Nov. 19, 2007
SEATTLE - The University of Washington baseball team has received National Letters of Intent from nine high school seniors who will join the Huskies for the 2009 season, 16th-year head coach Ken Knutson announced today. The nine players that signed letters did so during the early signing period, which began Nov. 14. There will also be a late signing period beginning in April.
The nine signees, all from the state of Washington, are: LHP J.D. Awald (Cedar Park Christian), IF Andy Bethel (Seattle Prep), RHP Matt Gorman (Meadowdale), RHP Seth Haehl (Eastmont), RHP Andrew Kittredge (Ferris), 1B Kevin Komstadius (Yakima East Valley), RHP Trevor May (Kelso), C Brady McGuire (Kentridge) and LHP Brandon Rohde (Gig Harbor).
"It's a pitching-dominated class," Knutson said. "It really compliments our group of freshmen this season, which is comprised mainly of position players." UW's 2008 class earned a No. 11 national ranking.
"We have a lot of pitchers who will be leaving our program after this year," Knutson continued. "It's a great year for pitching in the state, so it works out well. And, we intend to add to the class in the spring signing period."
Awald was the Emerald City League co-player of the year as a sophomore and first-team all-league as a pitcher and first baseman last season. "J.D. has tremendous upside," Knutson said. "He really came on at the end of last summer, but he's been on our radar for a long time."
Bethel was an All-Metro League first-teamer as a junior after earning honorable mention as a sophomore at Seattle Prep. "Andy has incredible defensive skills," said Knutson. "He's a solid all-around player, but his glove just really jumps out at you."
Gorman, the younger brother of former UW baseball player Don Gorman, is a multi-sport athlete who has also earned honors in basketball. "Matt's a very good athlete," explained Knutson. "He's got great potential on the mound. We've seen him throw 90, so if he concentrates on pitching, he could really take off."
Haehl was a first-team All-Columbia Basin League pick as a junior at Eastmont High in East Wenatchee last spring. "Seth is an excellent student," Knutson said. "We got on him a little later than most of our signees, but he's got a good arm and is very polished for a high-school pitcher."
Kittredge, who plays at Ferris High in Spokane, has been consistently rated as one of the state's top prospects in his class. "He has a power arm, and a very good breaking ball and change," said Knutson. "He's the dominant pitcher on the east side of the state."
Komstadius' father Kirk was a teammate of Knutson's at Yakima Valley College in the 1970s. A big, left-handed hitting first baseman, Komstadius has earned all-state honorable mention honors as early as his sophomore season. "Kevin is a three-sport athlete," said Knutson. "He's one of the best hitters in the state and has huge potential."
May earned all-league second-team honors last year at Kelso High. "Trevor is a tremendous student and powerful pitcher who we've been following for a long time," Knutson said. "He has a good chance to have a huge impact as a college pitcher."
McGuire earned second-team All-SPSL North as a junior in 2007. "Brady is a very well developed defensive catcher," Knutson explained. "He's going to help us right away, based on where we are with our depth at catcher."
Rohde, a powerful lefty, began earning all-league honors as a freshman in 2005. He sat out the 2007 season due to elbow surgery. "As a sophomore," said Knutson, "we thought he was one of the best pitchers in the state."
The Huskies open the 2008 season next Feb. 22 with a three-game series at UC Riverside.
UW Baseball 2009 Early Letter of Intent Signees
Name Pos. High School J.D. Awald LHP Cedar Park Christian Andy Bethel IF Seattle Prep Matt Gorman RHP Meadowdale Seth Haehl RHP Eastmont Andrew Kittredge RHP Ferris Kevin Komstadius 1B East Valley (Yakima) Trevor May RHP Kelso Brady McGuire C Kentridge Brandon Rohde LHP Gig Harbor