Diamond Dawgs Open Homestand Vs. St. Martin's

Huskies will play seven home games in nine days.

Kyle Parker is slated to start the home opener on Wednesday.

Kyle Parker is slated to start the home opener on Wednesday.

March 1, 2005

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THIS WEEKEND: The Washington baseball team (4-7) finally returns home after 11 rain-soaked road games to open the 2005 season. The Huskies, who went 2-3 last weekend at the Aggie Baseball Classic at Texas A&M, will play seven home games over nine days before getting a week off entirely. St. Martin's (4-7) comes to Husky Ballpark Wednesday night for a 6:30 p.m. home opener. Friday through Sunday, UC Santa Barbara comes to Seattle for a three-game series. Next week, the UW hosts Portland on Tuesday and Pacific on Wednesday and Thursday. After that, the UW will have eight days off before facing Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo on the road March 18-20. Here's this week's schedule:

Tue., March 2: UW vs. St. Martin's, 6:30 p.m. -- RHP Kyle Parker (1-2, 5.25)
Fri., March 4: UW vs. UC Santa Barbara, 6:30 p.m. -- RHP Tim Lincecum (1-2, 4.58)
Sat., March 5: UW vs. UC Santa Barbara, 1:00 p.m. -- RHP Matt Kasser (1-2, 3.50)
Sun., March 6: UW vs. UC Santa Barbara, 1:00 p.m. -- RHP Kyle Parker (1-2, 5.25)

SERIES HISTORY: Washington has won all four of its meetings against St. Martin's, winning one game each season between 1997 and 2000. The UW, however, hasn't faced the Saints since 2000. Here are the scores of those four games: 15-5 in 2000, 7-0 in 1999, 13-12 in 1998 and 18-6 in 1997. UC Santa Barbara holds a 7-3 all-time edge in the series against the Huskies. Most recently, the Huskies beat the Gauchos, 6-5, in a tournament at Pepperdine on the first weekend of the Dawgs' 2003 season. In 1998, in a game played at a tournament at San Diego State, Washington beat UCSB, 17-9. The only other UW-UCSB game during Ken Knutson's tenure was an 11-3 Husky loss at UCSB in 1995.

COACH "K": Last season, Husky baseball coach Ken Knutson became the winningest baseball coach in the history of the program. That accomplishment is just one item on Knutson's impressive resume. In his 12 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, two other second-place finishes and six NCAA Regionals. His career overall record now stands at 432-280-2 (.606). 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 210-90-2 (.699) record in home games. He is 182-124 (.595) in Pac-10 games. Knutson has coached 44 first-team All-Pac-10 selections in 12 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, Donny Harrel, and Gregg Swenson and undergrad assistant Ty Kuehl.

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

Pos.  Player, Year          Avg.-HR-RBI Notes
 C -- Matt Lane, So.          .148-0-3  Has started 8 of 11 at C; opponents are 6-9 stealing against
      Joey Dunn, Fr.          .250-0-1  Has started three games at C; 2-for-8 at the plate so far
1B -- Kyle Larsen, Sr.        .265-0-2  Now in fourth season as Huskies' starter at first base
2B -- Mike Rundle, Sr.        .074-0-1  Transfer from Gonzaga took over for 3-year starter Isaacson
      Andy Lentz, Fr.         .077-0-0  Started last three at 2B and in the leadoff spot
SS -- Brent Lillibridge, Jr. .250-1-10  5-for-15, 5 RBI at A&M tourney; made all-tournament
3B -- Nick Batkoski, Sr.      .341-0-4  Started all 11 at 3B; leads UW with .341 avg., 14 hits
OF -- Zach Clem, Jr.          .158-0-0  First-team All-Pac-10 in `04; started 6 of 11 so far in `05
OF -- Taylor Johnson, Sr.     .297-2-5  Started all 11 in RF; made first mound appearance last Fri.
OF -- Nick Burnham, Jr.       .233-0-4  Has started 9 of 11 games; leads team with four steals
OF -- Cory Rickard, Jr.       .100-0-0  Three starts in left and center field; 1-for-10 at the plate
OF -- Matt Stevens, So.       .167-0-0  1-for-6 on the season; two starts in left field
DH -- Curt Rindal, So.        .314-0-4  Has started 10 of 11 at DH; all-tournament at Texas A&M

BROADCASTS ON THE WEB: All of Washington's upcoming seven home games will air live on internet-only audio broadcasts. For information on how to listen to the games, go to gohuskies.com, and click on the audio/video link. Also check gohuskies.com for any future web broadcasts. Additionally, 20 regular season games will air live on KKNW 1150-AM. Those broadcasts will also be available via the internet. The first scheduled radio broadcasts are the series at Arizona March 24-26. When additional games are added to the internet-only schedule, an announcement will be posted to gohuskies.com.

SQUAD BREAKDOWN: Washington's 36-man roster is pretty well balanced for a college baseball roster. The team includes six seniors, nine juniors, seven sophomores and 14 freshmen. Nineteen players are returners while 17 are new (14 of those 17 are true freshmen). Washington's returning players have competed in a total of 857 UW baseball games, and have combined for 2,168 career at bats and 572 and one-third career innings pitched in a Husky uniform.

TOUGH SCHEDULE: Counting those in the "others receiving votes" category, the preseason Sports Weekly/ESPN coaches' poll ranked 66 teams this season. Washington, which tied with Pac-10 foe Arizona for the No. 12 spot in that poll, will play a total of 31 games against teams that received votes in the preseason ranking. Those 31 games come against 11 different teams, including six conference opponents. The Huskies will play a total of 11 games against four teams ranked in the top 12 in the preseason poll -- three each against No. 6 Stanford, No. 9 Arizona State and No. 12 Arizona, plus two at No. 10 Texas A&M. Well-respected baseball website boydsworld.com ranks the Huskies' schedule as the ninth-toughest in the nation. Also as regards the schedule, the Huskies will play 24 home games this season (plus an exhibition vs. the University of British Columbia) and 32 on the road. Washington's first 12 games will be on the road.

NORTHWEST FLAVOR: As is usually the case, the Husky baseball roster is made up primarily of players from the state of Washington. This year, however, it's nearly unanimous as 35 of the 36 players on the preseason roster are from the state of Washington. The only non-Washingtonian on the team is senior second baseman Mike Rundle, from Bend, Oregon. However, Rundle, in his first season with the Huskies, played last season at Gonzaga, which is located in Spokane, Wash. Of the 35 in-state players, 29 are from the western part of the state (west of the Cascades).

PRESEASON ACCOLADES: Perhaps more than in any other season since the 1999 merger of the Pac-10's two divisions, the preseason publications have a lot of good things to say about the 2005 Husky baseball team. The Huskies were ranked no lower than 17th in the various preseason polls: No. 8 in Baseball America, No. 12 (tied) in the ESPN/Sports Weekly coaches' poll and No. 17 in Collegiate Baseball. Baseball America, in its extensive preview edition, tabbed the UW for a second-place Pac-10 finish, and included the Dawgs in its postseason projections as a No. 1 seed. The Huskies were represented by three players -- SP Tim Lincecum, RP Richie Lentz and SS Brent Lillibridge -- on the preseason All-Pac-10 team while Lincecum was also a Collegiate Baseball preseason All-American first-teamer and Lillibridge made the third team. Baseball America additionally tabbed several Huskies in its top-50 prospects by class. Lincecum was the No. 9 sophomore with Lentz close behind at No. 11. Starting pitcher Kyle Parker was listed as the No. 18 sophomore. Lillibridge was named the No. 36 junior in the nation while first baseman Kyle Larsen was named the No. 14 senior. In its "best tools" listings for the Pac-10, Baseball America stated that Lincecum has the conference's best breaking ball and Lentz its best fastball. Larsen, also named the preseason "Gold Glove All-America" team, repeated as the best defensive first baseman in the league while Nick Batkoski was named best defensive third baseman. Finally, Baseball America listed Lincecum as the No. 8 prospect in the Pac-10 for the 2005 draft and listed Lillibridge right behind him at No. 9.

POSITION PLAYER NOTES (in alphabetical order):
Ryan Anderson, Freshman IF: Latest in a long line of Kamiakin HS products to play baseball at the UW ... backs up in the middle infield ... hit .430 as a junior and .420 as a senior in HS.

Nick Batkoski, Senior 3B: For the first time in his career, entered the season as a starter ... has played 2B, 3B, SS, OF and DH during his career, including 29 stats at SS last year .. hit .500 (6-for-12) in the series at UC Irvine, scoring three of the UW's six runs on the weekend ... 3-for-4 opening day ... 5-for-14 in Santa Clara series ... hit .346 in 81 at bats in 2003 and .303 in 165 at bats last season ... named the Pac-10's top defensive third baseman by Baseball America.

Michael Burgher, Freshman OF: Enters the season as a backup in the outfield ... drafted by the Dodgers in the 36th round of the 2004 draft ... captained his summer team (Shockers) to three state championships.

Nick Burnham, Junior OF: Entered the year as the starting center fielder after a strong fall and spring practice season ... started first two games at UC Irvine, going 1-for-8 with a double ... started two at Santa Clara, going 4-for-9 with a double and three RBI ... started all five at Texas A&M tourney ... leads UW with four steals (in four tries) ... started on opening day last year, but made only two more starts during the season ... saw action in 24 games in 2004.

Zach Clem, Junior OF: The UW's starting left fielder saw only one pinch hit at UC Irvine due to a groin pull ... started all three at Santa Clara, two in LF, one at DH ... 3-for-11 with a double in Santa Clara series ... started 3 of 5 at Texas A&M tourney ... after only three at bats as a freshman in 2003, became an everyday starter in left field last year and earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors after batting .336 with a team-high 13 home runs ... hit third most of the season ... played on the Aloha (Ore.) team that won the National Baseball Congress World Series title over the summer.

Joey Dunn, Freshman C: One of three new catchers on the Husky rosters ... started game two at UC Irvine, going 0-for-2 ... also played in game two (off the bench) of the Santa Clara series and got first career hit, a single ... got first hit (RBI single) in loss to Evansville ... started two at A&M tourney ... three-time team MVP at Inglemoor High.

Matt Hague, Freshman IF/OF: Multi-position player backs up at third base and in the outfield and should also see action out of the bullpen ... hasn't had an AB yet, but has appeared four times on the mound ... first-team all-state pitcher and second-team infielder at Kentwood High.

Nick Jiles, Soph. OF: Enters his first season at the UW as a backup outfielder and profiles as a center fielder ... started in CF in game three at UC Irvine, going 0-for-3 ... two-time All-Big-9 pick at Davis High in Yakima ... twin brother, NaCoubi, plays baseball at Yakima Valley CC.

Taylor Johnson, Senior OF: Entered the 2005 season as starting right fielder ... started all 11 so far ... went 7-for-15 (.467) in Santa Clara series with mulitple hits in each game ... homered and drove in two runs in the 3-2 win Monday at Santa Clara ... has two of UW's three home runs this season, including an eighth-inning solo shot on opening day at UC Irvine ... 3-for-13 at Texas A&M series ... has been an off-and-on starter in CF and RF the last three seasons ... also a reliever ... saw first mound action (1 inning) at Texas A&M Feb. 25 ... taken in 39th round of 2001 draft (Pittsburgh) ... named No. 8 prospect in his summer league by Baseball America.

Matt Lane, Soph. C: Starts at catcher in 2005 after having backed up there last season ... started two of three at UC Irvine and all three at Santa Clara ... 3-for-11 at Santa Clara ... has thrown out 3-of-9 would-be basestealers in 2005 ... made only one start behind the plate last year, but made 36 starts at DH ... hit .301 with six homers as a freshman ... was a member of the National Baseball Congress World Series champion Aloha (Ore.) team over the summer.

Kyle Larsen, Senior 1B: In his fourth year as the everyday starting first baseman ... has made only four errors in 1,615 career chances ... went 2-for-10 in UCI series and 4-for-11 with two doubles at Santa Clara ... 3-for-13 in Texas A&M tournament ... for the third straight year, named top defensive 1B in the Pac-10 by Baseball America ... also made Baseball America's all-Gold Glove team and was tabbed as the No. 14 senior prospect in the nation ... ranks ninth in UW history in hits (203), ninth in RBI (133) and 10th in homers (24) ... started all 60 last season, 59 of 60 in 2003, and 47 of 61 as a freshman ... drafted by the Mets in the 14th round of the 2001 draft.

Andy Lentz, Freshman OF/IF: Younger brother of UW sophomore P Richie Lentz and former third baseman Ryan Lentz ... started in LF Feb. 13 at UC Irvine, going 0-for-3 with an HBP ... started last three games at Texas A&M tournament, all at second base and No. 1 in the batting order ... four walks in lone start at Santa Clara.

Brent Lillibridge, Junior SS: Has earned first-team All-Pac-10 in each of his two previous seasons ... a preseason third-team All-American (Collegiate Baseball) ... preseason All-Pac-10 and the No. 36 junior in the nation by Baseball America ... started all three at SS at UC Irvine, going 4-for-11 with a triple ... had another triple in the 13-2 win over Santa Clara, when he drove in five runs ... made all-tournament team at Texas A&M, going 5-for-15 with five RBI ... had a three-run double vs. Evansville and a two-run homer vs. San Diego ... .347 career average entering the season ranked sixth in UW history ... also tied for 10th in UW history with 25 home runs ... seven of 11 home runs last season came to lead off a game ... started all 60 games last year at either SS or CF ... started in center for the U.S. National Team in 2003 ... all-tournament at the NCAA Regional the last two years ... .388 average in 2003 was No. 2 in the nation among freshmen and his .699 slugging mark was best among Division I frosh.

Kiel Lillibridge, Freshman IF: Backs up his older brother, Brent, at shortstop ... saw action at 2B in 13-2 win at Santa Clara ... first-team all-league SS as a HS senior after making the second-team as a catcher his junior year.

D.J. Neyens, Junior C: Had lone AB thus far in loss at Texas A&M Feb. 25 ... played last two seasons at nearby Edmonds CC, helping Tritons to the NWAACC title his freshman year and a third-place finish as a sophomore.

Cory Rickard, Junior OF: Started the season opener in LF (0-for-4) ... started Feb. 20 at Santa Clara ...1-for-2 in start Feb. 28 vs. San Diego ... transfer from Spokane Falls CC ... first-team All-Eastern Division as a sophomore .

Curt Rindal, Soph. 1B/DH: Started all three at DH at UC Irvine, going 4-for-11 with three of the UW's six RBI ... started two of three at Santa Clara (2-for-9) ... made all-tournament team at Texas A&M, going 5-for-15 in five starts .... got a medical redshirt season last year after dislocating his left elbow in a practice.

Mike Rundle, Senior 2B: Transfer from Gonzaga starts second base ... started first 8 at DH ... hit .221 with an HR and 16 RBI last season at Gonzaga ... played previously at Citrus JC in Glendora, Calif., where he batted .390 as a freshman and .373 as a sophomore ... summer all-league first-teamer, playing for his hometown Bend Elks.

Josh Showers, Junior IF: Played late in one game at UC Irvine at 2B ... didn't see any game action last season, due in part to injury ... played in four games, getting two at bats, as a freshman in 2003 ... backs up 2B, 3B and SS.

Matt Stevens, Freshman IF/OF: Started in LF in the second game of the season at UC Irvine (0-for-3) ... singled in loss at Texas A&M for first hit ... started in 4-1 win over San Diego ... backs up at third base, first base and in the outfield ... two-time all-league first-teamer at Lake Stevens HS ... also all-area and all-state as a senior.

PROBABLE STARTING PITCHER NOTES (in order):
Wed. & Sun. -- Kyle Parker, Sophomore RHP: Moved into the starting rotation partway through his freshman year and spent the last portion of the season as the UW's Friday starter ... finished the season with a 4-3 record and a 3.84 ERA over 75 innings ... .224 opponent batting average ranked third in the Pac-10 ... six shutout innings Feb. 20 vs. Santa Clara for first win ... allowed no runs on two hits over 6.0 in that one ... rough time in first start this season, Feb. 12 at UC Irvine, allowing seven runs (only two earned) in two innings for a loss ... took loss Feb. 25 at Texas A&M: 4.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 4 K ... threw the UW's only complete game last year in a win over Ole Miss in the NCAA Oxford Regional last year ... led Aloha (Ore.) to the National Baseball Congress World Series championship over the summer ... threw a five-hit shutout in the championship game ... Baseball America named him the No. 2 prospect in the Pacific International League (summer) and the No. 18 sophomore in the nation.

Fri. -- Tim Lincecum, Sophomore RHP: A preseason All-American after having been named the Pac-10 Pitcher and Freshman of the Year in 2004 ... struck out 161 batters in 112.1 innings last year, breaking the school record for Ks ... also second in the NCAA in strikeouts, behind only Long Beach State's Jered Weaver ... Collegiate Baseball's National Freshman of the Year ... 10-3 with a 3.53 earned run average last season ... brilliant in 1-0 win at Texas A&M Feb. 27, throwing a two-hit, complete-game (seven innings) shutout ... allowed only one walk while fanning eight and made all-tourney ... suffered second loss Feb. 20 at Santa Clara (5.0 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 4 SO) ... took a loss on opening day of this season at UC Irvine, allowing four runs on six hits, one BB and four Ks over 5.2 ... No. 9 sophomore prospect in the nation and No. 35 college prospect for the 2005 draft by Baseball America ... tabbed as having the best breaking ball in the league by BA ... named the national player of the week twice last year ... career-high 15 Ks came in a six-inning outing Mar. 12, 2004 vs. Loyola Marymount ... the Gatorade state player of the year for Washington in 2003 after an unbelievable senior year ... led Liberty High to the 3A state title and was the state's 3A MVP and first-team all-state pitcher ... as a senior, posted a 12-1 record and a 0.70 earned run average while striking out 183 batters in 91.2 innings ... drafted by the Chicago Cubs in the 49th round of the 2003 draft.

Sat. -- Matt Kasser, Junior RHP: Returns to his spot in the Huskies' weekend rotation, which he joined halfway through last season ... suffered loss to Evansville on Feb. 27: 5.1 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 3 ER, 2BB, 2 K ... got a win Feb. 21 at Santa Clara: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 Ks ... started Feb. 13 at UC Irvine, and took the loss, allowing three runs on seven hits, two walks and one strikeout over 5.2 innings ... held the Anteaters scoreless through the first five innings before giving up three in the sixth ... beat Western Kentucky in the NCAA Oxford Regional, allowing only one run over seven and two-thirds innings ... won the National Baseball Congress World Series title with the Aloha (Ore.) Knights, winning his start in the tournament ... holds a perfect 5-0 career record as he enters his junior year.

BULLPEN NOTES: Josh Conover (Jr. RHP) hast yet to allow a run in 5.0 innings over five outings ... switched to a sidearm delivery halfway through last season ... got a save by getting the final out Feb. 21 at Santa Clara (3-2 win) ... pitched twice at UC Irvine, allowing no hits or runs over two innings ... has served as a reliever and spot starter during his career ... after switching to sidearm last year, threw 10 innings, allowing three runs on six hits with eight Ks ... got the win in the regular season finale vs. UC Irvine when the Huskies scored four in the bottom of the ninth ... David Dowling (Sr. LHP) threw complete-game three-hitter to beat San Diego on Feb. 28, making all tournament at Texas A&M tourney ... pitched in 3-2 win at Santa Clara (Feb. 21) ... retired the first five he faced before giving up a run with two down in the ninth ... threw twice at Irvine, allowing four runs (two earned) over two innings ... after seven wins and 56.1 innings in 2003, was limited by injury to only 22 innings last year ... high school classmate of fellow Husky pitcher Keaton Everitt ... 42 career appearances and five starts entering his senior year ... Keaton Everitt (Jr. RHP) got no decision in lone action this year, a four-innings start in the UW's 3-0 loss to San Diego ... allowed two runs and no hits in that one ... started 10 games and appeared in relief once last year ... went 5-3 with a 5.66 ERA ... redshirted 2002 season ... Nick Hagadone (Fr. LHP) should see action as a late-inning reliever ... has traveled twice, but hasn't pitched ... drafted by the Mariners in the 36th round of the 2004 draft ... first-team all-league and team MVP as a senior at Sumner High ... Matt Hague (Fr. RHP) pitched twice at Texas A&M tourney and suffered the defeat in the 3-0 loss to San Diego ... plays third base and outfield besides pitching ... should see action as a late-innings reliever ... worked 2.2 scoreless in 5-2 loss at Santa Clara (Feb. 20) ... hasn't yet allowed a run in 4.2 IP ... threw two innings of relief Feb. 12 (game two) at UC Irvine, allowing no hits or runs while striking out two and walking none ... led Kentwood High to a second-place state finish last year ... first-team all-state pitcher and second-team all-state infielder in high school ... Taylor Johnson (Sr. LHP) has been a starting OF for most of his career and starts in RF ... worked as a pitcher in the fall will see action as a reliever ... got lone inning thusfar in Feb. 25 loss at Texas A&M, allowing a single but facing the minimum ... has never previously appeared on the mound ... Richie Lentz (So. RHP) saw first action in Feb. 25 loss at Texas A&M, allowing three runs on four hits over two innings of relief ... started eight games and appeared as a reliever in 12 last season ... began last year as a starter (and started on opening day), but will be the UW closer as a sophomore ... has seen action limited so far due to a hand injury... should pitch this week ... has the best fastball in the Pac-10, according to Baseball America ... had an outstanding summer as closer for the Newport (R.I.) Gulls, helping the Gulls to the final game of their league championship series ... had a 1.66 ERA and nine saves during the regular season and three more saves in the playoffs ... named the No. 11 sophomore prospect in the nation and the top prospect in his summer league by Baseball America ... struck out 52 in 49.2 innings last season ... Brandon McKerney (Fr. RHP) played at Meadowdale High for UW baseball alum Ron Martin ... fanned only hitter he's faced this year ... helped team to the state playoffs his junior and senior years ... Jordan Ponzoha (Soph. RHP) will start and relieve after having filled a similar role last season ... threw three innings of relief in 13-2 win at Santa Clara (Feb. 20) ... struck out six in three innings, including six of last seven he faced ... got a save by throwing the final three innings, allowing two runs on two hits ... worked four innings in relief at UC Irvine on Feb. 12, allowoing only one run on four hits ... started three and relieved in seven others as a freshman ... struck out 24 in 23.2 innings last season ... Andrew Powell (Fr. RHP) played three seasons as a pitcher and hitter at Seattle's Blanchet High ... helped the Braves to the state quarterfinals his senior year ... will look for innings in a relief role.

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