March 11, 2008
This Weekend: The Washington baseball team (5-6) continues its 14-game homestand with an unusual weekend this Saturday and Sunday. The Huskies will play host to Holy Cross (4-5), which will travel from Worcester, Mass., for a pair of doubleheaders March 15 and 16. Both twinbills get underway at Husky Ballpark at noon. The Diamond Dawgs are in the midst of a 14-game homestand and a stretch that will see them play 22 of 25 games at home. Only the three-game, Pac-10-opening series at Oregon State will break up that long string of game in Seattle. After the Holy Cross series, the Huskies will have another odd schedule the following week, playing host to Utah Valley Thursday through Saturday and then also playing a home game vs. Portland on that same Saturday, following the series finale vs. Utah Valley. This weekend, the Huskies will send junior lefty Nick Haughian to the mound for the series opener while junior right-hander Jason Erickson will take the mound in game two Saturday. Sunday's two starting pitchers have yet to be determined. Here's a look at this weekend's action:
Sat., March 15: UW vs. Holy Cross, 12:00 p.m. doubleheader - live video at gohuskies.com
Sun., March 16: UW vs. Holy Cross, 12:00 p.m. doubleheader - live video at gohuskies.com
Series History: Not surprisingly, the Huskies have never before faced Holy Cross on the baseball field. The Huskies have played against two of the current baseball-playing members of the Patriot League, beating Lafayette, 7-2, in a 1991 game in Riverside, Calif., and splitting a pair of games vs. Navy in 1996. The Huskies lost to Navy, 5-4, at Graves Field and then beat the Midshipmen, 14-2, the following day in the Kingdome. The UW is 3-0 all-time against schools from Massachusetts (2-0 vs. UMass and 1-0 vs. Harvard).
Coach "K": In 2004, Husky baseball coach Ken Knutson became the winningest baseball coach in the history of the program. Last season, he became only the 17th coach in Pac-10 history to reach 500 career wins. Those are just two of the many accomplishments on Knutson's impressive resume. In his 15-plus seasons at the helm of his alma mater's baseball team, Knutson has led the Dawgs to two Pac-10 championships, four Pac-10 Northern Division titles and six NCAA Regionals. His career record now stands at 531-353-2 (.600). Before becoming the head man in 1993, Knutson served as the UW pitching coach for eight seasons. In 1985, his staff led the NCAA with a 2.80 ERA. Knutson holds a 268-121-2 (.688) record in home games. He is 216-162 (.571) in Pac-10 games. He's coached 52 first-team All-Pac-10 selections in 15 seasons, and has been named league coach of the year three times. A 1981 All-Pac-10 pitcher at the UW, he is joined by assistants Joe Ross, Donny Harrel, and Tighe Dickinson.
Probable Starters: Here's a look at the probable starters at each position, with 2008 stats and notes:
Pos. Player, Year Avg.-HR-RBI Notes C - Joey Dunn, Sr. .227-1-7 Has yet to allow a SB; hon. mention All-Pac-10 in `07 Brett Wilcox, Jr. .300-2-4 Hit first 2 UW HR vs. L-C St.; 5 starts at C 1B - Troy Scott, Fr. .229-1-9 Started 10 of 11 at 1B; 5-for-9 (.556) vs. Poly 2B - Bradley Boyer, Jr. .419-2-9 6-for-7, 7 RBI Feb. 23 at UCR; HM All-Pac-10 in `07 Julien Pollard, Fr. .222-0-0 Batted .608, earned 2A all-state at Washington HS 3B - Jarett Jackson, So. .208-0-2 JC transfer originally signed at WSU; 7 starts at 3B Aaron Russell, So. .643-0-1 Started 3 of 11 at 3B; went 6-for-6 Feb. 23 at UCR SS - Pierce Rankin, Fr. .174-1-3 6 starts at SS; hit HR and 2B Feb. 29 at Pacific David Bentrott, Fr. .263-0-1 1 start at 2B, 5 at SS; 4A all-state at Tahoma HS OF - Michael Burgher, Sr. .225-0-0 Started 10 of 11 in CF; HM All-Pac-10 in `07 OF - Kyle Conley, So. .308-1-10 Has started all 11; HR, 3-for-7 last weekend OF - Jake Rife, So. .300-0-0 LH-hitter started 27 in LF last year OF - Andy Lentz, Sr. .120-2-5 Last 2 seasons both shortened by inj. OF - Sean Meehan, Fr. .154-0-0 Started 2 games in RF in UCR series DH - Ty Rasmussen, So. .395-1-6 Started 10 of 11; 13-for-29 (.448) over last 7
Huskies At Safeco Field: Washington's home game against Arizona on Friday, April 4, will be played at Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners. The Huskies and Wildcats will square off in the first game of a three-game Pac-10 series at 6:30 p.m. that night. Tickets are only $8 and group tickets (groups of 15 or more) are only $5. UW students will be admitted free. Last year, the Huskies beat Oregon State, 6-2, in front of 10,421 fans at Safeco Field in their first ever game at the Mariners' home, setting a Pac-10 attendance record for a conference game. Prior to last season, Washington last played on a big-league field in 1997, when the Huskies playing a tournament at the Metrodome in Minneapolis. The Huskies also used to host a tournament in the Kingdome, the Mariners' former home, and played an exhibition vs. the Mariners in the Kingdome in 1986.
Squad Breakdown: Washington's 38-man roster is unusually balanced last year. After fielding a team with only one senior last year, this year's squad includes five seniors, 11 juniors, seven sophomores, two redshirt freshmen and 13 freshmen, meaning 22 of 38 are freshmen or sophomores. Twenty-two players are returners while 16 are new (13 of those 16 are true freshmen). The UW's returning players have competed in a total of 931 Husky baseball games. Thirteen different veteran position players have combined for 563 starts and 2,152 career at bats while returning pitchers have made 64 career starts and pitched 491.1 innings in a UW uniform.
Rugged Pac-10: Any team that plays in the Pac-10 can say that it has a pretty tough schedule. But this year, all the more so. In the three most widely respected college baseball polls, three different Pac-10 teams were ranked No. 1 this preseason. Collegiate Baseball magazine was first, ranking Arizona No. 1 in its preseason top 40. Then, Baseball America issued its preseason top 25 with UCLA holding the No. 1 spot, just in front of Arizona. Then, the preseason USA Today/ESPN coaches' poll was released with Arizona State voted as the preseason No. 1 team. Then, add in the fact that Oregon State is the two-time defending national champion and isn't even one of those three No. 1 teams and the Pac-10 is clearly a challenge this season. Baseball America's rankings have all four of those teams ranked in its top 10 while the coaches' poll rates four teams among the top 18 in the nation.
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. This year's squad, however, represents a first in the Ken Knutson era as all 38 players on the roster played their high school ball in Washington. In fact, the majority of players (20 out of 38) attended high school in King County, the county in which the UW is located, and 32 of 38 are from either King County or the two counties that abut King Country from the south and north (Pierce and Snohomish, respectively). In other words, 32 of 38 players on this year's team come from within about a 40-mile radius of the UW's Seattle campus.
POSITION PLAYER NOTES (in alphabetical order):
#1 David Bentrott, Fr. IF: Has 5 starts at SS, 1 at 2B ... 1-for-4 with a double Mar. 1 at Pacific ... 3-for-5 with 4 runs in Feb. 23 win at UCR ... led Tahoma HS to league titles last 2 seasons ... 4A all-state as a senior, batting .479 with 25 runs in 14 league games ... high school teammate of fellow Husky freshman Kirk Wetmore.
#2 Bradley Boyer, Jr. IF/OF: Went 6-for-7 with 7 RBI in 19-4 win at UC Riverside on Feb. 23 ... 2-for-5 with a homer in Feb. 25 win at UCR ... 2-for-5 with HR Feb. 29 at Pacific ... 5-for-14 in Pacific series ... 4-for-13 vs. Cal Poly ... hon. mention All-Pac-10 ... hit .363 last year, eighth in the Pac-10 ... started 45 of 56 games despite ankle injury much of the season ... struck out only 8 times in 182 AB, the fourth-best ratio in the nation ... only 2 Ks in 90 at bats in league play.
#4 Michael Burgher, Sr. OF: Started in CF and hit leadoff in 10 of 11 so far ... had 10-game hit streak broken last Fri. vs. Cal Poly ... earned honorable mention All-Pac-10 ... fourth in the Pac-10 with 18 stolen bases (in 18 attempts) ... batted .309 in Pac-10 play, starting all 24 games ... helped Newport (R.I.) to the NECBL championship series during the summer.
#3 Doug Cherry, So. IF: Will miss the first couple of weeks after injuring finger in practice in mid-Feb. ... returned to practice last week ... played in 18 games, starting 2, as a freshman in 2006.
# 24 Jacob Clem, RS-Fr. 1B/P: Redshirted last season ... could play 1B, but mainly a pitcher ... missed early portion of the season due to mono ... younger brother of Zach Clem, who played at the UW from 2003 to 2006 ... father, Jim, retired prior to last season after long career as coach at Burlington-Edison High.
#29 Kyle Conley, RS-So. OF: Started all 11 so far ... 3-for-7 in Cal Poly series ... 2 doubles last Fri. ... 1-for-2, 2 RBI Sat. vs. Poly ... HR and 3 RBI in Feb. 25 win at UC Riverside ... played in 18 games last year, but got a medical redshirt season after injuring a shoulder ... started 13 games last year and 20 as a freshman in 2006 ... probable starter in RF ... along with fellow UW freshman Tyler Cheney, led Richland High to the 4A state title in 2005 ... all-state OF and P.
#18 Joey Dunn, Sr. C: Has started 6 of 11 at catcher ... hasn't yet allowed a stolen base ... 3 RBI in Pacific series (2 games) ... 2-run HR in Feb. 22 loss at UCR ... picked 2 runners off of 2B Feb. 25 at UCR ... honorable mention All-Pac-10 last year ... started 44 of 56 behind the plate last year ... has 83 career starts behind the dish ... allowed just 36 stolen bases last year, catching 19 ... started all 3 last year vs. Riverside, going 3-for-9 with a homer and 3 RBI in the series.
#37 Brendan Gardner-Young, Fr. OF: Left-handed hitting outfielder ... got first start Sun. vs. Cal Poly (0-for-2, 1 RBI) ... 1-for-2 with 2 runs, 1 RBI off bench in Feb. 23 win at UC Riverside ... second-team all-state at P and OF as a senior, when he was a Collegiate Baseball honorable mention All-American ... batted .545 as a senior.
#31 Brock Gates, Fr. 1B: Hit .490 with 8 homers and 23 RBI in 14 league games last year at Decatur HS ... earned 4A all-state ... noted in Sports Illustrated after going 5-for-5 with 4 HRs and 11 RBI in a game vs. Kent-Meridian.
#21 Jarett Jackson, So. IF: JC transfer started 7 of 11 at 3B ... 2-for-4 with a double opening day at UCR ... 1-for-3 with 2 RBI vs. LC State ... all-state at senior at Jefferson HS ... originally signed out of HS at Washington State, where his father Steve played guard on WSU football team ... father went to high school with UW coach Ken Knutson.
#8 Max Kwan, Jr. C: Seattle native transferred to UW prior to last year after playing at Tulane in 2006 ... played in 3 games, starting 1, for the UW last season ... started 33 games for the Green Wave, helping them to NCAA Regional ... all-state as a junior and senior at Seattle Prep ... drafted by Mariners in 36th round of 2006 draft.
#5 Andy Lentz, Sr. OF: Back at full health after seeing each of last two seasons shortened by injury ... 1 start at UC Riverside ... started in RF vs. LC State (1-for-3) ... started all 3 at Pacific and hit 2 homers in the series ... started 2 of 3 vs. Cal Poly ... played in 29, starting 24, last season, when he batted .300 ... possible starter in the outfield at any of the three spots ... has seen action at every position except SS, C and P ... two older brothers (Ryan, Richie) played at UW.
#10 Sean Meehan, Fr. OF/RHP: Started 2 games in RF at UC Riverside ... 1-for-3 as starter in RF in win over Cal Poly ... .477 with 10 homers, 38 RBI as a senior at Centralia HS ... 2A all-state as a senior ... all-league WR ... drafted by Rangers in 2007.
#9 Brian Pearl, So. IF/RHP: Served only as a pitcher for first 3 weeks, due to ankle injury that kept him from hitting ... made pinch-hit appearance Sun. vs. Cal Poly ... started 38 games as a freshman, 30 at shortstop ... could contend for starting spot at third base.
#33 Julien Pollard, Fr. IF/OF: Got second start at 2B Sun. vs. Cal Poly (1-for-4, 2B, run) ... started at 2B Feb. 23 (game 1) and went 1-for-3 ... earned 2A all-state first team as a senior at Washington HS in Tacoma ... hit .608 with 5 HRs, 20 RBI and 12 steals as a senior ... drafted by the Twins in 2007.
#12 Pierce Rankin, Fr. IF: Has started 6 of 11 games at SS ... went 2-for-4 with a double, a homer and 3 RBI Feb. 29 at Pacific ... 2B and 2-run homer Feb. 29 at Pacific ... two-time team MVP at Shorecrest, where he played for former Husky Alan Bruns ... grandson of two-time Rose Bowl MVP and college football hall of famer Bob Schloredt (UW '61).
#25 Ty Rasmussen, RS-So. 1B/OF: Started last 10 at DH ... 2-for-3 in Sat. win over Cal Poly ... 9-for-14 (.643) in 3-game series at Pacific ... 2-for-4 vs. LC State ... hit homer Feb. 25 at UCR ... ... honorable mention All-Pac-10 last year, when he started 48 games (34 at DH, 14 in LF) ... hit 10 homers in first year at UW ... 6-for-9 with 2 doubles, a homer, 4 RBI and 4 runs in 3 games vs. Riverside last season ... spent the 2006 season at Louisiana-Lafayette, but redshirted.
#6 Jake Rife, Jr. OF: Started 2 of 4 at UCR ... 3-for-10 in UCR series ... started 27 games in left field last season ... possible starter in left again this year ... hit .312 as a sophomore last year ... also started in 30 games as a freshman ... sat out the summer season due to wrist surgery that cut his 2007 season short ... 2A state MVP as a high school senior.
#43 Aaron Russell, So. IF: Started last 2 at UCR ... went 6-for-6 with 5 runs in 19-4 win at Riverside (Feb. 23) ... went 5-for-15 last season ... 3-for-4 in two games at Pacific ... singled and scored in first career AB, last March 3 vs. UC Irvine ... 2 of his 4 starts came vs. USC in conference play, when he went 3-for-7 with a stolen base.
#41 Ryan Scott, Jr. C: Reserve catcher redshirted last season due to injury after transferring to UW from Tacoma CC ... saw first UW action Feb. 23 at UC Riverside ... has played in 4 games ... brother, Troy, is a freshman teammate.
#32 Troy Scott, Fr. 1B: Started 10 of 11 at 1B ... good weekend vs. Cal Poly: 5-for-9, 2 doubles, HR, 3 RBI ... first career homer came Mar. 7 vs. Cal Poly ... 2-for-3 in last two Cal Poly games ... first UW hit was a 2-run triple Feb. 23 ... 3 RBI in Pacific series ... younger brother of Husky junior C Ryan Scott ... batted .600 with 9 homers, 27 runs and 17 steals as a HS senior ... league MVP and Rawlings All-American ... taken by Twins in 2007 draft.
#13 Matt Stevens, Jr. OF/1B: Fourth-year Husky was granted a retroactive medical redshirt season for 2005 and is thus a RS-junior in 2008 ... started at 1B on Feb. 23 (game 2) ... 17 home runs in 2006 ... hit for the cycle at CS Northridge on Feb. 18, 2006, finishing the game 5-for-6 with two homers ... got married in Dec., 2007, to wife, Cammie.
#44 Brett Wilcox, Jr. C: Joined UW team at midseason last year, transferring from Bellevue CC ... started 2 of 3 Cal Poly games ... 1-for-4 with a double Sun. vs. Mustangs ... 3-for-4 with first 2 UW homers and 3 RBI vs. Lewis-Clark State ... 2-for-5 with an RBI in start last Sat. at Pacific ... started Feb. 23 (game 1) at UC Riverside ... played in 16 games, starting 12, at catcher in 2007 ... batted a solid .395 in 43 at bats.
POSSIBLE STARTING PITCHER NOTES:
SAT. GAME ONE - Nick Haughian, Junior LHP: Started on opening day at UCR ... no decision at UCR: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K ... won at Pacific: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 8 Ks ... 8 strikeouts vs. Pacific were a career high ... took the loss Mar. 7 vs. Cal Poly (6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K) ... after appearing strictly in relief as a freshman, spent much of last season in the rotation, starting 13 games ... played summer ball for the Southern California Fire and the Yarmouth-Dennis Red Sox in the Cape Cod League, helping the Sox to the CCBL championship.
SAT. GAME TWO - Jason Erickson, Junior RHP: Picked up a nice win Mar. 8 vs. Cal Poly (8.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) ... took loss Feb. 23 (game 1) at UC Riverside: 5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K ... got the win Mar. 1 at Pacific: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K ... emerged as a regular in the starting rotation in the second half of last season ... biggest win over 2007 was in the Huskies' 6-2 victory over Oregon State in front of 10,421 fans at Safeco Field ... also earned wins over Southern Utah, Utah Valley and Stanford ... walked only 1 batter in his first 35.1 innings of work last season... 3-3 with a 1.56 ERA for the Mat-Su (Alaska) Miners during summer ball.
Elliott Cribby, Senior RHP: Picked up the win Feb. 23 (game 2) at UC Riverside: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K ... took the loss Mar. 2 at Pacific (5.0 IP, 9 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) ... took loss Mar. 9 vs. Cal Poly (4.1 IP, 8 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) ... most veteran member of the UW pitching staff has been a starter and reliever during UW career ... had 10 saves two seasons ago ... has 11 starts and 40 relief outings in Husky career ... honorable mention All-Pac-10 as a sophomore in 2006 ... father, Ed, was a UW baseball player in the 1970s.
Jorden Merry, Junior RHP: Nearly flawless in first start Feb. 25 at UCR, taking no-hitter in the 5th ... got the win at UCR (6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K) ... worked 1.1 out of pen in Mar. 1 win at Pacific ... appeared in relief Mar. 9 vs. Cal Poly ... regular member of the UW starting rotation last year ... started 14 and appeared in relief twice ... was 4-1 with a 1.60 ERA to start the season ... had a stretch of 22.2 consecutive scoreless innings in the early part of the year ... came to UW after one season at Lower Columbia CC in Kelso, Wash.
Cam Nobles, Sophomore RHP: Two starts last year before season was ended by injury ... worked 2.0 IP of relief in 19-4 win over UC Riverside (2.0 IP, 0 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) ... no decision in start Feb. 27 vs. Lewis-Clark State (4.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 4 K) ... 1.0 IP Mar. 7 vs. Cal Poly ... as a HS senior, went 10-0 with a 0.71 ERA for state champ Jackson HS, which finished No. 2 in the nation ... teamed with Geoff Brown in Jackson's starting rotation.
BULLPEN NOTES: Geoff Brown (Fr. LHP) got first save Mar. 8 vs. Cal Poly ... also fanned only batter he faced Mar. 7 vs. Poly ... worked 0.2 IP Feb. 23 at UC Riverside (0 H, 1 K) ... threw 2.0 innings in Feb. 25 win at UCR ... threw 9th in 10-1 win at Pacific ... worked final 2.2 innings of Mar. 1 win at Pacific, retiring the last 6 batters in order ... high-school teammate (one year younger) of Cam Nobles ... helped 2006 Jackson High team to state 4A title and No. 2 ranking in Baseball America's final poll ... went 10-0 with a 0.98 ERA as a junior and 6-2 with a 0.93 ERA as a senior ... drafted by the Royals in the 23rd round of the 2007 draft ... Nate Burgher (Fr. LHP) will not play this season after undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery last fall ... first cousin of Husky senior OF Michael Burgher ... Tyler Cheney (Jr. LHP) had two scoreless relief outings vs. Cal Poly ... suffered relief loss opening day at UC Riverside (3.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) ... also took relief loss vs. L-C State ... has appeared in 31 games during UW career, 13 in relief and 18 as a starter ... 2-3 with a 4.47 earned run average as a sophomore last season ... started 12 games as a freshman in 2006 ... high-school teammate of fellow Husky Kyle Conley ... state's 4A MVP after leading Richland High to state title his senior year ... Jacob Clem (RS-Fr. LHP) made college debut Mar. 9 vs. Cal Poly, retiring two batters he faced to end game ... listed as a first baseman and right-handed pitcher ... missed the first portion of the season due to mono ... redshirted last season ... younger brother of former Husky standout Zach Clem ... Ricky Denham (Fr. RHP) will miss early portion of season due to injury, but should return ... two-time team MVP at Meadowdale HS, which he led to fourth-place finish at state his senior year ... Paul Dickey (Jr. RHP) threw 2.0 IP Mar. 9 vs. Cal Poly ... worked a 1-2-3 ninth inning Feb. 23 (game 2) vs. UC Riverside ... 1.1 no-hit, no-run IP Feb. 27 vs. Lewis-Clark State ... tossed perfect inning Feb. 29 at UoP ... transferred to UW after two-year career at Lower Columbia CC ... earned first-team All-NWAACC as a sophomore, when he was 9-1 with a 1.40 ERA and 80 strikeouts ... has been drafted twice, by the Rockies in 2006 and the Pirates in 2005 ... Ben Guidos (RS-Fr. LHP) made first UW appearance vs. Lewis-Clark State on Feb. 27 ... worked 3.0 innings of 1-hit relief Mar. 2 at Pacific, facing 1 over the minimum ... 1.1 innings Mar. 9 vs. Cal Poly ... sat out last season after undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery ... returned to action in time for summer ball, when he helped Moses Lake (Wash.) to the WCCBL championship ... started 7 games for the Pirates, going 3-2 with a 2.43 ERA ... Dustin Horsfall (Fr. RHP) was a two-time all-league selection at Federal Way High School, where he also played football ... posted a 12-2 record for his summer team in 2007 ... Brian Pearl (So. RHP) got an inning Feb. 23 (game 1) at UC Riverside (2 H, 1 R) ... 1.2 IP (0 H, 0 R, 2K) Feb. 27 vs. Lewis-Clark State ... earned the save with scoreless 9th inning Feb. 25 at UCR ... worked 0.2 innings Mar. 7 vs. Cal Poly ... also an infielder ... injury kept him from hitting during first three weeks, but pinch hit Mar. 9 ... started 38 games last year (SS & 3B) ... batted .274 as a freshman in 2007 ... appeared in two games in relief last year ... threw an inning each vs. UC Irvine (Mar. 3) and Arizona (May 19), and didn't allow an earned run ... made 13 relief appearances in summer ball for the Bend (Ore.) Elks ... Josh Scofield (Sr. LHP) threw 1.1 IP Feb. 23 (game 1) at UC Riverside (3 H, 1 R) ... pitched an inning in 10-1 win at Pacific ... transferred to UW after a season at Texas Tech last year ... played two seasons at the College of Southern Nevada after graduating from Newport HS in Bellevue, Wash. ... drafted the Pirates in the 2004 draft ... Forrest Snow (Fr. RHP) was a two-time All-Metro pitcher at Seattle's Lakeside School ... will be out for a few weeks after appendectomy on Feb. 20 ... first player ever drafted out of Lakeside, as the Mariners took him in 2007 ... Kirk Wetmore (Fr. LHP) earned first-team all-state as a senior, when he was 5-0 with a 1.69 ERA ... teamed with current Husky classmate David Bentrott to lead Tahoma to top-four state finishes and league titles as a junior and senior.