UW Baseball Opens 2021 Season at UC Irvine
The Washington baseball team opens the much-anticipated 2021 season on the road Saturday against the UC Irvine Anteaters. It will mark the 121st season in the history of UW baseball and 12th season for head coach Lindsay Meggs.
The Huskies were originally scheduled to travel to Houston to take on Houston Baptist, Rice and Little Rock this weekend. Due to the ongoing inclement weather in Texas, that trip was canceled and UW found a quick replacement in UC Irvine.
2021 will mark the third straight season in which the two teams play a three-game set. In 2019, the Anteaters took two-of-three in Irvine, with the Huskies returning the favor in Seattle in 2020. Will Simpson drove in 6 runs in the rubber game, a 12-2 victory.
UW will start sophomore Tyson Guerrero in the opener on Saturday. Guerrero struck out 20 batters in 10 innings pitched at Lower Columbia CC in a shortened 2020 season. He also pitched in 19 games for Washington State in 2019, striking out 35 batters in 34.2 innings of work to go along with a 3.63 ERA.
Junior Logan Gerling will take the mound on Sunday for the Huskies. He started four games in 2020, tied for most on the team. In 17.2 innings, he struck out 14 batters and finished with a 3.06 ERA.
UW will close out the series with junior Jack Enger on Monday afternoon. Enger held opponents to a .141 AVG in 2020 and surrendered just one extra-base hit in 24 innings pitched. He finished the season at 2-1 with a 1.88 ERA and 0.83 WHIP.
|Date||Washington Starter||UC Irvine Starter|
|1/20||LHP Tyson Guerrero||RHP Trenton Denholm|
|1/21||RHP Logan Gerling||RHP Peter Van Loon|
|1/22||RHP Jack Enger||LHP Nick Pinto|
The Huskies return the majority of their offensive production from last season and have added young talent as well. Noah Hsue is back after leading UW with a .375 AVG, as are Michael Petrie and Will Simpson, who led the team with 7 RBI each. True freshmen Michael Brown and Cole Fontenelle are both formidable offensive options that can also play the corner infield positions. Braiden Ward is looking to extend his record of leading the Pac-12 in stolen bases for the fourth straight season. In 2020, he became the first to do it in three straight seasons.
Other returning contributors for UW include outfielders Christian Jones, Kaiser Weiss, Preston Viltz and Christian Dicochea. Jones and Weiss were both key contributors on the 2018 College World Series team and bring a wealth of experience and production to the outfield.
Husky relievers combined for a 4-0 record, 2.15 ERA and held batters to a .189 average over 62.2 innings in 2020. Notable returners to the bullpen are juniors Gabe Smith (8 app/0.71 ERA), Dylan Lamb (7 app/1.38 ERA) and Davis Delorefice (6 app/1.50 ERA).
The additions of Division-I transfers Adam Bloebaum and Stu Flesland III as well as true freshman Case Matter will bolster an already-strong unit.