Diamond Dawgs Hit The Road Again

Feb. 19, 2002

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THIS WEEKEND: The Washington baseball team, fresh from a 3-1 start at last weekend's Rawlings Spring Training Tournament in Phoenix, return to the road this weekend for a three-game series at Fresno State (4-6). The Huskies were ranked No. 24 in Baseball America's preseason rankings while Fresno State was No. 29. Neither team is currently ranked. Friday, the Huskies open the series with a 7:05 p.m. start. Saturday's game two has been switched from a night game to a 1:05 p.m. first pitch. Sunday's series finale also begins at 1:05 p.m. Radio coverage (from Fresno's broadcast) for some of the games may be available via Fresno State's athletics website. Check www.gobulldogs.com for more details later in the week. Next week, the Huskies travel to Portland for a single game Tuesday before opening the home slate March 1 vs. Utah at Husky Ballpark. Here's a look at this weekend's series at Fresno State, with UW's probable starting pitchers.

Fri., Feb. 22: UW at Fresno State, 7:05 p.m. -- RHP Shawn Kohn (1-0, 0.00)
Sat., Feb. 23: UW at Fresno State, 1:05 p.m. -- RHP Clay Johnson (0-0, 3.60)
Sun., Feb. 24: UW at Fresno State, 1:05 p.m. -- RHP Sean White (1-0, 0.00)

SERIES HISTORY: Washington and Fresno State have split their eight meetings all-time in a series that dates back to the 1959 NCAA District 8 playoffs. Fresno State took two of three games in that series, played at Seattle's Sick's Stadium, to advance to the College World Series. In 1984, FSU beat the Huskies, 12-5, at the Best in the West Classic in Fresno. The teams met again in the 1992 NCAA West I Regional in Tucson, where the Huskies scored two in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Bulldogs, 4-3. In the second weekend of the 1997 season, Washington travelled to Fresno for a three-game series. The Huskies won the first two games, 7-4 and 8-6, beating current big leaguers Jeff Weaver and Adam Pettyjohn, before losing the finale, 4-2.

COACH 'K': In nine 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 317-209 (.603). With those 317 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 153-62 (.712) record in home games. He is 137-97 (.585) in conference games. Knutson has coached 35 first-team All-Pac-10 selections in nine 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, Travis Jewett, and Gregg Swenson and undergraduate assistants Daniel Jahn and Duggan Moran.

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 - Ben Johnson, So.      .167-0-2   Started 21 games at C as a freshman     Aaron Hathaway, Fr.   .444-0-1   3 of his 4 hits are for extra bases1B - Bryan Johnson, Jr.    .500-1-5   Leads 2002 team with 8 hits and 5 RBI     Kyle Larsen, Fr.      .500-0-0   14th-round draft pick by Florida in 20012B - Michael Done, Sr.     .263-3-4   3 of his 5 hits in 2002 are home runsSS - Tila Reynolds, Jr.    .400-1-3   Rated No. 48 jr. prospect by Baseball America3B - John Otness, So.      .364-0-1   Started 3 of 4 games at 3B last weekend     Mike Wagner, So.      .143-0-1   Started once at 3B, once at DH last weekOF - Tyler Davidson, Jr.   .438-2-5   Belted 2 HR opening day, 3 doubles leads teamOF - Jay Garthwaite, Jr.   .133-0-3   3-for-4 with a HR in exhibition win over UBCOF - Brandon Jacobson, Jr. .286-0-1   Was batting .409 before injury in 2001OF - Taylor Johnson, Fr.   .000-0-0   2 SBs, 2 runs in exhibition vs. UBCDH - Steve Ramsey, So.     .500-1-2   First career HR as PH Sun. vs. Missouri     Nick Batkoski, Fr.    .167-0-0   Grand slam in exhibition win over UBC

TRAVEL INFO: The Huskies' 28-player travel squad leaves for Fresno Thursday evening, departing Sea-Tac Airport at 6:12 p.m. and arriving in San Jose at 8:07 p.m. After a bus trip to Fresno, the Huskies will stay at the Piccadilly Inn University (phone: (559) 224-4200). The Huskies return to Seattle on Sunday, Feb. 24, arriving at Sea-Tac at 10:54 p.m.

STARTING STRONG: Washington's four-man starting rotation posted very strong numbers in the season's opening weekend in Phoenix. All four starters -- Shawn Kohn, Clay Johnson, Sean White and Randy Vanderplow -- pitched only five innings due to low pitch counts so early in the season. Combined, the four starters worked 20 innings and allowed only five runs (all earned), good for a collective 2.25 earned run average. Over 20 innings, the Husky starting four allowed only 16 hits and four walks while striking out 12.

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-), Washington posted a 163-67 (.709) record against all teams from the Northwest (Washington, Oregon and Idaho) and went 128-62 (.674) against Division I teams from the Northwest. Knutson has a winning record against every Northwest foe (12) he has ever faced.Through the 2001 season, Knutson is 205-85 (.661) vs. all Northwest teams and 160-79 (.669) against Division I squads.

VETERAN SQUAD: After fielding rather youthful squads in each of the last two seasons, the 2002 Husky team is all grown up. Offensively, Washington returns players that made a total of 378 individual starts last year, 80.8 percent of the possible total of 468 (nine players times 52 games). Returning hitters accounted for 429 of last seasons' 531 total hits (also 80.8 percent) and 39 of the Huskies' 46 home runs (84.8 percent). On the mound, returning pitchers accounted for 359.2 of the Huskies' 455.2 innings pitched last year (78.9 percent) and started 44 of last season's 52 games (84.6 percent). In all, current members of the Washington baseball team had earned a total of 43 varsity letters and had started a total of 742 college games prior to the start of the 2002 season.

PRESEASON ACCOLADES: College baseball's preseason publications predicted a solid season for the 2002 Huskies. Baseball America ranked the Dawgs No. 24 in their preseason issue and counted the Huskies among the five Pac-10 teams it predicts will make it into the NCAA tournament. Shortstop Tila Reynolds was tabbed the preseason All-Pac-10 shortstop and was ranked the best defensive SS in the league. RHP Shawn Kohn was listed as the league's No. 1 control pitcher. Baseball America also listed Reynolds as the No. 48 junior prospect in the country and 1B Kyle Larsen as the nation's No. 42 freshman prospect. Neither Collegiate Baseball nor USA Today Baseball Weekly ranked the Huskies in the preseason, though the Huskies were among those receiving votes in USA Today's preseason coaches' poll (ranked No. 38, counting past the 25 ranked teams).

POSITION PLAYER NOTES (in alphabetical order):
Nick Batkoski, Fr. IF/DH: Started two games at DH last weekend, going 1-for-6 ... backs up at second base and shortstop ... started at second base in exhibition win over British Columbia, going 2-for-4 with a grand slam home run ... top player and pitcher on the Federal Way HS team that won the state AAAA (highest level) championship last spring.

Tyler Davidson, Jr. OF: Started all four at RF last weekend ... six runs, three doubles and five RBI are all team highs ... two home runs trails only Done's three ... hit home runs in first two at bats of the season last Thursday vs. Missouri ... finished that game 4-for-5 with two solo homers, two run-scoring singles and a stolen base ... 2-for-3 with two doubles and three runs the following day vs. Northwestern ... Baseball America's No. 59 college prospect.

Michael Done, Sr. 2B: Started the last two seasons at third base, but moves to second base this year ... three of his five hits this year have been homers ... two homers from right side of plate and one lefty ... hit second and third homers in Sunday's loss to Missouri ... went 3-for-5 in that game ... tabbed the Pac-10's top infield arm by Baseball America prior to last season ... drafted by Baltimore in the 40th round of last June's draft, but elected to return to college.

Jay Garthwaite, Jr. OF: Started three of four games in left field last weekend, coming off the bench in the other ... struggled at the plate, but still managed three RBI in three starts ... had a two-run single in the Sunday loss to Missouri ... went 3-for-4 with a home run in the exhibition win over UBC ... led the team in RBI last season ... a 12th-round draft pick in the 1999 draft.

Aaron Hathaway, Fr. C: Started two games at catcher in the opening weekend ... had a tremendous debut Feb. 15 vs. Northwestern, going 2-for-4 with a double and a triple ... also threw out a would-be basestealer and picked off a runner at first base in that game ... 2-for-5 with a double and an RBI Sunday vs. Missouri ... also threw out a basestealer in that game.

Brandon Jacobson, Jr. OF: Started the first three games of the season as the center fielder and leadoff hitter ... appeared as a pinch runner in Sunday's game and stole his second base in two tries on the year ... has the Huskies' only outfield assist of the season so far as he threw out a Northwestern runner at the plate.

Ben Johnson, Soph. C: Started two of four games behind the plate for the Huskies last weekend ... 1-for-3 with a two-RBI double opening day ... has yet to have a runner attempt to steal against him ... started 19 games behind the plate as a freshman in 2001.

Bryan Johnson, Jr. 1B/DH: Started and hit safely in all four games of the opening weekend -- three at first base and one at DH ... leads the team with .500 average and eight hits and is co-leader with five RBI ... 3-for-4 with a run and an RBI opening day ... 2-for-3 Feb. 15 vs. Northwestern, driving in the winning run with a two-out double in the bottom of the eighth ... also tripled in that game ... solo homer in the second inning Feb. 16 vs. Northwestern proved the winning run in a 2-0 win ... 1-for-3 Sunday vs. Missouri ... a switch hitter, has gone 4-for-8 both right and left-handed so far.

Taylor Johnson, Fr. OF: Saw action in two games during the opening weekend, pinch running in game three and starting in center in game four ... stole a base and scored as pinch runner Feb. 16 vs. Northwestern ... 0-for-2 with a walk and a run Feb. 17 vs. Missouri ... also started exhibition vs. British Columbia, going 1-for-2 with three walks, two runs and two steals.

Kyle Larsen, Fr. 1B/DH: Saw action in three games last weekend, starting at first base in the 8-7 win over Northwestern ... went 1-for-3 with a walk in that one ... singled and walked coming off the bench in Sunday's loss to Missouri ... 2-for-5 with two singles in the exhibition win over British Columbia ... 14th round draft pick out of high school last June.

John Otness, Soph. 3B: Started three games at third base last weekend after moving from second base, where he started about half the season last year ... only two errors in 121 career fielding chances (.983) ...hit safely in all three games he started last weekend ... 2-for-4 with two runs and a steal opening day vs. Missouri ... doubled to drive in second run of 2-0 win over Northwestern.

Steve Ramsey, Soph. OF/DH: Saw action in two games last weekend, starting in left field in the 2-0 win over Northwestern and pinch-hitting Sunday vs. Missouri ... 1-for-3 in his start ... solo home run as a pinch hitter led off the sixth inning in Sunday's loss ... also singled to drive in a run later in that game ... can also play first base.

Tila Reynolds, Jr. SS: Had a solid opening weekend, starting all four games at shorstop while going 6-for-15 (.400) a the plate ... team's co-leader with two steals in two tries ... belted a two-run homer in Sunday's loss to Missouri ... tripled and scored two runs in three at bats opening day ... 2-for-5 with two singles Feb. 15 vs. Northwestern ... 2-for-3 with a double in 2-0 win over Northwestern ... named Baseball America's No. 53 college prospect and one of two players noted as 'Top Defensive Player.'

Tim Rice, Sr. C: Started 12 games at catcher in 2000 and eight games behind the plate last year ... has yet to appear in a regular game this season, but started in the exhibition win over British Columbia ... transfer from Tacoma CC, where he played for current UW assistant coach Gregg Swenson.

Mike Wagner, Soph. 3B/DH: Started once at third base and once at designated hitter in the opening weekend ... expected to split time with Otness at third ... 1-for-3 with two runs, an RBI and a walk opening day vs. Missouri ... doubled, was hit by a pitch and scored in exhibition win over British Columbia.

PROBABLE STARTING PITCHER NOTES:
FRIDAY -- Shawn Kohn, Sr. RHP: Picked up where he left off last season with a solid start opening day vs. Missouri ... worked five innings, allowing three hits, no runs and no walks while fanning three ... faced only two batters over the minimum thanks to a double play ... led the 2001 Huskies in earned run average (2.57) and opponent batting average (.204) ... both of those marks were second in the Pac-10, trailing only national player of the year Mark Prior of USC ... first 40 appearances of his career came in relief before earning a start in midseason last year ... went on to lead the nation in earned run average for a week during the middle of last season ... threw two complete-game shutouts last year vs. UCLA (four-hitter) and Hawaii-Hilo (two-hitter).

SATURDAY -- Clay Johnson, Soph. RHP: Started in the No. 2 spot last weekend and performed well in a win over Northwestern ... didn't get the decision as the Huskies surrendered their lead before winning it late ... allowed five hits (four singles, one triple) over five innings while walking one and fanning five ... retired the first eight batters in order and struck out four of the first six ... started 10 games as a freshman in 2001 ... wins vs. Southern Utah, UC Riverside, Southern California and Hawaii-Hilo.

SUNDAY -- Sean White, Jr. RHP: Started the third game of the year, combining with two others for a two-hit shutout of Northwestern in a 2-0 UW win ... no-hit the Wildcats through the first four and one-third before giving up a ground ball single through the right side ... finished having worked five innings, allowing one hit, no runs and two walks while striking out two for the win ... emerged as a top starter last year before shoulder problems limited his action through the second half of the season.

BULLPEN NOTES: Brian Carter (Soph. LHP) threw three no-hit innings in the combined two-hit shutout of Northwestern Feb. 16 ... allowed only two baserunners in that outing, both reaching on errors ... walked none and fanned two ... four groundouts and two infield popouts ... also picked off a runner ... Greg Colburn (Sr. RHP) appeared in the Feb. 15 win over Northwestern, allowing a run on four hits over one and one-third innings ... Zack Daniels (Sr. LHP) threw two innings in the season-opener vs. Missouri, allowing five runs (four earned) over two innings ... also threw in relief in Sunday's loss to Missouri and struck out two in a shutout inning in the exhibition victory over British Columbia ... Trevor Gibson (Soph. RHP) got two appearances in the opening weekend ... in the 8-7 win over Northwestern, threw a 1-2-3 inning before struggling with control in his second inning, allowing four runs on three walks and a hit batter ... Jeff Petersen (Soph. LHP) ... threw two and one-third innings in Sunday's loss to Missouri, allowing three runs while striking out three in two and one-third innings ... Scott Robertson (Jr. RHP) picked up a win and a loss in the opening weekend ... allowed a run in an inning of work opening day vs. Missouri ... got a popup and a strikeout with the go-ahead run at second base in the eighth inning Feb. 15 in the 8-7 win over Northwestern ... earned the victory as the UW went ahead in the bottom of the eighth ... suffered the loss in Sunday's 10-9 defeat at the hands of Missouri ... Tyler Shepple (Jr. RHP) earned two saves in three outings in the opening weekend ... pitched a 1-2-3 ninth in the opener, but didn't get a save in a 10-6 win ... pitched a perfect ninth with two Ks for the save in game two's 8-7 win over Northwestern ... gave up a bloop single, but faced the minimum in the ninth thanks to a double play for a save in the 2-0 win over Northwestern Feb. 16, combining with White and Carter on a two-hitter ... Randy Vanderplow (Sr. RHP) started game four last weekend, allowing three runs on seven hits over five innings ... left the game with the Huskies ahead, 7-3, and got no decision as Missouri came back to win.

RANDOM NOTES: Washington has yet to allow a stolen base in 2002 as opposing baserunners are 0-for-2 thusfar ... in the meantime, Husky baserunners are 7-for-7 in stolen base attempts ... the Huskies went the first three games before allowing a home run ... Husky hitters have hit eight homers in four games while the pitchers have allowed only two ... the only time in four games this season that the Huskies have trailed is at the conclusion of the Missouri game as the Tigers won it in the bottom of the ninth ... Fresno ties: the Huskies have had two players transfer to Fresno during the past decade or so ... Shawn Hannah, from Clovis, pitched two years at the UW and two at FSU ... SS Jim Fisher played a year at Washington and eventually ended up as a player and assistant coach at FSU.

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