Cougar Baseball Signs 12 Recruits, 11 From Washington

The Washington State Cougars signed 12 baseball recruits this week, with 11 hailing from Washington high schools, according to Tim Mooney, the Cougar head coach.

'We are very excited about this group of kids,' Mooney commented. 'They are a big class and have a lot of talent. We are looking forward to seeing what these kids will add to the program.'

The 2004-05 recruiting class averages 6-3 and 203 pounds, according to assistant coach Don Marbut.

'This class is big physically and they are strong and do very well in the classroom,' Marbut said. 'We tried to recruit kids who were not just talented, but also good students with good character. All of these players are good students and we feel if they work hard in the classroom, they will also work hard on the field.'

Marbut said more than half of the recruits have GPAs above 3.7 and all are above 3.0.

'We feel there is a ton of talent in Washington high school baseball and we wanted to build on that,' Mooney added.

WSU's newest recruiting class includes four pitchers, two catchers, two outfielders and four infield or utility players. Two of the signees are from Junatia High in Kirkland, pitcher Bradley Clapp and infielder Jim Murphy, who can play at third or first base. Two players hail from Woodville, pitcher Duke Welker and catcher Nick Hall, who also plays first base.

The list includes eight Washington players from the western portion of the state and three others from East of the Cascade Mountains.

2005 Baseball Recruit Bios

Bradley Clapp RHP 6-4 225 05-19-86 17 Fr. Kirkland, Wash (Junatia/Gary Groenen)
Byron Cragg RHP 6-5 220 05-07-84 19 So Reno, Nevada (Galena/Gary MacNamira)(Treasure Valley CC/Russ Wright)
Nick Hall C/1B 6-2 180 03-18-85 18 Fr. Woodinville, Wash. (Woodinville/Terry Agnew)
Brandon Hill Util 6-5 195 01-19-86 17 Fr. Moses Lake, Wash. (Moses Lake/Ryan Kies)
Garrett Kimbrel OF 6-0 175 03-06-86 17 Fr. Renton, Wash. (Liberty/Glenn Walker)
Steve Kost LHP 6-4 185 11-07-85 18 Fr. Bellevue, Wash. (Bellevue/Dan Desmond)
Jim Murphy 3B/1B 6-4 240 09-16-85 18 Fr. Kirkland, Wash. (Juanita/Gary Groenen)
Trent Smith C 6-3 215 02-26-86 17 Fr. Enumclaw, Wash. (Enumclaw/Dan Hennessy)
Scott Suttmeier Util 6-1 180 08-21-85 18 Fr. Issaquah, Wash. (Issaquah/Rob Reese)
Matt Thomas Inf 6-1 185 05-30-85 18 Fr. Walla Walla, Wash. (Walla Walla/Bill Plucker)
Brandon Verley OF 6-2 210 06-25-85 18 Fr. White Salmon, Wash. (Columbia/Larary McCutcheon)
Duke Welker RHP 6-5 195 02-20-86 17 Fr. Woodinville, Wash. (Woodinville/Terry Agnew)

BRADLEY CLAPP6-4/225Kirkland, Wash.Juanita High  '04


Attended Juanita High, playing football, basketball and baseball...two varsity letters for baseball coach Gary Groenen...JUNIOR right-handed pitcher year received honorable mention All-Kingco 4A League honors in both football and team captain.


Bradley Roger Christopher Clapp...born 5-19-86 at Seattle...parents Michael and Sally older sister Courtney, who played basketball at Santa Rosa JC...Rotary Club student of the month honoree...interested in a degree in business or sports management.

CLAPP'S COMMENTS: 'I chose WSU because the program they are building is going to be one of the top programs in the nation and I wanted to be a part of that.'

BYRON CRAGG6-5/220Reno, Nev.Galena High '02


Prepped at Galena High, earning two varsity letters for head coach Gary MacNamira as a right-handed pitcher and third baseman...JUNIOR season team won zone championship and was second in the State...All-Northern Nevada League second team...SENIOR year earned first team All-State honors as a pitcher, finishing 10-1 with a 1.20 ERA...invited to play for Northern California at the Baseball America World Series in Florida.MLB Draft: Selected by Philadelphia.


FRESHMAN (2002-03): Played for head coach Russ Wright...was a closer with one win, a 0.00 ERA and six saves...closed out the team's win over Sacramento City in the final of the super regional...made the selection list for the junior Olympic team.

SOPHOMORE (2003-04): Attended Treasure Valley CC in the fall...selected to play in California Junior College Sophomore all-star game, but declined opportunity.


Byron Keith Cragg...born 5-07-84 at Jerome, Idaho...parents Rod and Billie older sister Connie...enjoys hunting and fishing.

CRAGG'S COMMENTS: 'WSU has a lot to offer, and I liked the coaching staff a lot. I like the conference (Pac-10); it has good competition and I like the exposure it will provide.'

NICK HALL6-2/180Woodinville, Wash.Woodinville High '04


Prepared at Woodinville High, earning three varsity letters in baseball for head coach Terry Agnew...catcher and first baseman...SOPHOMORE year earned All-Kingco 4A League honorable mention honors at first won league title and then went on to capture State championship with 24-2 record...JUNIOR season all-league first team and All-Eastside first team at first base...led Woodinville to league title and into the State finished 19-4...led league with 12 doubles and hit three home runs.


Nicholas Carl Hall...born 3-18-85 at Kirkland, Wash...parents Douglas and Carol Hall, both teachers...father attended WSU ('73)...only child...enjoys electronics...member of honor society all three years in high school...prep GPA in Future Business Leaders club and volunteer for the Puget Sound Blood Center...interested in a business major at WSU.

HALL'S COMMENTS: 'I really liked the campus and the atmosphere as well. I'm looking forward to being a Coug.'

BRANDON HILL6-5/195Moses Lake, Wash.Moses Lake High '04


Attended Moses Lake High, where he played first base and pitched for head coach Ryan Kies...also a varsity letterwinner in basketball, playing post...SOPHOMORE year finished with a 2.00 ERA...gave up just one hit and no runs in his first 11 innings as a varsity pitcher...played summer ball for the Columbia Basin River a JUNIOR led team into the State the first game of the playoffs hit two doubles and his second home run won the the summer hit 10 home runs for the Columbia Basin club.


Brandon Verl Hill...born 1-19-86 at Moses Lake, Wash...parents William and Carol Hill...three older brothers Eric, Jeremy and older sister Stephanie...Eric attended WSU ('02)...enjoys water sports like wakeboarding...has attended Big Bend CC in their summer start program...interested in a business major at WSU.

HILL'S COMMENTS: 'The coaches at WSU were always really great. The Cougars have a really good program that I'm excited to be a part of. The academic programs are also really good and that played a big part in my decision.'

GARRETT KIMBREL6-0/175Renton, Wash.Liberty High '04


Earned three varsity letters for head coach Glenn Walker while attending Liberty High...pitcher and outfielder...also lettered in football as a receiver, kicker and defensive back...SOPHOMORE year earned All-Kingco 3A League honorable mention a JUNIOR named to the league first team, the All-Eastside first team and to the All-State second team...Seattle PI All-State honorable captain and team MVP winner while leading the Patriots to the State championship...led the league in home runs and with a .432 batting average.


Garrett Joseph Kimbrel...born 3-6-86 at Redmond, Wash...parents Tim and Sara older brother Zack...enjoys fishing, hunting and snowboarding...member of DECA while in high school...interested in a communications major at WSU.

KIMBREL'S COMMENTS: 'I felt very comfortable on my trip. The guys were cool and the coaches are awesome as well as the facilities. The recruiting class that I'm in is awesome and I've played against and with a lot of them, so that played a part in my decision to come here.'

STEVE KOST6-4/185Bellevue, Wash.Bellevue High '04


Coached by Dan Desmond at Bellevue High, where he will earn four varsity letters in baseball as a left-handed pitcher and first baseman...also earned varsity letters in basketball for the a FRESHMAN in his first varsity game threw a shutout...posted a 2.42 ERA and struck out 26 in 26 innings...during SOPHOMORE season finished with a 5-2 record and a 2.19 ERA...struck out 34 in 35 innings...he pitched Bellevue to a win over defending State champion Newport in the first round of the playoffs...JUNIOR year posted a 7-2 record and a 1.94 ERA with 58 strikeouts in 57 won academic State championship...named honorable mention All-Kingco 3A for the third straight year...played with the Honda Senior Legion team, finished with a 6-7 record and a 1.55 ERA...played in the Pacific NW Baseball championships in both 2002 and 2003...a member of the Seattle Mariner Fall Scout Team.


Steven Joseph Kost...born 11-7-85...parents Glenn and Susan Kost...only child...freshman class president...has a 3.93 prep GPA...interested in business major at WSU.

KOST'S COMMENTS: 'It's the first visit I went on and I really like the campus. I'd already met the coaches and I liked them a lot. The opportunity to come in and make an impact right away played a big role in my decision making process. I really liked the other recruits that are in my recruiting class.'

JIM MURPHY6-4/240Kirkland, Wash.Juanita High '04


Coached by Gary Groenen, earning three varsity baseball letters for the Juanita Rebels...pitched and played third and first...also lettered in basketball...SOPHOMORE year received honorable mention recognition in the Kingco 4A league as a first was a JUNIOR team reached the second round of the playoffs and finished 14-8...posted a 1.63 ERA with a 4-1 record and two saves...all-league honorable mention first baseman.


James Patrick Murphy...born 9-16-85 at Oakland, Calif...parents James and Jackie younger brother John...father played football at Notre Dame...enjoys wakeboarding, snowboarding and golf...received scholar-athlete award for basketball junior year for having the top GPA on the team...interested in a business major.

TRENT SMITH6-3/215Enumclaw, Wash.Enumclaw High '04


Has earned two varsity baseball letters at Enumclaw High for head coach Dan Hennessy...SOPHOMORE year earned All-South Puget sound league first team honors...JUNIOR year a second team pick on the league and all-area finished fifth in the State...played in the Area Code All-Star game and a member of the Seattle Mariner Fall Scout Team...played in the Pacific Northwest championship series...played for Taylor Baseball club in the Connie Mack league...SENIOR year again a member of Seattle Mariner Fall Scout Team and played in the Pacific Northwest championship series.


Trent Philip Smith...born 2-26-86 at Renton, Wash...parents Marty and Kim older brother Ryan...father played baseball at Tacoma CC...enjoys bowling and fishing...member of Future Business Leaders of America...prep GPA 3.27...interested in a sports management major at WSU.

SMITH'S COMMENTS: 'I chose Washington State because the program seemed like a program that's coming back on the rise. The coaches and my recruiting class will enable us to improve over the next couple years and in the future, hopefully win a Pac-10 title.'

SCOTT SUTTMEIER6-1/180Issaquah, Wash.Issaquah High '04


Prepped at Issaquah High...will earn four varsity letters in baseball for head coach rob Reese, and three in football...plays shortstop, outfield and is a a FRESHMAN played left field for the varsity club that finished ninth in the State...also a member of the Indians' freshman football team...SOPHOMORE year played shortstop and hit .453 while driving in 16 runs and scoring 33...had one save and threw five scoreless finished fifth in the State with a 16-8 record...wide receiver for the district champion football team...during JUNIOR year hit .349 with a .442 on-base doubles...second-team All-Kingco 3A League finished third in the State with a 20-6 team won league title and finished 8-1...SENIOR year football team is currently 10-0 and the top-ranked team in the State...has 10 receptions, two touchdowns and has kicked 43 extra points and four field goals.


Scott Suttmeier...born 8-21-85 at Seattle...parents Bill and Joanne younger sister Jenna...father rowed at Dartmouth College and mother played field hockey at Holy Cross...member of high school honor society with a 3.79 prep GPA.

SUTTMEIER'S COMMENTS: 'The baseball program is running in the right direction and the coaching staff is good. The campus seemed like a good fit for me.'

MATT THOMAS6-1/185Walla Walla, Wash.Walla Walla High '04


Attended Walla Walla High, earning three varsity letters at shortstop for head coach Bill Plucker...also a varsity letterwinner in basketball...SOPHOMORE year started every game at shortstop, hitting .300 with six doubles...second on the team with 13 finished third in the district playoffs...JUNIOR year hit .380 with two home runs...selected All-Big 9 second team shortstop and team's defensive player of the year...two-year player for Baseball Northwest.


Matthew D. Thomas...born 5-30-85 at Walla Walla, Wash...parents Jeff and Sandy older brother Michael and one older sister attended WSU ('98)...father played golf for the Idaho Vandals and played golf professionally...enjoys golfing, snowboarding and playing video games...a member of the National Honor Society with a prep GPA of 3.7...interested in a business degree at WSU.

THOMAS' COMMENTS: 'I chose WSU because I felt it was a good fit for me. I really liked the facilities and the fact that it's close to home.'

BRANDON VERLEY6-2/210White Salmon, Wash.Columbia High '04


Prepped at Columbia High, earning four varsity baseball letters for coach Larry McCutcheon...starred as a pitcher, outfielder and first baseman for the Bruins...FRESHMAN year named to the all-league first team and was the team's MVP winner...SOPHOMORE season an All-State selection and league and team MVP finished fourth in the State playoffs...JUNIOR year team captain...a member of the Vancouver Mavericks and was team co-captain...also a member of the Baseball Northwest Scout Team and the Seattle Mariner Area Code Team.


Brandon Wayne Verley...born 6-25-85 at The Dalles, Ore...parents Des and Sherly Verley, who own Verley older brother Derek...father played baseball at Pacific University...cousin Jason Wiemer plays in the NHL for the New york played baseball at Lower Columbia aunt, Jewell Wiemer (Jason's mother), attended WSU...prep GPA 3.7...has won numerous academic awards in geometry, algebra and food nutrition...scholar-athlete honoree...Formal King Homecoming Prince...a member of Natural Helpers.

VERLEY'S COMMENTS: 'The atmosphere was great. I've liked WSU for a while and I've been looking at it for two years. The coaches and the players in my recruiting class, I really enjoyed and I feel like I can work/play well with them.'

DUKE WELKER6-5/195Woodinville, Wash.Woodinville High '04


Attended Woodinville High as a junior and senior after prepping at Sentinel High in Missoula, Mont., 2000-02...coached by Terry Agnew at Woodinville, earning two varsity letters...right-handed pitcher and outfielder...also varsity letters in basketball...JUNIOR (2002-03) year team won the Kingco 4A title with a 20-4 record...also captured the district championship...posted a 3-1 record with a 2.00 ERA...pitched and won the district title game over Redmond High...named to the Seattle Mariner Northwest Area Code team.


Matthew Scott Welker...born 2-10-86 at Kirkland, Wash...parents John and Jill Welker...two older brothers Brad and Kris...father and Brad played baseball at Gonzaga and Kris at Iowa...mother was a gymnast at Washington and Pacific University.

WELKER'S COMMENTS: 'I had a great time (on his recruiting trip), the community, the environment and the people in Pullman are great. It's a great environment.'
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