Feb. 16, 2010
THIS WEEKEND: The Washington baseball team opens the 2010 season this weekend when the Huskies travel to Tucson for the Collegiate Cactus Classic at Tucson Electric Park, spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. The four games will mark the first under new head coach Lindsay Meggs, who took over the UW program last July after three years at Indiana State and 13 prior seasons at Chico State. Washington opens the 2010 campaign Friday night at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Time (6:00 p.m. in Tucson) vs. New Mexico State. On Saturday, the Huskies play two games, squaring off against Missouri at 2:00 p.m. PST and against Gonzaga at 6:00 p.m. PST. The weekend wraps up when the Dawgs face New Mexico State once more Sunday at 2:00 p.m. PST. Fans can catch live audio on the Dawg Channel at gohuskies.com as part of a subscription package. Washington will utilize the following starting pitchers: sophomore RHP Andrew Kittredge vs. New Mexico State on Friday; junior RHP Forrest Snow vs. Missouri; junior LHP Ben Guidos vs. Gonzaga and junior LHP Geoff Brown vs. New Mexico State on Sunday. After returning from Tucson, the Dawgs open the home schedule with a three-game series against Fresno State Feb. 26-28. The Huskies then return to the road for a pair of non-conference games at Oregon March 2-3. Here's a look at this weekend's action:
Fri., Feb. 19: UW vs. New Mexico State, 5:00 p.m. PST - live audio at gohuskies.com
Sat., Feb. 20: UW vs. Missouri, 2:00 p.m. PST - live audio at gohuskies.com
Sat., Feb. 20: UW vs. Gonzaga, 6:00 p.m. PST - live audio at gohuskies.com
Sun., Feb. 21: Washington vs. New Mexico State, 2:00 p.m. PST - live audio at gohuskies.com
COACH MEGGS: Lindsay Meggs was named the Huskies' new head coach in July of 2009, just the third different UW head coach in 33 years. Meggs came to the UW after having spent the last three seasons at Indiana State and the 13 prior to that at Chico State, where he won NCAA Division II national championships in 1997 and 1999. He helped Chico to the D-II College World Series seven times and won the league eight times. At Indiana State, he was named Missouri Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2009 after guiding the Sycamores to a second-place finish, their highest since 1998. Entering the 2010 season, he boasts a 615-307-4 record over 16 season as a four-year college head coach. He'd previously served as head coach at Long Beach City College and Oxnard College. Born in San Jose and a graduate of Saratoga (Calif.) High, Meggs played four season as the starting third baseman at UCLA. He was drafted by the Brewers in 1983, and then again by the Royals after his senior year in 1984. Meggs is joined by assistant coaches Dave Nakama, Greg Moore and Bill Haselman.
HUSKIES IN SPRING TRAINING TOURNAMENTS: Washington will open the 2010 season this weekend at Tucson Electric Park, spring training home of the Arizona Diamondbacks. In the last decade or so, the Huskies have participated in tournaments at big league spring training sites somewhat regularly. The first such trip was actually in Florida. In 1998, the defending Pac-10 champion Dawgs opened their season in Viera, Fla., spring home of the Florida Marlins. Washington went 3-0 with wins over Florida Atlantic, Central Florida and South Florida. Later that season, due to rain at a tournament at San Diego State, the Huskies faced Minnesota in Yuma, Ariz., at the time the former spring site of the Padres. In 2000, Washington opened at Phoenix's Papago Park, the Oakland As' spring site, where they faced Creighton, Nevada, Northern Iowa and Northwestern and finished 1-4 on the trip. In 2001, the Huskies began their season at Tucson Electric Park, which was then home to both the White Sox and the D-Backs. The UW went 2-1, posting wins over BYU and Kentucky while dropping a game to Illinois. The Huskies' most recent spring training tournament came in 2002 at Papago Park, where Missouri was also part of the field. Washington opened with a 10-6 over Mizzou and then lost to the Tigers, 10-9, in the final game. In between, the Dawgs beat Northwestern twice.
SERIES HISTORY: Washington has a good deal more history with former Pac-10 Northern Division mate Gonzaga than it does vs. New Mexico State and Missouri, but the Huskies have played all three in recent years. The Huskies hold a 68-53 record head-to-head vs. Gonzaga, which left the Pac-10 after the 1994 season. Last season, the Dawgs went 1-2 vs. the Bulldogs, dropping a game in Spokane and splitting a pair in Seattle. Missouri holds a 5-2-1 advantage against Washington. Most recently, the Tigers and Huskies met in a three-game series at Husky Ballpark in 2004. Washington won the first game, Missouri won the second and they tied in the third game as Missouri's travel plans halted the game after 10 innings with the score knotted at 6-6. Washington is 3-2 all-time against New Mexico State. In 2006, the Dawgs opened the season with a three-game series in Las Cruces. The Huskies lost the opener but then won the next two to finish the series 2-1. Both of the other two meetings came in El Paso, Texas, just south of Las Cruces. In 1995, the Aggies won, 4-1. In 1992, in a season-opening tournament at Cohen Stadium in El Paso, the Dawgs prevailed, 7-5.
SQUAD BREAKDOWN: Washington's 33-man roster would probably rate somewhere in the middle nationwide in terms of experience. Among the 33 players, there are four seniors, 11 juniors, eight sophomores, two redshirt freshmen and eight true freshmen, meaning that 18 of 33 (55 percent) players are freshmen or sophomores. The squad includes 22 returners and 11 newcomers (eight true freshmen, a redshirt freshman, a sophomore transfer and a junior transfer). The UW's returning players have competed in a total of 990 Husky baseball games. Thirteen different veteran position players have combined for 2,423 career at bats but the offensive numbers show a lot more experience than those of the returning pitchers, who have made just 35 career starts and pitched 345.0innings in a UW uniform.
ANOTHER TOUGH SCHEDULE: Each year, Washington boasts one of the toughest schedules in the season, if only by virtue of playing the rigorous Pac-10 Conference. According to well-regarded college baseball website, boydsworld.com, the Huskies have the third-toughest schedule in the country, behind only Baylor and UCLA. The Huskies, of course, face the nine other Pac-10 teams. Four Pac-10 teams (Stanford, Arizona State, Oregon State and UCLA) were ranked in either the Baseball America and USA Today coaches' preseason polls, or both. Arizona, Fresno State, Missouri and Gonzaga each also received votes in the coaches' poll. Additionally, the Huskies play host to Cal State Fullerton in a three-game series at Husky Ballpark. The Titans, who will make their first-ever trip to Montlake, enter the season ranked No. 3 in the coaches' poll and No. 4 in Baseball America's top 25.
WASHINGTON'S TEAM: The Husky baseball roster has always been dominated by in-state players, as most college baseball rosters are. The squad consistently has about 90 percent of players from the state of Washington, and the last two years, it was 100 percent. This year, 31 of the team's 33 players prepped in the state of Washington. The two out-of-staters are Miles Kizer (Phoenix, Ariz.) and Joe Meggs (Terre Haute, Ind.). Of the 31 players from the Evergreen State, 30 come from west of the Cascade Mountains. Fifteen players come from King County, the county in which the UW is located, and 24 of 30 come from King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, which, essentially, form the Seattle metropolitan area.
POSITION PLAYER NOTES (in alphabetical order):
#11 Chase Anselment, Fr. C/OF: Primarily a catcher, but could immediately help out as a left fielder or DH ... started all 97 games over four seasons at Meadowdale High ... Everett Herald's area player of the year following senior season in 2009.
#1 David Bentrott, Jr. SS: Started 74 of a possible 110 games at shortstop over the past two seasons ... started 33 of 55 last year, when he hit five homers ... helped Newport (R.I.) Gulls to the New England Collegiate Baseball League title during the summer.
#6 Andy Bethel, So. SS: Made 25 starts at shortstop last year, essentially splitting the job with Bentrott ... batted .265 and was a perfect 7-for-7 stealing bases as a freshman in 2009 ... played at Seattle Prep, just north of UW campus.
#2 Bradley Boyer, Sr. 2B: Fifth-year senior returns after having missed last season due to Tommy John elbow surgery ... easily the Huskies' most experience player ... enters 2010 with 130 starts and 524 at bats ... a .303 career hitter who has only 48 strikeouts in 524 at bats.
#21 Caleb Brown, So. OF: Started 31 games, all in center field, as a freshman and should start in CF again this year ... singled in first college at bat last Feb. 21 at Fresno State ... named the No. 7 prospect in the West Coast League (summer) by Baseball America ... a two-time, first-team all-state selection in both baseball and football.
#3 Doug Cherry, Sr. 2B: Started 28 games last season, one at DH and the rest at second base ... homered in the season opener last season, at Fresno State ... earned first-team all-league honors as a third baseman for the Corvallis (Ore.) Knights during the summer.
#37 Brendan Gardner-Young, Jr. OF: Lefty-hitter will contend for starting role in left field ... made 44 starts last season, 24 in center and 20 in left ... served as leadoff hitter in 40 games last season ... teammate of UW pitcher Ben Guidos at Highline High, just south of Seattle.
#28 Miles Kizer, Jr. C: Will vie for starting catcher position ... earned NJCAA Division II first-team All-America last year at Glendale (Ariz.) CC ... lone JC player on the Husky roster ... also played football at Glendale ... batted .390 with 14 doubles and a league-leading 52 RBI last season.
#22 Max Kwan, Sr. C: Returns to the roster after having missed the 2009 season due to injury ... recovered in time to play summer ball for the Kitsap (Wash.) BlueJackets ... last played a college game in 2007 ... began college career at Tulane, where he played in 2006.
#18 Jacob Lamb, Fr. 3B: Likely starter at third base ... Metro League MVP and first-team all-state player at Seattle's Bishop Blanchet High last season ... hit .412 as a junior and .429 as a senior ... selected by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 38th round of the 2009 draft.
#12 Brady McGuire, So. C: Saw action 13 games, starting six, as a freshman in 2009 ... all six starts came behind the plate ... played summer ball for Moses Lake (Wash.) in the West Coast League ... four-year letterman and two-time all-leaguer at Kentridge High.
#10 Sean Meehan, So. OF: Likely starter in right field ... redshirted the 2009 season due to injury ... had a strong freshman season in 2008, batting .323 with four homers in 65 at bats and 17 starts ... started 10 in CF, six in RF and one in LF as a freshman ... hit. 475 or better all three seasons at Centralia High School ... a first-team all-state pitcher in 2007.
#17 Joe Meggs, So. UT: Son of new UW head coach Lindsay Meggs ... due to NCAA transfer rules, will sit out the 2010 season after having transferred from Indiana State ... as a freshman at ISU in 2009, played in 34 games, starting 21 ... batted .326 with 14 RBI for the Sycamores.
#25 Eric Peterson, Fr. IF: Named the 3A state co-player of the year and KingCo league's 3A MVP as a senior at Liberty High, alma mater of UW great Tim Lincecum ... led the KingCo with nine homers, 24 RBI, 25 runs and a 1.182 slugging average as a senior ... drafted by the Royals in the 28th round of the 2009 draft.
#33 Julien Pollard, Jr. OF/IF: Versatile player could see action in left field, third base, second base or designated hitter ... lone switch hitter on the Husky roster ... started 41 games as a sophomore in 2009, 26 at third base, 1 in left and two at second ... also made 19 starts as a freshman ... drafted by Twins in 2007 draft.
#8 Pierce Rankin, Jr. C/IF: Huskies' top returning hitter from 2009, batted .299 with six homers in 41 games last year ... can catch or play 3B, SS, 2B or LF ... made 23 starts at 2B, 12 at C, 3 at 3B, 2 at DH and 1 in LF last year ... began 2009 season as starting catcher, but injury kept him from behind the plate in second half of the season ... earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 honors ... played summer ball for the New Bedford (Mass.) Bay Sox, where he also pitched a little bit, during the summer ... grandson of two-time Rose Bowl MVP and college football hall of famer Bob Schloredt (UW '61).
#34 Aaron Russell, Sr. IF: Started 24 games last season, 23 at third base and one at DH ... will miss early part of this season due to injury ... batted .262 with eight doubles and 18 RBI in 103 at bats last year ... had two homers, including a grand slam in 13-12 win over UC Irvine last year ... as a sophomore in 2008, went 6-for-6 with five runs in first appearance of the season, at UC Riverside.
#32 Troy Scott, Jr. 1B: Returning starter at first base ... has started 102 of a possible 110 games during first two years at the UW ... batted .251 with 11 homers and 31 RBI last year, when he committed just one error ... honorable mention All-Pac-10 in 2008 ... helped lead Newport (R.I.) to the New England Collegiate Baseball League title during summer of 2009 ... named all-league and batted .400 with 10 RBI in eight playoff games for the Gulls ... batted .600 with 9 homers, 27 runs and 17 steals as a high school senior at Auburn High ... league MVP and Rawlings All-American ... taken by Twins in 2007 draft ... older brother, Ryan, played catcher at the UW.
#44 Andy Smith, Fr. OF: Speedy left-handed hitting outfielder will vie for playing time as a true freshman ... played at North Kitsap HS under former Husky catcher Jeff Weible ... named league MVP after hitting .483 with 23 stolen bases as a senior ... spent junior season at Syracuse HS in Utah, but went to North Kitsap as a sophomore and senior..
#5 Brian Wolfe, Fr. OF: Left-handed hitting freshman will push for time in outfield ... four-year letterman at Snohomish HS, where he teamed with Aaron West on 4A state title team in 2008 ... first-team all-state as an outfielder in 2009 ... also pitched in high school.
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHER NOTES:
FRI. - Andrew Kittredge, Soph. RHP: Earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 as a freshman last season ... pitched in a total of 29 games, starting seven last year ... 29 appearances were tied for fourth-most in UW history ... all seven starts came in Pac-10 play ... only a sophomore, has pitched more career innings than all but one returning UW pitcher ... first start was April 11 at Cal (no decision) ... picked up a great win at Oregon last year: 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 5 Ks ... named to the NECBL all-league team last summer, when he pitched for the league champion Newport (R.I.) Gulls ... went 3-1 with a 2.43 ERA during regular season for Gulls, then struck out 19 in 12.2 postseason innings.
SAT. vs. MISSOURI - Forrest Snow, Junior RHP: Tall, hard-throwing righty opens the season in the starting rotation ... pitched in 13 games as a sophomore last year, making three starts ... picked up a win in first college start vs. Wisconsin-Whitewater in the Metrodome ... also posted starts vs. BYU and Arizona last year ... 4-1 with 34 Ks and 13 walks in 32.2 innings for the Anchorage Bucs in the Alaska League last summer ... first player ever drafted out of Seattle's Lakeside School, going to the Mariners in the 2007 draft.
SAT. vs. GONZAGA - Ben Guidos, Junior LHP: Lefty enters junior season with 18 appearances during career, nine starts and nine relief outings ... picked up a win last season vs. Oregon, when he allowed one hit and no runs over six innings ... also started another game vs. Oregon, vs. ASU, Portland, BYU and Stanford last year ... went 7-0 with a 1.27 ERA during the summer, playing for the Corvallis (Ore.) Knights.
SUN. - Geoff Brown, Junior LHP: Washington most experienced returning pitcher in terms of career innings (72.1) and appearances (51) ... worked in 31 games last year, all in relief ... 31 appearances were second-most in UW history, only one short of school record ... started four games as a freshman in 2008 ... picked up wins over Nevada, Gonzaga and California (twice) ... appeared in 20 games, starting 4, as a freshman ... has played for the Newport (R.I.) Gulls the last two summers, helping them to the title last summer and a runner-up finish in 2008 ... 5-0 with a 1.48 ERA during summer season this year ... helped lead Jackson HS to state title in 2006 ... team finished No. 2 in Baseball America final poll ... drafted by Royals in 23rd round of 2007 draft.
BULLPEN NOTES: Colton Bielaski (RS-Fr. RHP) attended the UW last season, but didn't play baseball ... first-team All-KingCo and first-team 3A all-state as a senior at Bellevue HS in 2008 ... Adam Cimber (Rr. RHP) righty from Puyallup HS could begin season as UW closer ... won league title as a junior and senior ... 10-2 with a 1.02 ERA, 80 Ks and 10 walks over 75 innings as a senior ... Tacoma News-Tribune's area player of the year in 2009 ... Jacob Clem (Jr. RHP) is a fourth-year junior who has appeared in 12 games ... redshirted the 2007 season and then had 2008 season cut short due to injury ... pitched in nine games last year, all in relief ... younger brother of former Husky standout Zach Clem ... Adrian Gomez (Jr. LHP) appeared in 10 games, starting 4, last year ... picked up a win in a start vs. Oregon ... returned to the UW after a two-year church mission in Mexico ... was married in December, 2008 ... in 2006, went 1-1 with a 4.45 ERA over eight appearances, including three starts ... Matt Gorman (RS-Fr. RHP) redshirted 2009 season while recovering from injury ... helped lead Meadowdale to fourth place in the state as a junior and senior ... an all-league baseball and basketball player ... older brother, Don, played baseball and was a swimmer at the UW ... Collin Monagle (Jr. RHP) enters spring still coming back from injury suffered in HS, but should pitch this year ... three-time All-Narrows League at South Kitsap HS ... Nick Palewicz (Fr. RHP) will redshirt this season while recovering from injury ... father, John, is director of capital projects at the UW ... attended Seattle's Ballard High School ... Brandon Rohde (So. LHP) pitched in just one game last year, but should contend for many more innings this season ... played summer ball for the Moses Lake (Wash.) Pirates ... went 6-1 as a senior at Gig Harbor High in 2008 ... team MVP and all-league ... Aaron West (So. RHP) emerged as a key pitcher for the UW during the 2009 season ... ended up pitching in 16 games, starting five as a freshman ... started in the Huskies' game vs. Arizona State at Safeco Field last year ... got first victory in relief at Stanford, working 4.0 scoreless innings ... also picked up a win in a start at Oregon ... went to the National Baseball Congress World Series with the Seattle Studs during the summer, and picked up a win over the San Diego Stars ... went 7-0 with a 0.62 ERA for state-champion Snohomish High as a high-school senior in 2008 ... threw a two-hitter in the title game to beat Kentlake ... teamed with freshman Brian Wolfe at Snohomish.