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Diamond Dawgs Set To Start Busy Slate
Release: 03/13/2001
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March 13, 2001

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THIS WEEK: The Washington baseball team (9-3), after a week off for finals, returns to the field this weekend, opening the Pac-10 Conference schedule against No. 10 USC (12-8) at Husky Ballpark. The series begins Saturday and runs through Monday, with each day's game beginning at 1:00 p.m. Sunday's game will air live in the Seattle area on KSRB AM-1150, with Eric Radovich calling the action. Out-of-towners can catch the game on the internet at KSRB's website: www.1150ksrb.com. Also, all three games will air live on USC's website at www.usctrojans.com. The Trojans take on UC Santa Barbara (Tuesday) and San Diego (Wednesday) before travelling to Seattle. The Huskies continue the busy stretch next Tuesday and Wednesday when Washington State comes to Husky Ballpark for a pair of non-conference games (both at 6:30 p.m., both on KSRB radio). Thursday, the Dawgs return to the road after eight straight at home to take on No. 1 Stanford in another Pac-10 series. Here's a look at this weekend's games (the Huskies' starting pitchers are yet to be determined):

Saturday, March 17: USC at Washington, Husky Ballpark, 1:00 p.m. -- broadcast on www.usctrojans.com
Sunday, March 18: USC at Washington, Husky Ballpark, 1:00 p.m. -- KSRB AM-1150 radio
Monday, March 19: USC at Washington, Husky Ballpark, 1:00 p.m. -- broadcast on www.usctrojans.com

SERIES HISTORY: Washington has had relatively minimal success against USC over the years, though the two teams didn't play one another regularly during most of the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. USC leads the all-time series 21-2. The Trojans led the series 14-0 prior to the 1996 Pac-10 Conference championship series at Dedeaux Field, when the Huskies won game one of a three-game set, 6-2. The Trojans took games two (7-3) and three (5-0) of that series to take the title. In 1999, the Trojans took two of three games in a regular-season series after the re-unification of the Pac-10. The Huskies won the middle game of that series, 8-7, as Jeff Carlsen threw seven innings for the victory. Last year, the UW closed out its season with a home series vs. USC, and were swept by the Trojans, 6-1, 13-3 and 4-3. Among current Husky hitters, only Jay Garthwaite had a decent weekend, batting .333 (4-for-12) with a double and a home run.

COACH "K": In eight 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 three NCAA Regionals. His career overall record stands at 294-188 (.610). With those 294 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 139-52 (.728) record in home games. He is 130-80 (.619) in conference games. Knutson has coached 35 first-team All-Pac-10 selections in eight seasons, and has been named league caoch of the year three times. A 1981 All-Pac-10 left-handed pitcher at the UW, he is joined by assistant coaches Joe Ross, Ed Gustafson, and Joe Weis and undergraduate assistant Daniel Jahn.

PROBABLE STARTERS: Here's a look at the probable starters at each position, with 2001 stats and notes:

Pos.  Player, Year          Avg.-HR-RBI Notes
 C -- Jefferson Thiel, So.   .447-2-12  .467 with 2 HR last week, started 11 of 12
1B -- Bryan Johnson, So.     .347-2-17  Last week, hit .364 with eight RBI
2B -- Marc Rittenhouse, Sr.  .318-0-4   9-for-17 with 4 doubles, 7 runs last week
SS -- Tila Reynolds, So.     .400-2-9   Has hit safely in all 10 games
3B -- Michael Done, Jr.      .450-1-12  Leads team with .450 average and 18 hits
RF -- Tyler Davidson, So.    .313-0-5   10-for-24 (.417) after starting 0-for-8
LF -- Jay Garthwaite, So.    .347-2-18  Leads team with six doubles, 18 RBI
CF -- Ben Miller, Jr.        .333-1-4   13-for-31 (.419) since 0-for-first-23
CF -- Justin Drake, So.      .222-0-1   Made 20 starts in center field in 2000
CF -- Brandon Jacobson, So.  .400-1-4   6-for-10 with HR in two starts at UCR
CF -- Andre Marshall, Jr.    .167-0-3   5 starts in CF, 2 of 3 hits are extra base
DH -- Duggan Moran, Sr.      .296-1-3   Already quadrupled '00 hit total

HOT START: With its 9-3 start, Washington has posted its best 12-game start since the 1994 season, when the Huskies were 11-1 after 12 games (after beginning the year 10-0). That team went on to the NCAA Regionals, losing in the regional finals to Nomar Garciaparra and Georgia Tech. A good early start usually bodes well for the rest of the season, as during the 1990s, no team that started with a winning record over 12 games finished the year with a losing record. Over the last two decades, three UW teams have done better than 9-3 over the first 12 (including the 1994 team). In 1990, Coach Bob MacDonald's Huskies began the year 10-2 and finished 30-19. In 1985, Washington won each of its first 12 games, but all of those were against non-Division I opposition. That team finished 25-23. Here's a look at the last 10 years of Husky baseball, with record after 12 games and end-of-season record:

Year  After 12   Season    Notes
2000    3-9       26-30
1999    8-4       33-23
1998    8-4       41-17    Pac-10 champs, regionals
1997    4-8       46-20    Pac-10 champs, regionals
1996    2-10      30-28    Division champs
1995    3-9       24-30
1994    11-1      46-18    Regionals
1993    5-7       39-19    Division champs
1992    9-3       39-21    Division champs, regionals
1991    8-4       27-23

BUSY SLATE: Beginning this Saturday, when the Huskies take on USC in the first game of a three-game series, the Washington baseball team will begin its most hectic stretch of the year. Starting Saturday, the Huskies will play a game five days in a row, 12 games over 16 days and 22 games over the next 32 days. Washington was, by at least two weeks, the last Pac-10 team to begin its season. Of course, that means that the Huskies' have to compact the 56-game schedule into a shorter period of time.

ONE YEAR OLDER: Washington fielded its youngest team since 1996 last season, with four freshmen in the everyday starting lineup and only one senior on the roster. The Huskies are hoping that they can repeat what happened with that young '96 squad, which went on to win Pac-10 Championships in 1997 and 1998. This season, Washington returns 24 players that played last season, plus two redshirts. Offensively, returning players started 66 percent of last year's games, and accounted for 64 percent of the Huskies' at bats, runs and hits. Returners hit 46 of the Dawgs' 67 home runs (69 percent) and stole 51 of 88 stolen bases (58 percent). On the mound, the Huskies are even more experienced. Members of the 2001 roster made 156 appearances last season and accounted for 77 percent (20) of the Huskies' 26 wins and 73 percent of starts (41 of 56). Returning pitchers worked 382 innings (79 percent) and fanned 300 (76 percent).

STILL YOUNG PUPS: While Washington is fielding a much more experienced team than it did last year, it's still a very young club. If you are to break down the starting players so far this year, you'll find that freshman or sophomores have earned one-third of the starts. Going with the notion that 10 players start each game (pitcher and DH included), and that the Huskies have played 12 games so far, 69 starts have gone to sophomores and 11 to freshmen, for a total of 80, or 67 percent of the 120 total starts.

THE POWER HOUSE: History will eventually be the judge of whether the new Husky Ballpark favors the hitters or the pitchers. So far, however, it definitely has been advantageous to the offense. Through 63 games at Husky Ballpark, the Huskies have belted 114 home runs, an average of 1.8 per game, while visitors have hit 74 home runs, or 1.2 per game. In 63 games, a total of 906 runs have been scored (both teams combined), an average of 14.4 per game.

CUBA TRIP: Last September, the Husky baseball team travelled to Cuba for a week of baseball. The Dawgs were to play four games against the Cubans, with a fifth game pitting two mixed teams (half Huskies, half Cubans) against one another. Washington went 2-2 against teams made up of Cuban pros and the mixed game was rained out. Washington was the first major college team to play in Cuba.

POSITION PLAYER NOTES (in alphabetical order):

Tyler Davidson, Soph. OF: After a slow start (0-for-8 at Tucson), Davidson got it going during the UC Riverside series, going 6-for-17 (.353) with four RBI ... 4-for-5 in two games at Oregon State, making him 10-for-24 (.415) since the 0-for-8 start ... only got two ABs in Southern Utah series while recovering from a bruised ankle ... has started seven times in right field and one at DH ... began his freshman year last season on the bench, but ended up starting 28 of the last 30 ... cracked the starting lineup April 5 at Washington State, when he went 3-for-4 with a double, a triple, a home run, and an intentional walk in his last at bat ... top batting average (.345) among returning players ... 17 of 38 hits last year were for extra bases ... named honorable mention freshman All-America by Collegiate Baseball.

Michael Done, Junior 3B: Has become a hot hitter of late ... leads his team in batting with a .450 mark ... has started 11 of 12 games, 10 at third base and once at second ... last Saturday vs. Southern Utah, went 3-for-4 with a homer, a double and foru RBI ... 2-for-4 last Friday night vs. the T-Birds ... went 7-for-13 (.538) at the Illini Desert Classic in Tucson ... drove in the tying run in the ninth vs. BYU in the season opener ... started all but two games at third base last season ... stole 10 bases on 11 tries last year ... made only 14 errors in 54 games last year.

Justin Drake, Soph. OF: One of several candidates for the starting spot in center field ... started Sunday vs. SUU in left, going 2-for-4 with a double ... started in left vs. Illinois ... scored winning run in 6-5 win over BYU, appearing as a pinch runner ... perhaps the fastest runner on the team ... spent a good portion of last season as the starter in center, starting a total of 20 games.

Jay Garthwaite, Soph. OF: Has emerged as the Huskies' top slugger with his 18 RBI in only 12 games ... also leads the team with his six doubles and two homers (tied for lead) ... batted only 5-for-20 (.250), but had three doubles and six RBI in five games last week ... the Huskies' starter in left in nine games, in right twice, and at DH in the other ... one of only two Huskies to have started all 12 games ... had a great weekend at UC Riverside, going 7-for-16 with two homers and 10 runs batted in ... dating back to last season, has hit safely in 19 of the last 21, hitting .370 (30-for-81) over that stretch ... broke the UW freshman home runs record with 12 last season ... had off-season surgery to repair the shoulder that had relegated him to DH duties in 2000 ... honorable mention Freshman All-America.

Bryan Johnson, Soph. 1B: One of only two Huskies to have started in all 12 games this season ... has started one game at third and 11 at first base, but has also played second base ... went 8-for-22 (.364) with two doubles, a triple, a homer and eight RBI last week (five games) ... 3-for-5, and a homer short of a cycle, with four RBI Sunday vs. Southern Utah ... three-run homer at Oregon State last Tuesday ... good weekend at Riverside, going 7-for-16 (.412) with two doubles, six RBI and a grand slam (in Saturday's game two) ... had an outstanding summer with Athletes in Action, batting .327 with a wood bat and leading his team to a fourth-place finish at the NBC World Series.

Brandon Jacobson, Soph. OF: Has made six starts in center field and one in right ... either bats leadoff or ninth ... in five games last week, went 5-for-14 (.357) with five runs and three steals in four games ... made two starts in center field at Riverside, going 6-for-10 with a home run and three runs scored ... hit a solo homer at UC Riverside -- the first Husky home run of the season ... batted .393 and led the league in runs and stolen bases last year at Bellevue (Wash.) CC, playing with a wood bat.

Andre Marshall, Junior OF: Has made five starts in center field so far ... two of three hits have gone for extra bases -- a double and a triple ... didn't start vs. SUU ... RBI pinch-hit single in Saturday's game vs. Southern Utah ... a transfer from Walla Walla (Wash.) CC ... tripled in the season opener vs. BYU ... known for speed and fielding ... drafted by the Oakland A's in the 29th round of the 1999 draft.

Ben Miller, Junior OF: Has three starts this year -- vs. Illinois (CF), game three at Riverside (DH) and in game two vs. Southern Utah (LF) ... hit a two-run homer in four at bats Saturday vs. Southern Utah ... 1-for-1 off the bench Sunday vs. SUU ... drove in the go-ahead run in the 10th vs. Illinois, but the Illini tied it in the bottom of the 10th ... singled and scored in pinch hit appearance at OSU last Wednesday ... closed out last season by collecting eight hits in his last 16 at bats after starting his career hitless in his first 23 ... since the 0-for-23 start, has gone 13-for-31 (.419) first hit was a two-run homer vs. St. Martin's.

Duggan Moran, Senior 1B/DH: Has started five games at DH and one at first base ... hit first career homer off the bench Sunday vs. Southern Utah ... with eight hits this season, has already quadrupled last year's total ... 3-for-8 at UC Riverside ... 2-for-5 Tuesday at Oregon State ... first career hit (last season vs. Northern Iowa) drove in the tying and winning runs.

John Otness, Freshman IF: Has performed well in limited action as a backup infielder ... one start game in last game at UC Riverside ... last week, came off the bench in three of the four games, going 3-for-3 with three singles and a walk ... has yet to make an error in 12 chances and has been a part of four double plays ... doubled in first career at bat off the bench in Saturday's game two at UCR ... primarily a second baseman, but has played SS and 3B as well ... missed fall practice after suffering an kidney injury during summer ball ... batted .560 as a senior and was the Tacoma player of the year.

Jeremiah Porter, RS-Freshman OF: Has made five appearances and one start ... yet to record a hit in eight at bats ... 0-for-3 in first career start Wednesday at Oregon State ... red-shirted the 2000 season due to a back injury that eventually required surgery.

Steve Ramsey, Freshman 1B/OF: Has played in five games, starting once -- last Friday in RF vs. Southern Utah ... had a big hit in that game, doubling with two outs to plate the tying run in the fifth inning, starting a two-out, four-run rally ... serves as a backup at first base and in the outfield, and also has a good shot to start at DH ... won the KingCo Confererence batting championship with a .517 average last year at Eastlake High School.

Tila Reynolds, Soph. SS: Has hit safely in all 10 games in which he's played this year ... has missed a couple of starts with a sprained ankle, but is essentially healthy ... 5-for-15 with a homer and three RBI in four games last week ... 2-for-4 with a homer a double, two RBI and three runs last Tuesday at OSU ... very solid weekend at UC Riverside, batting .474 (9-for-19) with six runs, a double and a home run ...tripled to drive in the opening run of Kentucky game ... started 50 of 56 games at shortstop as a freshman last year ... honorable mention Freshman All-America ... over the last 35 games of 2000, batted .302 and made only six errors in last 32 games.

Tim Rice, Junior C: Has played in four games, starting once ... only catcher to start besides Thiel ... lone hit so far was a single in the second game of the Riverside series ... only start this year was game four vs. UCR ... started 12 games as the backup catcher in 2000 after transferring from Tacoma CC ... expected to vie for the No. 2 spot with Chad Yarbrough this season ... singled off the bench in first at bat of 2001 ... started Sunday at UCR.

Marc Rittenhouse, Senior 2B: Has started 11 of 12 games, 10 at second base and one at short ... after a slow start, had a great week last week, going 9-for-17 with seven runs and four doubles over five games ... 4-for-4 with three runs and two doubles Sunday vs. Southern Utah ... 3-for-4 with two doubles and three runs last Tuesday at Oregon State ... co-captain along with Jeff Carlsen ... has spent the season so far struggling with a thumb injury in his left hand ... 12 home runs in 2000 shared the team lead ... had only five homers prior to last season ... second on team with 13 stolen bases and first with 47 walks ... 47 walks ranked third in the Pac-10 ... 10th in UW history in career walks and runs ... career .290 hitter.

Jefferson Thiel, Soph. C: Has started 11 of 12 games behind the plate, but did get some time off in the late innings in three of the last four games ... off to a very solid start with .447 average and 12 RBI ... only drove in 21 runs all of last season ... this year, is 9-for-14 (.643) with runners in scoring position ... 2-for-2 with a homer and three runs Sunday vs. Southern Utah in only four innings ... also homered in Saturday's win vs. Southern ... 7-for-15 (.467) with two homers and five RBI last week ... caught every inning of the opening weekend, and still managed to hit .500 with four RBI ... singled home winning run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth vs. BYU ... started 44 of 56 games as the Husky catcher in 2000 ... named first-team Freshman All-America by USA Today Baseball Weekly ... hit .556 (5-for-9) with two homers during trip to Cuba.

Mike Wagner Freshman 3B: Backs up at third base and at DH ... has made three starts at DH and one at third base ... 3-for-4 with four RBI Sunday vs. Southern Utah ... hit two doubles off of the bench in game two at UC Riverside ... went 6-for-13 (.545) in three games at UCR ... All-KingCo third baseman as a junior and senior at Woodinville High ... over the summer, once strung together 19 consecutive hits ... 0-for-3 in lone start.

Chad Yarbrough, Soph. C: Will compete to back up Jefferson Thiel ... grounded out in lone at bat so far this season ... has played in two games ... saw action in three games last year, but didn't get a plate appearance.

STARTING PITCHER NOTES (alphabetical order):

Jeff Carlsen, Senior RHP: Made first appearance of the year (after undergoing off-season shoulder surgery) last Sunday vs. Southern Utah ... threw three perfect innings in a start, fanning six of the nine he faced ... got the win, the 23rd of his career to take over sole possession of second place in UW career wins ... also surpassed the 200-strikeout mark, only the third Husky ever to do so ... tied atop the career starts list with 41, and tied for fourth in innings pitched with 255.1 and third in strikeouts with 202 ... needs four wins to tie the UW career mark of 27.

Clay Johnson, Freshman RHP: Improved to 2-0 with the win last Friday vs. Southern Utah ... fanned five in five innings in that one ... threw five strong innings for first win at UC Riverside (March 3, game two) ... no-hit the Highlanders through the first four ... finished with five innings, three hits, two runs and four Ks ... earned first career start vs. Illinois ... threw 3.1 innings and got no decision ... had a very similar career to fellow Elma High grad Jake Kringen, one of the most successful pitchers in UW history ... like Kringen, led Elma to the state title as a senior and posted a 0.00 ERA as a senior.

Tyler Shepple, Sophomore RHP: Took the loss last Wednesday at Oregon State, allowing six runs over four innings ... no decisions in first two starts ... March 2 at UC Riverside, allowed four runs on four hits over six and two-thirds ... vs. BYU, threw six innings, allowing two runs on four hits, no walks and five strikeouts ... gave up a two-run homer in the first for only runs ... 13 appearances, all in relief, in 2000.

Sean White, Sophomore RHP: So far, has emerged as the Huskies' top starter ... three wins in three starts so far ... outstanding vs. Southern Utah last Saturday ... six innings, six hits (all singles), one run (unearned), no walks and three Ks in that game ... threw seven tremendous innings vs. Kentucky in first start of 2001 ... allowed no runs on three hits, three walks and three Ks ... at UC Riverside, fanned eight in five innings ... made nine relief appearances and three starts as a freshman in 2000 ... first career start came at Stanford.

BULLPEN NOTES: Brian Barton (Soph. RHP) led the UW with 22 appearances in 2000 ... didn't allow a home run in 28.1 innings, while striking out 30 in that span ... had elbow surgery in off-season and made first appearance (one inning, no other stats) Sunday vs. Southern Utah ... Mike Bomar (Senior LHP) has been outstanding in four appearances so far ... has worked 10 innings, allowing two runs on eight hits, a walk and seven Ks ... threw 5.2 vs. Illinois ... allowed only two hits and one walk while fanning six ... first 4.2 innings were no-hit ... Zack Daniels (Junior LHP) is another possible starter ... fanned three in two scoreless innings Sunday vs. Southern Utah ... earned the win last Tuesday at OSU, allowing four earned runs on eight hits and four Ks over 5.0 innings ... started eight and made only one relief appearance last year ... 4-2 with two wins over Portland and one each over San Francisco and St. Martin's in 2000 ... Matt Gardner (Senior LHP) is fully healthy again after shoulder injury ... struck out one in an inning Sunday vs. SUU ... worked 4.2 in relief March 4 at UC Riverside ... outstanding as a lefty set-up man ... Trevor Gibson (Freshman RHP) has been solid in his three outings ... threw a scoreless in last Wednesday at OSU ... allowed one run on one hit and three Ks in two innings Saturday vs. Southern Utah ... threw four innings (one run) for the save at UC Riverside ... Taylor Grant (Junior LHP) made 16 relief appearances and four starts in 2000 ... led the Huskies and was third in the Pac-10 with six saves last season ... appeared in both Oregon State games ... threw 2.1 relief innings in tough-luck loss to Illnois ... gave up one run (unearned) on one hit and three Ks ... gave up one run over two innings in two outings at UCR ... Shawn Kohn (Junior RHP) threw one scoreless inning Sunday vs. Southern Utah ... threw an inning of relief March 2 at UCR, fanned three and got the win ... threw a scoreless inning, fanning two in last Tuesday's OSU game ... Jeff Petersen (Freshman RHP) led his team to AAAA state title in 2000 .. all-state as a senior and a 25th-round draft choice ... worked a scoreless inning Saturday vs. Southern Utah after a rough inning at OSU ... Scott Robertson (Soph. RHP) nearly had a dream weekend in Tucson ... made only two appearances in all of 2000, but pitched in all three games at Tucson ... threw a scoreless ninth for the win over BYU ... worked out of a jam (second and third, no outs) vs. Kentucky for the save ... came in one run up in the 10th vs. Illinois, but gave up a run, ruining a shot at a two-save, one-win weekend ... got a save at UCR on Friday, throwing a perfect ninth inning ... got a save last Tuesday at OSU with one perfect inning ... fanned two in a perfect inning Sunday vs. Southern Utah ... Randy Vanderplow (Junior RHP) is another pitcher that could start or relieve ... very good relief outing last Friday, working four innings (3 hits, 1 run, 0 walks, 3 Ks) for the save ... started at Riverside on March and took the loss ... made eight relief outings and one start last season.

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