March 24, 2003
This Week: The 24th-ranked Washington baseball team (16-7) continues its spring break road trip this week having taken two of three at UC Irvine last weekend. The Huskies, who had their 11-game win streak broken Saturday, face Portland in a pair of non-conference road games Tuesday and Wednesday. Both games start at 2:00 p.m. Friday through Sunday, the Huskies open the Pac-10 schedule on the road vs. No. 7 Stanford. All three of the Stanford games (6 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) will air live on KKNW AM-1150, as well as over the internet at gohuskies.com. Washington, which earned a No. 24 ranking in Baseball America and the No. 30 spot in Collegiate Baseball this week, returns home April 1 with an exhibition game vs. British Columbia. Then, Oregon State comes to Husky Ballpark April 4-6 for a three-game Pac-10 series. Here's a look at this week's game, with probable starting pitchers:
Tue., March 25: UW at Portland, 2:00 p.m. -- TBA (Conover or Kasser possible) Wed., March 26: UW at Portland, 2:00 p.m. -- RHP Clay Johnson (1-2, 8.55) Fri., March 28: UW at Stanford, 6:00 p.m. -- RHP Sean White (3-3, 5.18) Sat., March 29: UW at Stanford, 1:00 p.m. -- RHP Jeff Petersen (1-2, 4.01) Sun., March 30: UW at Stanford, 1:00 p.m. -- RHP Trevor Gibson (3-0, 1.47)
Series History: Washington leads the all-time series with Portland, a former member of the Pac-10's Northern Division, 66-39-1. Last year, the Huskies took three of four meetings with the Pilots. The Huskies lost the first game, 11-10 (UW scored five in the first, but then gave up nine in the second), before winning the final three meetings. A week later in the second, the Huskies scored six in the first and won, 10-0. Washington then swept a two-game series in Seattle late in the season, winning by scores of 10-0 and 8-4.
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 363-242-1 (.600). With those 363 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 175-78-1 (.691) 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. .333-0-12 Freshman All-America in 2002; four pickoffs leads Pac-10 Ben Johnson, Jr. .000-0-0 Has started two games at catcher and appeared in four others Jefferson Thiel, Jr. .100-0-0 2000 Freshman All-America; elbow surgery prior to 2002 1B -- Kyle Larsen, So. .282-7-16 Freshman All-America in '02; homered in 6 of 8 series so far 2B -- Greg Isaacson, Jr. .267-1-10 8th-inn. grand slam Mar. 11 at OSU; GW RBI in 9th Feb. 14 at LMU Brent Lillibridge, Fr. .303-0-7 Has started at second base, third base, shortstop, center field SS -- Tila Reynolds, Sr. .333-0-12 13th-round draft pick; only player with more than 1 RBI vs. UCI 3B -- John Otness, Jr. .308-0-6 Has started 20 of 23 at 3B and 1 at DH; 3-for-10 last weekend Nick Batkoski, So. .400-0-5 Three starts at 2B this year; hit cleanup last Friday OF -- Mike Wagner, Jr. .282-6-18 Baseball America Summer All-Amer.; missed last weekend/inj. OF -- Taylor Johnson, So. .259-5-16 HRs in three straight ABs Mar. 9 vs. WSU, Mar. 11 at OSU OF -- Simi Reynolds, Fr. .296-0-2 Brother of UW SS Tila; 2-for-4 with double Sun. vs. CSUN OF -- Justin Drake, Jr. .340-1-10 Hit first homer in three years Sat. vs. CSUN; 14 starts in OF DH -- Chad Boudon, Jr. .279-6-15 Transfer from Hawaii; four homers in last eight games
Last Weekend: Washington travelled to UC Irvine for a three-game set last weekend, returning home with a pair of wins. The Huskies notched their third straight shutout and 11th straight win Friday night, beating the Anteaters, 2-0. Sean White (7 IP) and Brian Carter (2 IP) combined on the four-hit shutout. All of the Huskies' four hits came in the second, when RBI singles from Aaron Hathaway and Tila Reynolds drove in the two UW runs. Saturday, the win streak was broken when the Huskies made a season-high six errors in an 8-3 loss. Chad Boudon belted the only homer of the weekend in game two. Sunday, the Huskies got back to their winning ways as five pitchers combined to one-hit UCI in a 3-1 win. Washington scored all three of its runs with two outs in the fifth as Brent Lillibridge, Reynolds and Greg Isaacson each drove in runs. Trevor Gibson remained perfect as a starter, winning his third. He threw five and two-thirds, allowing a run on one hit with six Ks. Will Fenton struck out the last three batters of the game for his fifth save.
No Streak? Still Hot: Washington had strung together an 11-game win streak before losing to UC Irvine this past Saturday. That 11-game win streak tied for the longest single-season winning streak in Husky coach Ken Knutson's 11-year tenure as the UW head man. In 1997, the Dawgs strung together a pair of 11-game streaks. Washington also had a 10-game win streak to start the 1994 season, Knutson's second as head coach, and seeing as the 1993 team won its last five, that streak was technically 15 games, though over the two seasons. The longest winning streak in Husky history was in 1979, when the UW won 19 in a row. In 1985, the Huskies won 13 in a row. However, the recent 11-game streak is the longest in school history against all Division I opposition. Despite the loss, the Huskies are still 12-1 over their last 13. Over that 13-game stretch, the Huskies have batted .311 and out-scored opponents, 107-50. The Huskies have hit 20 home runs in those 13 games while opponents have only one. Over that stretch, the Husky pitching staff has a collective 2.72 earned run average and has allowed only 84 hits while fanning 119 over 116 innings pitched.
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.
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 ... 8-for-20 so far ... RBI double as PH March 15 vs. CSUN ... started last March 12 at 2B vs. OSU, going 2-for-5 with three runs batted in ... 1-for-2 as DH in first start Feb. 22 ... 5-for-9 as a pinch hitter ... 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.
Chad Boudon, RS-Junior OF/DH: Transferred to Washington after spending the last three years at the University of Hawaii ... six homers tied among top 10 in the Pac-10 ... two homers March 14 vs. CSUN ... homered Sat. at UC Irvine ... RBI single in first Husky AB ... HR in March 11 win at Oregon State ... reached base six times in OSU series ... started each of the last 14 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 ... 2-for-3 March 15 vs. CSUN, belting his first home run in nearly three years ... 2-for-5 with a triple March 14 vs. the Matadors ... started two of three vs. Gonzaga, one in Lancaster and one vs. WSU ... 2-for-3 with an RBI double Mar. 9 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: Has started 18 of 23 games at catcher ... 3-for-4 March 14 and 2-for-4 March 15 vs. CSUN ... first homer of the year in 8-1 win March 9 vs. WSU ... WSU didn't steal a base in six tries against him ... has picked off four baserunners ... started four of five last week 3-for-6 in two games vs. Irvine last season ... 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: Belted a grand slam March 11 at OSU, breaking a 5-5 tie and capping a six-run eighth inning ... only his second career HR ... three hits Sun. at UCI ... 2-for-3 March 16 vs. CSUN ... only two hits in WSU series, but walked five times and scored five runs ... only two errors in 70 chances so far ... 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 .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 and last Sunday vs. CS Northridge ... 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: Has started 22 of 23 games this season in right ... hit fifth homer of the year in March 16 win over CSUN ... last year vs. Portland: 6-for-14 (.429) with three homers ... five HRs rank among top 10 in Pac-10 ... two homers in final two ABs in March 7 win over Washington State ... followed that with a homer in his first at bat at Oregon State ... four hits in the March 11 win at OSU ... 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.
Kyle Larsen, Soph. 1B: Seven homers lead team and among the leaders in the Pac-10 ... homered in three straight games (UCSB, Houston and first at LMU) ... seven homers beats 2002 total of five already ... 3-for-3 with four runs and a two-run homer March 7 vs. WSU ... has at least one homer in six of eight series this year ... last year vs. Portland: 8-for-15 (.533) ... 5-for-6 with homer, double, four RBI March 1 vs. CSUN ... 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 ... after 621 career error-free chances, made first career error March 12 at Oregon State ... 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/OF: Had an outstanding fall, and despite the return of fourth-year starting shortstop Tila Reynolds, figures to get some game action as a freshman ... started twice in center field last weekend ... drove in a run in Sunday's 3-1 win at UC Irvine ... lone start of CSUN weekend was at 2B on Sat., going 2-for-3 with 3 RBI ... has started at 2B, SS, 3B and CF ... started two of three 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 21 of 23 this year, one at DH and 20 at 3B ... last year vs. Portland: 5-for-12 (.417) ... 5-for-12 in CSUN series ... 2-for-4 Mar. 11 at OSU ... 4-for-13 with two doubles and a triple in WSU series ... 3-for-5 March 7 vs. WSU ... three hits in win over SDSU ... 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: Serves as a left-handed option at DH and a top left-handed bat off the bench ... got an RBI, pinch-hit single Sat. vs. CSUN ... 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: One of three regulars in center field ... younger brother of Husky senior SS Tila as well as Oregon State second baseman Kerisi ... March 16 vs. CSUN: 2-for-4 with a double ... three hits, three runs March 1 vs. CSUN ... started 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 22 of 23 at SS so far, sitting out March 16 vs. WSU ... last year vs. Portland: 6-for-11 (.545) ... only Husky with more than one RBI in UCI series; he had two ... only Husky to hit safely in all three at UCI ... 4-for-7 in two WSU games ... four errors in 82 chances so far (.951) ... prior to March 11 at OSU, had hit in nine straight games, going 18-for-36 (.500) during the streak ... 3-for-6 with a single, a double and a triple in March 1 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 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.
Mike Wagner, Junior OF: Formerly a third baseman for the Huskies, moved to left field at mid-season last year and had started all 20 (19 in LF, 1 in RF) before spraining left ankle prior to last Friday's game at Irvine ... missed all three games at UCI and likely won't play vs. Portland ... six homers rank among leaders in the Pac-10 ... 18 RBI leads team ... homered March 14 vs. CSUN and hit in all three ... March 16, went 2-for-4 with two stolen bases ... 2-for-6 with a homer and five RBI in March 1 win over CSUN ... solo homer in March 7 win over WSU ... had two RBI on bases-loaded HBPs in March 8 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 ... has yet to be caught stealing in 11 career attempts ... 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.
POSSIBLE STARTING PITCHER NOTES: POSSIBLE TUESDAY -- Josh Conover, Sophomore RHP: Has made five outings, all in relief, so far this season ... in his last outing, threw two scoreless innings March 14 vs. CSUN ... came on with the bases loaded and one out March 11 at OSU, and got a strikeout and a flyout to get out of the jam ... threw a 1-2-3 ninth vs. CS Northridge March 1 ... made eight relief appearances and no starts last season ... originally came to UW as in infielder, but converted to pitcher prior to last season.
POSSIBLE TUESDAY -- Matt Kasser, Freshman RHP: Matt Kasser (Fr. RHP) is the lone true freshman pitcher that has travelled so far ... got a win with a 0.2-inning relief appearance March 12 at Oregon State ... 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.
WEDNESDAY -- Clay Johnson, Junior RHP: Began the year as a weekend starter, but will serve in the bullpen and in midweek for the time being ... started March 12 (no decision) at Oregon State ... 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 ... threw first career complete game in a win over UC Irvine last season ... 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 ... 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.
BULLPEN NOTES: Trent Baysinger (Jr. LHP) threw two 0.1-inning outings at Irvine, not allowing a hit ... has allowed only two runs in 12.2 relief innings this year ... got a start March 11 at OSU, but didn't figure in the decision, working four innings ... worked 1.2 in March 7 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 ... Brian Carter (Jr. LHP) combined with White on a 2-0 shutout March 21 at UC Irvine, throwing two no-hit innings for his fourth save ... got third save March 11 at OSU, getting out of a bases-loaded, no-outs jam without allowing a run in the ninth ... struck out two and then got a groundout to end that one ... 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 ... David Dowling (Soph. LHP) is among the top five in the Pac-10 with five wins ... didn't allow an earned run in a 4.2-inning outing March 22 at UCI ... got a save March 16 vs. CS Northridge, combining with Gibson on a shutout ... fanned four and in four IP ... got a fifth relief victory March 11 at Oregon State, allowing a run and fanning six over 3.1 innings ... 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 ... 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) didn't pitch for nearly two weeks before getting a save March 23 at UC Irvine, fanning the final three batters of the game ... near the top of the Pac-10 with five saves ... has allowed only three hits, no runs and has fanned 16 in 10.1 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 ... 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 ... Scott Robertson (Sr. RHP) got a save March 12 at Oregon State, throwing four one-hit innings (0 runs, 4 Ks) ... 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.