Diamond Dawgs Return To Road This Weekend

March 14, 2005

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THIS WEEK: The Washington baseball team (11-7), riding a seven-game winning streak after seven straight home games, returns to action after taking eight days off for winter quarter final exams. The Dawgs return to the road for the first of two straight weekends. This Friday through Sunday, Washington will face Cal Poly (14-9) in a three-game series in San Luis Obispo, Calif. Cal Poly's radio broadcasts will all air live over the internet. You can find a link on the front page of gohuskies.com. After this weekend's games, the UW will open the Pac-10 schedule on the road at Arizona March 24-26. Here's this weekend's schedule, with the Huskies' probable starting pitchers:

Fri., March 18: UW at Cal Poly, 6:00 p.m. - RHP Tim Lincecum (3-2, 3.23)
Sat., March 19: UW at Cal Poly, 1:00 p.m. - RHP Kyle Parker (4-2, 4.21)
Sun., March 20: UW at Cal Poly, 11:00 a.m. - RHP Matt Kasser (1-2, 3.76)

SERIES HISTORY: The only three meetings between Washington and Cal Poly came in the Huskies' opening weekend of the 1995 season in a three-game series in San Luis Obispo. The Mustangs won two of three that weekend. In the first, the Huskies took an 8-1 lead before allowing seven runs in the seventh and one in the eighth to lose, 9-8. The following day, Cal Poly made another big comeback. After trailing 6-3, the Mustangs scored six in the eighth and went on to win the game, 9-6. The Huskies came up with a win in game three, holding off yet another comeback bid to win, 11-9. The Huskies scored four int he first and three in the second and had a 10-2 lead going into the seventh. Cal Poly scored three in the seventh and four in the eighth, but couldn't make up enough ground to sweep the series.

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 439-280-2 (.610). 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 217-90-2 (.696) 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.

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.          .265-1-8  Has started 14 of 17 at C; hit .409 over last seven games     Joey Dunn, Fr.          .273-0-1  Has started three games at C; 3-for-11 at the plate so far1B - Kyle Larsen, Sr.       .279-3-14  Now tied for sixth in UW history with 27 career homers2B - Mike Rundle, Sr.        .195-1-4  Went 6-for-14 (.409) over his last seven (four starts)     Andy Lentz, Fr.         .111-0-0  Has started six games at second base, two in left fieldSS - Brent Lillibridge, Jr. .328-5-21  11-game hit streak: 17-for-38 (.447), 17 runs, 16 RBI, 5 HRs3B - Nick Batkoski, Sr.     .381-2-12  Started 17 of 18 at 3B; 6 hits, 6 RBI in three games last weekOF - Zach Clem, Jr.         .362-4-12  During homestand: 14-for-28, 12 runs, 12 RBI, 4 HRsOF - Taylor Johnson, Sr.    .387-5-15  During homestand: 13-for-25 (.520), 8 walks, 11 runs, 10 RBIOF - Nick Burnham, Jr.       .184-0-5  Has started 15 of 18 games; 4-4 stealing basesOF - Cory Rickard, Jr.       .143-1-1  Four starts in left and center field; first career HR Mar. 6OF - Matt Stevens, So.       .263-1-2  First homer Mar. 6; two starts in LF, one each at 3B, DHDH - Curt Rindal, So.        .296-1-8  Has started 16 of 18 at DH; all-tournament at Texas A&M

BROADCASTS ON THE WEB: Live audio of all of Washington's games this year will be available either over the radio, on the internet or both. For information on how to listen to the games, go to gohuskies.com, and click on the audio/video link. Due to a conflict, there will be no UW-originated audio for this weekend's series at Cal Poly. Fans can, however, listen to the Cal Poly radio broadcast over the internet via a link from gohuskies.com Additionally, 20 regular season games will air live on KKNW 1150-AM. Those broadcasts will also be available via the internet. The first radio broadcasts are the series at Arizona March 24-26. Go to gohuskies.com for the complete over-the-air radio schedule.

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.

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).

HOME, SWEET HOME: After opening the 2005 season with 11 straight games away from home, the Huskies' return to the new FieldTurf surface at Husky Ballpark was evidently very comforting. The Huskies won all seven games of the first homestand of the season, beating St. Martin's 10-1, sweeping a three-game series from UC Santa Barbara (6-1, 6-5, 17-4), beating Portland 8-1 and closing with two wins over Pacific, 15-2 and 19-12. In those seven games, the Huskies batted .377 with 19 doubles and 23 home runs. By contrast, the Dawgs allowed opponents to hit only .211 with three doubles and 12 homers. The UW pitching staff compiled a 3.43 team earned run average over the seven games while opponents pitched at an 11.75 rate. Finally, the UW made only two errors in seven games on the new surface, good for a .992 fielding percentage. Individually, the Huskies were led by right fielder Taylor Johnson, who hit .520 (13-for-25) over the seven games while shortstop Brent Lillibridge was 12-for-27 (.444) with four homers and 11 RBI and left fielder Zach Clem went 14-for-28 (.500) with four home runs and 12 runs batted in.

POSITION PLAYER NOTES (in alphabetical order):
Ryan Anderson, Freshman IF:
Notched first career hit (a single) in Mar. 6 win over UCSB ... has played in two games ... walked and scored in Mar. 9 win over Pacific ... 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 ... over last four games, has gone 9-for-15 (.600) with seven RBI ... hit two homers in win over Portland Mar. 8 ... hit .500 (6-for-12) in the series at UC Irvine, scoring three of the UW's six runs on the weekend ... 5-for-14 in Santa Clara series ... named the Pac-10's top defensive third baseman by Baseball America.

Michael Burgher, Freshman OF: Has played in six games total, going 1-for-3 ... singled in two ABs vs. UC Santa Barbara Mar. 6 and had a sac fly Mar. 9 vs. Pacific ... drafted by the Dodgers in the 36th round of the 2004 draft.

Nick Burnham, Junior OF: Entered the year as the starting center fielder after a strong fall and spring practice season ... has started 15 of 18 in CF ... 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 ... four steals in four tries ... started on opening day last year, but made only two more starts during the season ... played in 24 games in 2004.

Zach Clem, Junior OF: Has been red hot lately and is currently on a seven-game hit streak ... over those seven, has gone 14-for-28 (.500) with four doubles, four homers and 12 RBI ... 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 ... homered in back-to-back games Mar. 2 and Mar. 4, and hit two homers vs. Pacific on Mar. 10 when he was 4-for-6 with three RBI, a double and two homers ... 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 and also Mar. 9 vs. Pacific ... singled Mar. 6 vs. UC Santa Barbara ... 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 ... got first plate appearance off bench vs. Pacific Mar. 9, when he walked and scored ... first-team all-state pitcher and second-team infielder at Kentwood High.

Nick Jiles, Soph. OF: Enters his second 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 ... 1-for-2 with an RBI Mar. 9 vs. Pacific ... two-time All-Big-9 pick at Davis High in Yakima ... twin brother, NaCoubi, plays baseball at Yakima Valley CC.

Taylor Johnson, Senior OF: Started all 18 so far ... has hit safely in last seven straight (13-for-25, .520, 11 runs, 10 RBI) ... 4-for-12 with two homers, 5 RBI in three games last week ... named Pac-10 Player of the Week when he went 8-for-9 with five walks in three games vs. UC Santa Barbara ... reached base his first 12 plate appearances vs. UCSB ... leads team in batting (.387), hits (24), homers (5), walks (15) and on-base pct. (.506) ... 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 Feb. 28 at Santa Clara ... hit 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 six of seven during homestand, going 9-for-22 (.409) at hte plate ... 3-for-4 with homer, 3 RBI Mar. 10 vs. Pacific ... started two of three at UC Irvine and all three at Santa Clara ... 3-for-11 at Santa Clara ... has thrown out 3-of-12 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 1,665 career chances ... 2-for-5 with a homer and three RBI Mar. 10 vs. Pacific ... big day March 6 vs. UCSB, when he went 3-for-5 with two homers (including a grand slam) and six RBI ... ranks sixth in UW history in hits (220), sixth in RBI (147) and sixth in home runs (27) ... 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 ... 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 ... also started at 2B vs. St. Martin's and twice in three games vs. UC Santa Barbara ... 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 ... has started all 18 at SS and has yet to make an error ... during homestand, went 12-for-27 (.444) with 15 runs, 11 RBI and four homers ... hit four homers in three games last week, cinlugin a grand slam Mar. 9 vs. Pacific and two homers Mar. 10 vs. the Tigers ... currently on 11-game hitting streak (17-for-38, .447, 17 runs, 16 RBI) ... 5-for-5 in March 6 win over UC Santa Barbara ... 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 ... currently fourth in UW history with 29 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: Went 2-for-2 with a two-run homer off bench Mar. 9 vs. Pacific ... first career hit was an RBI single vs. St. Martin's Mar. 2 when he pinch hit for his brother ... backs up Brent at shortstop.

D.J. Neyens, Junior C: Had first AB in loss at Texas A&M Feb. 25 ... first UW hit was a single vs. St. Martin's March 2 ... hit a solo home run in Mar. 9 win over Pacific and then had a single the following day ... played last two seasons at nearby Edmonds CC, helping Tritons to the NWAACC title his freshman year.

Cory Rickard, Junior OF: Started the season opener in LF (0-for-4) ... didn't play last week after a minor injury suffered in practice ... will be ready to go again this weekend ... started Feb. 20 at Santa Clara ...1-for-2 in start Feb. 28 vs. San Diego ... started one vs. UCSB and hit first homer March 6 ... transfer from Spokane Falls CC.

Curt Rindal, Soph. 1B/DH: Has started 16 of 18 at DH ... hit safely in all three last week (3-for-10) ... hit first career homer Mar. 9 vs. Pacific ... at UC Irvine, went 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 2B ... has now also started last four ... 2-for-6 in two games vs. Pacific last week ... after missing five straight starts, got back in the order March 6 vs. UCSB and went 3-for-4 with a double and a homer ... 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: Has played in four games and had three ABs ... singled and scored in Mar. 9 Pacific game ... 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 ... started at DH March 6 and hit first career home run ... went 2-for-3 as starter at 3B March 5 vs. UCSB ... 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.

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 ... beat Pacific for third straight win Mar. 9: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 14 SO ... struck out 10 over the first three innings of that game, including four Ks in the third inning ... 14 strikeouts was season high and one short of career best ... picked up second straight win Mar. 4 vs. UCSB, allowing no runs on only one hit over 6.0 innings ... struck out 11 vs. UCSB and took no-hitter into sixth inning ... 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 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 ... 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. - Kyle Parker, Sophomore RHP: Got a win in relief Mar. 10 vs. Pacific as UW won in a slugfest, 19-12 ... allowed three runs on three htis over 3.2 innings in that one ... won two straight starts, beating St. Martin's Mar. 2 and UCSB Mar. 6 ... vs. St. Martin's, threw four perfect innings for a win (pre-determined four-inning start) ... didn't allow a base runner and fanned five vs. St. Martin's ... got Mar. 6 win over UC Santa Barbara, allowing two runs on four hits over 6.0 innings ... 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 ... last year's .224 opponent batting average ranked third in the Pac-10 in 2004 ... 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.

Sun. - Matt Kasser, Junior RHP: Threw seven solid innings for no decision Mar. 5 vs. UCSB (7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K) ... left UCSB game with 5-2 lead ... no decision in latest start, Mar. 10 vs. Pacific: 2.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 1 K ... 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 ... won the National Baseball Congress World Series title with the Aloha (Ore.) Knights, winning his start in the tournament.

BULLPEN NOTES: Josh Conover (Jr. RHP) fanned two in a scoreless inning to close out Mar. 10 win over Pacific ... didn't allow a run in first 5.0 innings over first five outings in 2005 ... eigth appearances leads team ... 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 ... after switching to sidearm last year, threw 10 innings, allowing three runs on six hits with eight Ks ... David Dowling (Sr. LHP) allowed a run on four hits over six innings in a winning start Mar. 8 vs. Portland ... threw complete-game three-hitter to beat San Diego on Feb. 28, making all tournament at Texas A&M tourney ... got a save Mar. 4 vs. UCSB with three innings (2 hits, 1 run) ... 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 ... 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 ... Keaton Everitt (Jr. RHP) struck out two in a perfect inning of relief Mar. 9 vs. Pacific ... got no decision in first 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 ... only managed a third of an inning in Mar. 5 win over UCSB, allowing a run on three hits ... started 10 games and appeared in relief once last year ... Nick Hagadone (Fr. LHP) got first action in Mar. 2 win over St. Martin's ... gave up a leadoff homer, but then finished the rest of the inning hitless ... drafted by the Mariners in the 36th round of the 2004 draft ... Matt Hague (Fr. RHP) got two big outs with the bases loaded and one out in the Mar. 5 win over UCSB ... 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) ... 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 ... got lone inning thusfar in Feb. 25 loss at Texas A&M, allowing a single but facing the minimum ... walked in the tying run in the ninth Mar. 5 vs. UCSB, but scored the winning run in the bottom of that inning ... had never previously appeared on the mound ... Richie Lentz (So. RHP) saw lone action thusfar 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 ... best fastball in the Pac-10, according to Baseball America ... had an outstanding summer for the Newport (R.I.) Gulls ... 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 ... Brandon McKerney (Fr. RHP) has pitched in six games, allowing six hits and two runs over 4.2 innings ... struck out two in an inning Mar. 9 vs. Pacific ... got a win Mar. 5 vs. UCSB, getting final out of the top of the ninth before UW won in the bottom ... Jordan Ponzoha (Soph. RHP) threw three shutout innings of relief in Mar. 2 win over St. Martin's, repeated that feat vs. Portland Mar. 8 for second save ... 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 ... worked four innings in relief at UC Irvine on Feb. 12, allowing only one run on four hits.

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