Baseball Travels To Corvallis
April 27, 2000
THIS WEEK: The Husky baseball team (19-21 overall, 3-9 in the Pac-10) returns to Pac-10 play this week after winning five of six non-conference games. The Dawgs travel to Corvallis to face Oregon State (25-19, 5-7) in an important three-game series. Both teams are still entertaining outside shots at making a run for the postseason, but wins this weekend are vital for both sides to keep those chances alive. None of the three games (3 p.m. on Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday) will air on radio in Seattle despite previous schedules, which called for them to be. Fans can, however, listen to the OSU broadcast on the internet. Go to www.osubeavers.com and follow the "audio/video" link. Here's a look at this weekend's games, with probable pitching matchups:
Fri., April 28, 3 p.m. -- UW at Oregon State -- RHP Jeff Carlsen (5-1, 5.91) vs. RHP Thad Johnson (4-3, 3.97)
Sat., April 29, 1 p.m. -- UW at Oregon State -- RHP Matt Massingale (4-5, 5.62) vs. LHP Scott Nicholson (6-5, 4.32)
Sun., April 30, 1 p.m. -- UW at Oregon State -- LHP Taylor Grant (1-4, 7.18) vs. RHP James Atwood (3-4, 5.96)
SERIES HISTORY: With a pair of victories earlier this season, Oregon State leads the all-time series against Washington, 202-162-1. Earlier this year, the Beavers handed the Huskies two non-conference losses. In the first game, the Beavers scored three in the seventh and four in the eighth to pull out a 13-9 win. Both Drew Hedges and Joe Gerber had four hits in the game for OSU. In game two, the UW suffered its worst loss of the year as the Beavs ran away with a 27-4 win. Brian Barden, Josh Carter and Zach Gordon each had four hits in the game. Last season, Washington won four of five meetings, sweeping a pair of non-conference games in Corvallis and taking two of three in the league series in Seattle. Husky head coach Ken Knutson holds a 28-22 career-record against the Beavers. In 11 career games vs. the Beavers, Marc Rittenhouse is batting .375 with nine runs batted in, nine walks, 15 runs, two doubles and two home runs.
COACH "K": In seven-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 three NCAA Regionals. His career overall record stands at 278-176 (.612). With those 278 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 133-47 (.739) record in home games. He is 126-72 (.636) in conference games, the highest mark (percentage-wise) of any active Pac-10 coach. A 1981 All-Pac-10 left-handed pitcher at the UW, he is joined by assistant coaches Joe Ross, Ed Gustafson, and Joe Weis.
PLAYER NOTES: Here's a look at the possible starters at each position, with current stats and notes:
Pos. Player, Year Avg.-HR-RBI Notes C -- Jefferson Thiel, Fr. .278-2-16 Has started 30 of 40 games behind the plate Tim Rice, So. .172-0-2 JC transfer has made 10 starts at catcher 1B -- Ed Erickson, Sr. .331-7-33 Last seven games: 14-for-31 (.452) 2B -- Marc Rittenhouse, Jr. .274-11-29 Hit safely in 17 of last 22: 26-for-79 (.329) Brent Robertson, So. .175-0-3 RBI triple Saturday at Wichita State SS -- Tila Reynolds, Fr. .292-1-15 Hit safely in 17 of last 21: 25-for-70 (.357) 3B -- Michael Done, So. .291-6-27 4-for-10 in three games at Wichita OF -- Todd Linden, So. .371-5-37 12-game hitting streak: 18-for-47 (.383) OF -- Justin Drake, Fr. .210-1-5 Has started 20 of last 26 games OF -- Tyler Davidson, Fr. .293-4-17 Has started 13 of last 14 in RF OF -- Matt Hollod, So. .293-2-11 3-for-6 with two HR in two games at Wichita OF -- Daniel Jahn, Jr. .220-1-12 Two-run double in two at bats at Wichita DH -- Jay Garthwaite, Fr. .277-7-23 Pac-10 Player of the Week last week
RECENT RESULTS: Washington won two of three games at No. 23 Wichita State last weekend, winning 15-10 and 11-4 on Friday and Saturday before falling 11-4 on Sunday. Friday night, the Huskies were down to their final strike with two out and none on in the ninth before erupting for seven runs on seven consecutive hits to overcome a 10-8 deficit. Jay Garthwaite and Matt Hollod each homered in the game and Tyler Shepple picked up his first career victory with two perfect relief innings. Saturday, Marc Rittenhouse went 4-for-4 with two home runs and Garthwaite went deep once more as Matt Massingale threw a complete game for the win. Sunday, the Dawgs scored four in the first, but didn't get on the board again as WSU prevailed. Wednesday vs. St. Martin's, four Huskies -- Garthwaite, Tyler Davidson, Ed Erickson and Ben Miller hit home runs as the Dawgs beat St. Martin's 15-5. Zack Daniels worked five innings for the victory.
DOMINATING THE NORTHWEST: During the decade of the 1990s, the UW baseball program grew to be the unquestioned dominant team in the Pacific Northwest. During the decade, the Huskies won five Pac-10 North titles, two overall Pac-10 championships and went to four regionals. No Northwest team besides UW has gone to an NCAA Regional since 1991. In the 1990s, Washington posted a 355-218 (.620) overall record and 167-85 (.663) in Pac-10 play. Under coach Ken Knutson (1993-), UW has posted a 179-77 (.699) record against all teams from the Northwest (Washington, Oregon and Idaho) and is 141-72 (.653) against Division I teams from the Northwest. Knutson has a winning record against every Northwest foe (12) he has ever faced.
MORE IN THE 90'S: Among the nine current Pac-10 teams, Washington posted the fourth-best record during the 1990s with a 355-218 (.620) overall record. Stanford (.673), USC (.657) and Arizona State (.651) were the three league schools with better marks. The Huskies' .635 conference winning percentage during the decade was third-best behind the Cardinal (.650) and Trojans (.639). With four NCAA regional appearances in the 90's, the Huskies were behind USC (6), Stanford (5) and UCLA (5).
PAC-10 IS NO. 1 AGAIN: Baseball America once again ranked the Pacific-10 as the toughtest conference in the nation in this spring's preseason issue. Five of the league's nine schools (Oregon has no baseball team) rank in the top 25 and all nine made the top 86. Five of the 14 spots on BA's preseason All-America team were held by Pac-10 players and eight of the 14 second-teamers were conference members. Five of the top 11 college prospects in the nation (in terms of the 2000 draft) are Pac-10 players, including the first, second and sixth picks, according to Baseball America.
FRIENDLY CONFINES: Washington was very tough at home in the 1990s, posting a mark of 160-52 (.755) over the last 10 seasons. Under coach Ken Knutson, the Huskies have posted a remarkable 133-47 record in home games, good for a .739 mark. In 1998, the Huskies moved into Husky Ballpark and have notched a 54-26 (.675) record so far. In two seasons, the Huskies have averaged 30 home games a year after usually having played 15 to 20 each season at old Graves Field. This season, the Dawgs are scheduled to play 30 home games.
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 80 games at Husky Ballpark, the Huskies have belted 132 home runs, an average of 1.7 per game, while visitors have hit 98 home runs, or 1.2 per game. In 80 games, a total of 1,133 runs have been scored (both teams combined), an average of 14.2 per game.
MORE COACH K FACTS: In only seven years as the head coach of the Washington baseball team, Ken Knutson has posted a list of accomplishments that already far outdistances any of his predecessors'. Aside from his outstanding won-lost record (see first page), Knutson has led the Dawgs to four Pac-10 North titles and two overall Pac-10 crowns. His teams have never finished below .500 in conference play and he earned the Pac-10 North Coach of the Year award three times. In seven seasons, he has coached 35 first-team all-league players, 11 different All-Americans and seven different USA National Teamers. Prior to his arrival, no Husky had ever tried out for the national team. Knutson has also seen 33 players move on to the professional ranks. Of those 33, all but one improved his draft standing compared to where he went prior to coming to the UW.
LINDEN: Sophomore outfielder Todd Linden has been the Huskies' most consistent hitter this season, leading the Huskies in batting average, hits and runs batted in throughout the year. The switch hitter began the season on a roll at the Rawlings Spring Training Tournment, where finished the five-game weekend with a .750 batting average (12-for-16) and reached base safely in 16 of his 20 plate appearances (four walks). Linden also showed tremendous power and run production, tallying two doubles, a triple, three home runs and 11 RBI. For his efforts, Linden was named the first Pac-10 Player of the Week for the 2000 season. Linden still leads the Huskies in batting with his .371 mark. He also is tops in hits (53) and RBI (37), steals (12) and second in doubles (10). Linden has hit safely in 12 straight and 14 of the last 15. Over the 12 games: 18-for-47 (.383) with 17 runs, 11 RBI and 10 steals in 10 tries. Since being caught stealing in his first two tries, he's stolen 12 straight.
ERICKSON: Senior first baseman Ed Erickson would like to finally put in a full season this year. After seeing action as a part-time starter his first two seasons, Erickson was a full-timer last year, starting at first base and hitting cleanup. However, his 1999 season was shortened when he suffered broken bones in his right wrist and hand in a collision at first base against UCLA on March 27. Erickson played 17 games after the injury, but wasn't the same. In the 21 games prior, he batted .325 with eight homers and 24 RBI. After the injury, he hit only one more home run and had nine RBI while his average dropped to .270. After extensive and delicate off-season surgery and an amazing 21 weeks in a cast, Erickson is once again healthy. The Huskies' only senior already holds the UW career home runs record with 38. With a good season, the Yakima, Wash., native should rank among the top-10 in UW history in runs, hits, runs batted in and doubles. He already ranks in RBI (fifth with 144), doubles (10th with 36) strikeouts (sixth with 106), hit-by-pitch (third with 30). Erickson currently leads the Huskies with 13 doubles, is second in batting (.331), hits (50), runs batted in (33) and homers (7). Over the last seven games, he's 14-for-31 (.452) with seven runs and 10 runs batted in.
CARLSEN: At 6-foot-7, junior right-handed pitcher Jeff Carlsen is the tallest member of the Washington roster. He's also the most successful and experienced member of the Husky pitching staff. Carlsen, who has been a regular member of the Husky starting rotation since his arrival from North Kitsap High in Poulsbo, Wash., has compiled an impressive 21-5 career won-lost record, including a 9-1 overall mark and 4-1 Pac-10 record last season. He is only the fifth Husky ever to win 20 games in a career. Carlsen was a freshman All-America in 1998 and the only freshman on the All-Pac-10 North first team. Last season, he was a second-team Academic All-Pac-10 pick and was invited to try out for the U.S. National Team before going to the Cape Cod League, where he was an all-star for the second straight season. In two season with the Bourne Braves in the Cape, Carlsen has posted a 9-3 record. Carlsen ranks fifth in UW history with his 21career wins, six victories short of Mike Smith's Husky record (27). He also has worked his way onto the career strikeouts list, where he ranks fourth with 179. This season, he has left the game with the Huskies in front in nine of 10 starts, good for a 5-1 record. April 1 against California, he fanned a career-high 10 batters. April 7 against Arizona, he threw a four-hit complete game in a 3-2 win. He walked only one and struck out seven as he faced only four batters over the minimum. He earned the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week award for his efforts.
RITTENHOUSE: Like many members of the Husky roster, junior Marc Rittenhouse had his 1999 season cut short by injury. The Huskies' leadoff man was having a great season before fouling a ball of his foot and breaking a bone during a game in Arizona. In his second season as the Huskies' starting second baseman last year, Rittenhouse was hitting .375 before getting hurt. He played in 10 more games, still managing to hit .360 overall, but ended up missing 21 games due to the broken bone. Rittenhouse, from Belleuve's Newport High, started the year with a 15-game hitting streak during which he hit .400 and scored 23 runs. After having that streak broken with one hitless game, he went on to hit in 11 games in a row. In games in which Rittenhouse played last year, the Huskies were 24-11. Without him, they went only 9-12. This season, after struggling and dropping to .178, Rittenhouse has responded and has raised his average to .274 and leads the team in runs (42), walks (31) and home runs (11). Over his last 78 plate appearances, he has reached base 43 times (.551). With 11 home runs already this year, he has more than tripled his career total, which was five coming into this season. Rittenhouse has also moved back to the infield from center, as he has started the 13 of his last 15 games at second. Rittenhouse has hit safely in 17 of his last 23 games, going 26-for-79 (.329) over that stretch.
DONE: After a sluggish start, sophomore third baseman Michael Done has begun to turn into the player that the Husky coaches thought he would be. Done (pronounced like "Cone") is a transfer from Seward County CC in Kansas, and had to sit out last season after having burned the year by playing in a fall game at Seward. After missing last season, he got off to a slow start in 2000. Before going on a 14-game hitting streak, he was batting only .235 on March 27. After getting the streak up to 14 games, he had it broken by going 0-for-4 Wednesday vs. USF. But he has raised his average up to .291, and over the last 19 games has batted 27-for-77 (.351) with 15 runs, 16 RBI, three doubles, four homers and four stolen bases. With the glove, Done has been perhaps the best fielding UW third baseman in at least five years. Since making four errors over a three-game span (March 7, 17 and 18), he has made only two in the last 25 games (50 chances).
THE FRESHMEN: Five true freshmen have become regulars in the Husky starting lineup. Here are some notes on each: Tila Reynolds has started all but six games at shortstop for the Huskies. He was batting only .167 on March 21, but has hit safely in 17 of 21 games since then and is now hitting .292. Over the last 21 games, he is batting .357 (25-for-70) with 24 runs, 11 RBI, 18 walks, three hit by pitch and six stolen bases ... Jefferson Thiel has started 30 of 40 games behind the plate and performed admirably. Currently batting .278, Thiel has remained a consistent .250 to .300 hitter all season. In three games at Stanford, he threw out four of six would-be base-stealers ... Jay Garthwaite has been the Husky designated hitter in 32 of 40 games and got his first start elsewhere (LF) Wednesday. Known as a power hitter at the prep level, Garthwaite has started to show power in college, belting six home runs over the last 13 games. Last week, he became the first freshman this year to be named Pac-10 Player of the Week after going 9-for-18 with eight RBI last week. He has an eight-game hitting streak during which he is batting 13-for-30 (.433) with nine runs, 13 RBI and three home runs ... Tyler Davidson has started 13 of the last 14 games in right field. He has collected three three-hit games in that span (at WSU, vs. Arizona and at Wichita State). In 17 hits, Davidsion has 17 RBI, and nine of those 17 hits have been for extra bases ... Justin Drake is called by coach Ken Knutson the fastest Husky ever. Drake has started 19 of the last 26 in center field.
BULLPEN NOTES: Brian Barton leads the team with 17 appearances ... has yet to allow a home run in 21.2 innings ... has given up a run in seven of last eight outings ... the last two Wednesday, Zack Daniels has picked up victories in starts vs. San Francisco and St. Martin's, allowing only four earned runs in 13 innings in those two outings ... Matt Gardner threw twice in relief last weekend after earning a victory vs. USF a week ago Tuesday ... other victory was March 26 at UCLA ... Taylor Grant is second on the team with 16 appearances ... Grant is third in the Pac-10 with six saves, three behind Stanford's Jeff Bruksch ... Grant is expected to move into the starting rotation this weekend ... longest outing of the season was Sunday at Wichita State, when he went 4.2 innings in relief ... in his last two outings, Shawn Kohn has not allowed a hit in two innings ... Cam McCoy has been solid over his last eight outings, allowing only two runs in 8.1 innings (2.16 ERA) with five hits and five Ks ... seven of his 12 earned runs came in one outing ... his ERA minus that one appearance would be 4.35 ... Tyler Shepple worked two innings, allowing no hits, runs or walks, last Friday at Wichita for his first career victory ... Randy Vanderplow has fanned 21 and walked only three ... his top outing was in relief vs. Cal, going 6.1 innings and allowing five hits, two runs and no walks while fanning seven.
RANDOM NOTES: Junior RHP Matt Massingale has three complete games this year ... unfortunately for him, two have been losses -- 2-1 at UCLA on March 25 and 3-2 last Sunday vs. Arizona ... Massingale picked up his first complete-game victory last Saturday at Wichita State ... 23 of Washington's 40 games have finished at three hours or less, including eight under two and a half hours ... the Huskies are 8-2 in night games this season ... over the last 15 games, Washington has stolen 26 bases ... with 61 steals this year, the Huskies are second in the Pac-10 ... UW is batting .346 over the last six games and .322 over the last 10.