415 (17-for-41) on the year in 2001 before the injury first came up ... started 44 games as a freshman in 2000.
Mike Wagner, Junior OF: Formerly a third baseman for the Huskies, moved to left field at mid-season last year and has started all 15 (14 in LF, 1 in RF) so far ... 2-for-6 with a homer and five RBI in March 1 win over CSUN ... solo homer in Friday win over WSU ... had two RBI on bases-loaded HBPs in Saturday's win over the Cougs ... 2-for-4 in win over SDSU ... 3-for-5 with a homer and three RBI Feb. 23 vs. Gonzaga ... 6-for-12 in the three-game series vs. the Zags ... homered Feb. 14 and Feb. 15 at Loyola ... named a Baseball America Summer All-American this fall after a great summer with North Adams (Mass.) ... was the league MVP after leading the league in batting, slugging, on-base, hits and runs ... has yet to be caught stealing in eight career attempts.
POSSIBLE STARTING PITCHER NOTES:
POSSIBLE STARTER (TUE. OR WED.) -- Clay Johnson, Junior RHP: Outstanding in first start Feb. 9 vs. No. 11 Houston, getting the win ... vs. Houston: 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K ... took loss Feb. 15 at LMU and Feb. 22 vs. Gonzaga ... closed out the 2002 season in the best form of his college career ... began the year as a top-three starter, then lost his spot before returning in the last two-thirds of the conference season ... made 12 starts and one relief appearance in 2002 ... named to the NCAA Regional all-tourney team thanks to a great outing vs. Texas Tech ... beat the Red Raiders, allowing five hits and one run over seven and two-thirds ... beat UCLA and UC Irvine with complete-game outings ... didn't walk more than two batters in any one game during the regular season last year ... also a regular starter as a freshman, getting 10 starts in 2001 ... won the National Baseball Congress World Series last summer as a member of the Fairbanks (Alaska) Goldpanners ... 3-2 with a 3.06 ERA for the Goldpanners.
POSSIBLE STARTER (TUE. OR WED.) -- Brian Carter, Junior LHP: Threw three no-hit innings of relief to combine on a two-hitter Sunday vs. Washington State, earning a save ... came in vs. USD with bases loaded an no outs and got a 1-2-3 double play and a K to get out of it ... got first career save getting the final two outs with runners at first and third vs. UCSB Feb. 8 ... worked three relief innings Feb. 15 at Loyola, allowing a run on three hits ... allowed an earned run in only four his 18 appearances and gave up a hit in only six of 18 last year ... lone career win came in relief vs. California.
POSSIBLE STARTER (TUE. OR WED.) -- David Dowling, Soph. LHP: Picked up a fourth relief win Saturday vs. WSU, allowing one run on two hits over an inning and one-third ... got third long-relief win of the season Mar. 1 vs. CSUN, going six and one-third, the longest outing by a UW pitcher this year (start or relief) ... got the win in relief Feb. 8 vs. UCSB, working 5.2 innings (5 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K) ... got a similar win Feb. 14 at Loyola Marymount, allowing three runs and fanning six in four and two-thirds in a 10-9 UW win ... made four starts and nine relief appearances in 2002 ... earned wins over Washington State and Portland.
BULLPEN NOTES: Trent Baysinger (Jr. LHP) has allowed only two runs in 12.0 IP this year ... worked 1.2 in Friday's win over WSU, allowing one run on two hits ... got the win Feb. 23 vs. Gonzaga, allowing no runs on two hits over three and one-third ... got the save Feb. 9 vs. No. 11 Houston with 1.1 innings ... struck out two in that one ... 4.1 scoreless relief Feb. 16 at Loyola Marymount ... Josh Conover (Soph. RHP) made eight relief appearances and no starts last season ... threw one perfect inning vs. Northridge ... threw a 1-2-3 ninth vs. CS Northridge ... didn't surrender a hit in first three outings of his career last year ... Keaton Everitt (RS-Fr. RHP) missed last season after preseason surgery ... first-career outing Feb. 22 vs. Gonzaga, throwing a no-hit, no-run inning ... only began pitching as a senior in high school but has shown low-90s velocity ... at Juanita High in 2001, struck out 27 in 15 innings ... Will Fenton (Soph. RHP) has allowed only three hits, no runs and has fanned 13 in 9.0 innings this season ... got two saves in WSU series, getting the final out in Friday's 11-8 win and working two innings (one hit, three Ks) in the 6-5 win Saturday ... struck out five and gave up one hit over 2.2 to get win vs. SDSU ... got second save Feb. 23 vs. Gonzaga, coming on with no outs and two on in the ninth and retiring the next three in order without allowing a run ... threw 2.0 innings vs. Pepperdine Feb. 7, allowing a hit and no runs while striking out two ... 1-2-3 ninth for the save Feb. 14 at Loyola Marymount ... pitched in two WSU games last year, getting a win ... striking out six and allowing only one hit and no runs in 3.1 IP ... most memorable outing last year was at Cal, when he got a save by fanning the last two batters of the game with the bases loaded ... in the Huskies' win at Rice last year in the regionals, threw three and one-third no-hit innings of relief for the win, as the UW got a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth for the victory ... Matt Kasser (Fr. RHP) is the lone true freshman pitcher that has travelled so far ... threw 1.1 innings Feb. 21 vs. Gonzaga ... set a KingCo Conference record with 25 career victories at Issaquah High ... won a state title as a sophomore ... 9-3 as a sophomore, 7-1 as a junior and 8-1 as a senior in high school ... Scott Robertson (Sr. RHP) fanned two in a 1-2-3 ninth in the loss to USD ... threw 1.2 IP vs. Houston Feb. 9, allowing one hit and no runs with two strikeouts ... entered the year with 36 career relief appearances and no starts during his career ... had seven saves in 2001, the sixth-highest total in school history ... Joel Villalobos (Jr. LHP) came to UW after two seasons at Bellevue CC ... played mostly outfield in 2001 and then went 6-0 with a 1.40 ERA as a sophomore last year ... struck out 71 in 51.1 innings last year at BCC, when batters hit only .161 against him.