OSU Signs Four In Baseball

Dec. 4, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State signed four baseball players to letters of intent during the fall signing period that concluded recently. Joining OSU's program in the fall of 2002 will be Henry Colbert, a righthanded pitcher from Sunnyside, Wash. (Sunnyside HS/Columbia Basin CC), Jacoby Ellsbury, an outfielder from Madras, Ore. (Madras HS), Cole Gillespie, a shortstop/righthanded pitcher from West Linn, Ore. (West Linn HS), and Travis Ishikawa, a first baseman/outfielder from Federal Way, Wash. (Federal Way HS).

'This is a group that will fill some of the needs we anticipate having after the 2002 season,' OSU head coach Pat Casey said. 'It's a strong class for us to start our 2001-02 recruiting.'

Colbert had a 10-1 record with a 1.01 earned run average last season, in 62 2/3 innings, he gave up just 34 hits and 15 walks while striking out 67. He was named the Most Valuable Player of the NWAACC Tournament and was a first-team selection for the All-Region and All-NWAACC squads.

'He's an experienced guy with a live fastball,' Casey said of Colbert, who was taken by the Houston Astros in the 28th round of last spring's draft. 'He has the ability to be a Friday starter in the Pac-10.'

Colbert, who may study education at Oregon State, was also recruited by Hawai'i, San Francisco and North Carolina State. One of Columbia Basin's assistant coaches is former OSU pitcher Jeremy Beard.

'I talked to a lot of players on my visit and they had a lot of good things to say about the staff,' Colbert said. 'Coach Beard had a lot of good things to say about the program and how they work. After my visit, I realized it was the place I wanted to go. It's a high-class program, they treated me well and I felt like they wanted me badly. After my visit, I realized I wanted to go there badly, too.'

Ellsbury batted .458 for Madras last season with two homers and did not commit an error in the outfield. He also had five doubles and four triples for a .780 slugging percentage and was 13-for-13 on stolen bases en route to being named first-team all-league and second team all-state.

'Jacoby has raw speed and he can really play the outfield,' Casey said. 'He really has the talent to play at this level and be a quality all-around player. He's a good athlete and he'll add some much-needed speed for us. He has the qualities to be a true leadoff hitter.'

Ellsbury, who may study business at OSU, also visited Arizona State, Hawai'i, Washington State, Gonzaga, Portland and Nevada before signing with OSU.

'It's a chance to play in the Pacific-10,' Ellsbury said. 'I chose OSU for its baseball program and the academic excellence at the school.'

Gillespie had a 6-1 record and 0.86 ERA for West Linn last spring, plus a .400 batting average. He was first-team all-league and honorable mention all-state at shortstop, and was second-team all-league as a pitcher.

'He's got the ability to play both,' Casey said of the switch-hitting Gillespie, who has played on a number of traveling teams. 'He's a ballplayer. He's a guy who will continue to get better. He's an all-league football player who had chances to play football in college, he's a good athlete.'

Gillespie is leaning toward studying business at OSU. He was also recruited by Portland.

'I liked the facility and the coaches,' Gillespie said of Oregon State. 'It's a very good program and it's in the Pac-10 - you can't beat that.'

Ishikawa batted .384 with seven homers and 18 RBIs last season for Federal Way. He also had five doubles, two triples and 15 stolen bases to help his team to a state title and earn all-league first team and all-area honors as a first baseman.

'He's a first baseman who also has the potential to play the outfield,' Casey said of Ishikawa. 'He's a very good athlete with the ability to come in here and play as a freshman. He runs very well for a power guy and he's very good defensively. We think he can be an impact guy in the Pac-10.'

Ishikawa, who may study mathematics at OSU, also drew interest from Washington, Washington State, Portland and Hawai'i before choosing Oregon State.

'What really convinced me was last summer when I visited the campus,' Ishikawa said. 'It was beautiful, it was quiet - and there are no pro teams there, it's the center of attention.'


Henry Colbert, RHP, Sunnyside, Wash. (Sunnyside HS/Columbia Basin CC)

Jacoby Ellsbury, OF, Madras, Ore. (Madras HS)

Cole Gillespie, SS/RHP, West Linn, Ore. (West Linn HS)

Travis Ishikawa, IB/OF, Federal Way, Wash. (Federal Way HS)

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