Baseball Fall Practice Season Opens

Sept. 15, 2003

The 2004 version of the University of Washington baseball team turned out for the fall'sfirst practice today. The 37 players reporting for the four-week fall practice season include25 returning players and 12 newcomers, all true freshmen.

Among the returning players are six returning position player starters: catcherAaron Hathaway, first baseman Kyle Larsen, second baseman Greg Isaacson, shortstopBrent Lillibridge (started in center field last year), third baseman John Otness and rightfielder Taylor Johnson. All but Lillibridge, who was a Freshman All-American last yearand started for the U.S. National Team over the summer, will be starting for the thirdseason.

While none of the Huskies' regular starting pitchers return, there are several veteranslooking to contend for spots in the rotation. As closer last year, junior righty Will Fentondidn't allow a single run in 32 and one-third innings of work. Senior right-handerTrevor Gibson made six starts last season, but saw his innings cut due to injury. Seniorlefty Trent Baysinger, who sported a 3.04 ERA as a reliever last year, could start, as couldjunior righty Josh Conover, who went 4-0 in five mid-week starts last season.

The starting rotation figures to include one or more freshmen as the Huskies' group ofincoming pitchers is among its best ever. Three first-team all-state pitchers from theWashington high school ranks join the UW in 2003 -- Richie Lentz, Tim Lincecum andKyle Parker.

Lentz, son of former Juanita High star Mike Lentz and brother of former Husky thirdbaseman Ryan Lentz, was considered by many to be among the top 50 high schoolprospects in the nation last year and was also an all-state pick as an outfielder atWoodinville High.

Lincecum won the Gatorade state player of the year award last season after going 12-1 witha 0.76 earned run average and 183 strikeouts in 91.1 innings last year. He led Liberty Highto the state 3A title.

Parker (Yakima/West Valley) and was also named to the 3A all-state first team.

Twelfth-year head coach Ken Knutson's Huskies open the 2004 season next February 13with a three-game series at the University of San Diego. With 389 career victories,Knutson enters the season needing 34 more to become the winningest coach in Huskyhistory. Bob MacDonald currently holds the school record with 422.

Here is a complete list of newcomers that began practice today:

No. Name           Pos. B/T   Ht.  Wt. Yr.  Hometown (High School)40  James Allan   1B/P  R/R  6-3  220  Fr.  Gresham, OR (Barlow) 5  Ben Campbell    OF  S/R  6-2  180  Fr.  Sammamish, WA (Eastlake)12  Nick Jiles      OF  L/L 5-11  185  Fr.  Yakima, WA (Davis) 3  Brett Kilborn   OF  R/R  6-0  187  Fr.  Seattle, WA (Ballard)41  Ty Kuehl      OF/C  S/R  6-1  175  Fr.  Tumwater, WA (Tumwater)24  Matt Lane        C  L/R  6-2  200  Fr.  Port Angeles, WA (Port Angeles) 7  Richie Lentz     P  R/R  6-2  210  Fr.  Woodinville, WA (Woodinville)14  Tim Lincecum     P  R/R 5-11  155  Fr.  Renton, WA (Liberty)18  Tyler Mach      IF  R/R  6-0  190  Fr.  Kent, WA (Kentlake) 8  Kyle Parker      P  R/R  6-3  195  Fr.  Yakima, WA (West Valley)33  Jordan Ponzoha   P  R/R  6-4  190  Fr.  Tumwater, WA (Tumwater)38  Tyson Sixkiller OF  R/R  6-0  180  Fr.  Seattle, WA (O'Dea)
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