NCAA Division I: 2019 Preview

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Gonzaga University – Spokane, WA

Head Coach Mark Machtolf (16th year)
Assistants Danny Evans, Brandon Harmon, Sean Winston
Affiliation NCAA Division I
Conference West Coast
2018 Record 33-24 overall, 16-11 (2nd in conference)
Top Returning Players Austin Pinorini, SR, C (.268 AVG, 51 H, 4 HR)
Carson Breshears, SR, 2B (41 H, 8 2B, .987 FLD%)
Ernie Yake, SO, 3B/SS, 2nd Team All-Conference, All-Conference Freshman Team (.322 avg, 76 H, 15 2B)
Isaac Barrera, SO, LF (.275 avg, 25 H, 3 2B, 91 at-bats)
Alek Jacob, SO, RHP, All-Conference Honorable Mention, All-Conference Freshman Team (2.88 ERA,     95 K, 103 IP)
Casey Legumina, JR, RHP, 1st Team All-Conference (2.77 ERA, 13 saves, 52 K, 48.2 IP)
Mac Lardner, JR, LHP, 2nd Team All-Conference (2.95 ERA, 100.2 IP, 73 K)
Justin Blatner, SR, LHP (31.1 IP, 28K)
Top New Players Josh Bristyan, JR, INF, Paradise Valley CC (2x NJCAA Gold Glove winner at SS)
Ryan Sullivan, JR, 1B, Western Iowa CC
Mason Wells, FR, LHP, Mead HS (WA)
Daniel Naughton, FR, RHP, Pendleton HS (OR)
Nick Iverson, JR, RHP, Central Arizona CC (15th Round draft pick in 2018 at juco)
Head Coach Commentary “We are very excited about the 2019 group. We have a couple key pieces on the mound and offensive production we need to replace from 2018 but feel good about who we have to fill those roles. Once again we expect to be good on the mound, and be able to play infield defense. Last year’s defense was 2nd in the nation in fielding % and the staff finished 9th nationally in ERA. We feel we have the potential to be a similar type club. Having been to a NCAA regional 2 of the last 3 years, we have numerous players who know what it takes to play into June. Like always we will rely on our leadership and toughness to have a successful season.”
What would you want a prospective student-athlete to know about your program? “We feel like we offer the best of both worlds to a prospective athlete. We have a world class education that is recognized on a national level. Athletically we have been winning consistently with 3 straight WCC championships and 2 regional bids in the last 3 years. We’ve also moved 15 players to either get drafted or sign free agent deals during that 3 year run. Our administration is committed to athletics and winning, and we have beautiful facilities to show that. Our stadium was built in 2007. We pride ourselves on being a blue collar program, who hangs our hat on working hard and bringing a consistent toughness every day.”
BBNW Analysis Coach Machtolf enters his 16th year as head coach with 450 career wins and is now the dean of Northwest D1 head coaches. He has been at Gonzaga for 28 years! The Spokane native spent 13 years as an assistant coach before getting the head job. Mark has the Zags coming off a 3rd NCAA regional bid, including two in last three years. His son Jack is a red shirt sophomore infielder. Associate head coach and recruiting coordinator Danny Evans begins his 16th year as a Zag after being a player and assistant coach. Gonzaga will be looking to defend three straight WCC championships in 2019 with continued strong pitching and defense which has become their trademark. The inner defense returns with infielders Yake, Breshears, and catcher Pinorini; they should lead the offense also.  The potential starting rotation could be the best in the league with Jacob (2.88, 7 wins, 15 starts), Lardner (2.99, 7 wins, 16 starts) and Legumina taking his professional prospect stuff from the bullpen to the rotation. Gonzaga knows how to pitch, finishing 9th in the country in team ERA in 2018.  The Zags roster includes 24 players from Washington, and 2 each from Oregon, Idaho, and Montana. The roster also includes 8 Class of 2018 Top Prospects from their respective states, previously ranked on Baseball Northwest’s Top Prospects Lists.

The Zags will be road warriors with 15 away games to begin the 2019 season. They begin in Surprise, AZ and end in Salt Lake City, UT with stops in southern California, Mississippi, and Texas. The home opener will be the WCC start at Patterson Baseball Complex and Coach Steve Hertz Field against BYU. The conference rival series will be at Portland on April 12-14. Mid-week games vs. Pac-12 northwest neighbors Oregon, Oregon State, Washington, and Washington State are a nice complement to the non-conference schedule. Go Zags!

Class of 2018 Top Prospects on roster,
ranked previously by Baseball Northwest
Washington: #11 Tyler Chipman, #19 Alex Shanks, #23 Daniel Copeland, #32 Mason Wells, #34 Ben Larson, #41 Bryson Beltran

Oregon: #5 Daniel Naughton

Idaho: #6 Greyson Sterling

BBNW Alumni on the Roster  23

 osu beaver

Oregon State University – Corvallis, OR

Head Coach Pat Bailey (interim)
Assistants Nate Yeskie, Andy Jenkins, Ryan Gipson
Affiliation NCAA Division I
Conference PAC 12
2018 Record 55-12-1 overall, 20-9-1 (2nd in conference), NCAA Division I College World Series Champions
Top Returning Players Adley Rutschman, JR, C/INF, 1st Team All-Conference, College World Series MVP (.408, 83 RBI, 22 2B, 9 HR, 53 BB)
Tyler Malone, JR, INF/OF, College World Series All-Tournament (.278, 6 2B, 8 HR, 32 RBI)
Andy Armstrong, JR, INF (.262, 13 2B, 2 HR, 20 RBI)
Zak Taylor, SR, INF/C (.274, 7 2B, 2 HR, 22 RBI)
Preston Jones, JR, OF (.288, 6 2B, 12 RBI)
Joe Casey, R-SO, OF (.500, 2 2B, 2 RBI)
Bryce Fehmel, SR, RHP, 1st Team All-Conference (10-1, 3.19 ERA, 20 APP, 20 GS, 64 SO, .234 BAA)
Kevin Abel, SO, RHP, College World Series All-Tournament (8-1, 2.88 ERA, 23 APP, 7 GS, 108 SO, .181 BAA)
Jake Mulholland, JR, LHP, All-Conference Honorable Mention (2-2 W/L, 2.20 ERA, 16 SV, 31 APP, 42 SO, .194 BAA)
Brandon Eisert, JR, LHP (5-3 W/L, 2.53 ERA, 5 SV, 27 APP, 52 SO, .219 BAA)
Christian Chamberlain, SO, LHP (3-0 W/L, 3.54 ERA, 20 APP, 3 GS, 49 SO, .203 BAA)
Grant Gambrell, JR, RHP (5-1 W/L, 4.40 ERA, 14 APP, 12 GS, 57 SO, .251 BAA)
Dylan Pearce, SR, RHP (2-0 W/L, 3.49 ERA, 25 APP, 27 SO, .282 BAA)
Top New Players
Carter Booth, FR, OF, Henry M. Jackson HS (WA)
Jake Dukart, FR, INF, Lake Oswego HS (OR)
Greg Fuchs, FR, C/OF, Mercer Island HS (WA)
Matthew Gretler, FR, INF, Bonney Lake HS (WA)
Jake Harvey, FR, INF, Southridge HS (WA)
Alex McGarry, R-SO, 1B/OF, Tacoma CC
Wade Meckler, FR, INF, Esperanza HS (CA)
Joey Mundt, FR, RHP, Central Catholic HS (WA)
Jake Pfennigs, FR, RHP, Post Falls HS (ID)
Beau Philip, JR, INF, San Joaquin Delta College
Bret Soulages, FR, RHP, San Ramon Valley HS (CA)
Andrew Walling, FR, LHP/1B, R.A. Long HS (WA)
Head Coach Commentary “We are extremely excited about the upcoming 2019 season. Although we have lost a lot of key players from the 2018 National Championship team, we do return almost our entire pitching staff. We also have several players coming back who had an outstanding fall. Our pitching and our defense really stood out in fall baseball and we are working hard to improve the offensive side of our program.”
What would you want a prospective student-athlete to know about your program? “We want high character baseball players who are committed to excelling in the classroom first, and on the baseball field second. We want individuals who are great teammates and contributors to our team, Oregon State University, and Corvallis, Oregon.”
BBNW Analysis Coach Bailey receives the interim tag after Pat Casey’s retirement following the 2018 National Championship year. He is an 11-year assistant at OSU with the last 5 years as associate head coach. “Bails” has had a huge influence on the Beavers in that 11 years with 3 trips to Omaha and 9 post-season berths. The former George Fox University head coach is no stranger to success, with 8 times being voted Northwest Conference Coach of the Year, as well as winning a NCAA D3 national champion trophy in 2004. The continuity of the coaching staff is a key to the program with Nate Yeskie (10 years) and Andy Jenkins (6 years). Yeskie has multiple national Pitching Coach of the Year honors. Ryan Gipson, former Beaver player, joins the staff after very successful seasons restarting the Linn Benton CC program.

With 111 wins in two years, and a 3rd national championship in 2018, OSU is poised for another post-season run with a deep, experienced, and proven roster especially on the pitching side. Four pitchers with pre-season All-American accolades (Abel, Mulholland, Fehmel, Eisert) return—two from starting rotation and two from the bullpen. Their sole loss is staff ace Luke Heimlich who finished 3rd in conference ERA (12th in the country), 1st in strikeouts, and 1st in saves. OSU is coming off the best offensive season in school history by leading the PAC-12 in nearly every offensive category. Making up for losing 3 first round MLB draftees will be nearly impossible, but the Beavers were known for their depth offensively last season. The new offense will be built around Rutschman who won an array of awards last season, as well as many pre-season awards for 2019. His .408 average was 5th best nationally and his 83 RBIs were second best. His defense behind the plate is second to none in college baseball. He is also being touted as the potential No.1 pick in the major league draft in June. Malone and Taylor had many clutch hits in the championship run and are able to protect Rutschman in the middle of the order. Pat Casey’s son Joe showed big upside in limited at-bats last year. OSU has always been known for their defense (2nd in conference in 2018 and 12th in the nation) but will need to replace 3 spots up the middle—SS, 2B, CF. Jones and Armstrong made solid contributions last year and will likely win the centerfield and 2B positions. Phillip is the lead contender to win the SS job.  The OSU roster includes two of the #1 Top Prospects ranked by Baseball Northwest for the class of 2018, in Jacob Pfennigs of Idaho and Jake Dukart of Oregon, and 5 other top-35 Washington prospects.

The Beavs have begun their season in Surprise, Arizona the last few years and this year’s 8 game 11-day run should prepare them well again. The national championship defense begins February 15th against New Mexico, with Gonzaga, Minnesota, and Nebraska to follow. An early home schedule opening series vs. West Virginia on March 1st provides Beaver fans the first look at the 2019 team. Winning Pac-12 titles, regional and super regional games at home has created a special home atmosphere at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. The new stadium addition this year will be “Casey’s Corner” down the right field line. The Seattle Baseball Showcase at T-Mobile Park is a nice Northwest trip March 8-10. The schedule is also highlighted by three key road Pac-12 series vs pre-season conference contenders at UCLA, at Stanford, and at Washington. The Civil War non-conference portion is at home. A key home conference match will be vs. Arizona. Achievement is also happening in the classroom at OSU. The program is one of only three nationally, and the only PAC-12 program to win the ABCA Academic Award the last three years. Go Beavers!

Class of 2018 Top Prospects on roster,
ranked previously by Baseball Northwest
Washington: #4 Andrew Walling, #10 Jake Harvey, #12 Carter Booth, #20 Matthew Gretler, #31 Greg Fuchs

Oregon: #1 Jake Dukart

Idaho: #1 Jacob Pfennigs

BBNW Alumni on Roster  21

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Seattle University – Seattle, WA

Head Coach Donny Harrel (10th year)
Assistants Greg Goetz, Wes Long, Millard Dawson
Affiliation NCAA Division I
Conference WAC
2018 Record 34-23 overall, 13-11 (4th in conference)
Top Returning Players Austin Lively, JR, INF (.316 avg, 2 HR, 10 2B, 25 RBI, 8 SB)
Justin Mazzone, SO, INF (.339 avg, 3 HR, 5 2B, 19 RBI)
Chase Wells, JR, UTL (.293, 2 HR, 8 2B, 25 RBI)
Jake Prizina, SR, LHP (8-1 W/L, 3.82 ERA, 99 IP, 92 K, 17 BB, 1 save)
Tyler Yeh, JR, RHP (3 saves, 52 K, 12 appearances)
Top New Players Will Smith, SO, RHP, Edmonds CC
Ethan Christianson, FR, LHP, Rocky Mountain HS (ID)
Josh Thompson, FR, RHP, Highlands Ranch HS (CO)
Matt Boissoneault, FR, C, Mercer Island HS (WA)
Jason Harayda, FR, SS, Mountain Ridge HS (AZ)
Gavin Rork, FR, CF, Arlington HS (WA)
Alex Jemal, FR, RHP, Mission Viejo (CA)
Head Coach Commentary “The 2019 team will be younger overall with key returners in the middle of the field. Some excellent young talent that will add pitchability to the pitching staff and speed to the pressure offense.”
What would you want a prospective student-athlete to know about your program?
“Seattle U offers a true world class education, is one of the fastest growing division 1 baseball programs in the country in the last 10 years, and is located in Seattle which ranks in the top 10 places in the country.  Athletically, we have averaged 30 wins per year in the past five years, won the WAC Championship, Back to Back to Back Freshman All-Americans, and had 15 players sign professional contracts with MLB teams.  Academically, Seattle U is in the top 15% nationally and voted as one of the best colleges in the nation for 16 years running.  We have been top 10 on the west coast for 18 years running.  Seattle U athletes posted an impressive 3.3 GPA last year.”
BBNW Analysis Coach Harrell led the 2018 Redhawks to their second-best win total (34) since the restarting of the program in 2010. They were conference champions in 2016 with 37 wins. The former head coach at Lane Community College, and assistant at Oregon State and University of Washington has Seattle U ready for another conference championship run. A repeat of 4th in the conference in both hitting and pitching
last year would go a long way to that goal. Infielders Lively and Mazzone (8th in hitting, 2nd in conference on base percentage) return from .300+ average seasons last year; Wells returns as the top outfield offensive performer. The contribution of the middle infield of O’Brien and Prater could be key to this year’s success. Prinza should take over as the staff Friday starter; he was 10th in ERA and 3rd in
league innings pitched. Smith and Thompson are expected to earn the other weekend starts. Yeh is the best candidate for first out of the bullpen with 3 saves and 4 wins in 2018.The Riverhawks are scheduled for the first D1 game in the Northwest (Oregon also plays that day) on February 22nd at Bannerwood Park when they host Omaha University. Seattle will play 20 pre-conference games, including road series at UNLV (to begin the season), University of Pacific, and San Diego State and a home series vs. UT Arlington. Utah Valley is the opponent for the WAC home opener on March 22nd .
Class of 2018 Top Prospects on roster,
ranked previously by Baseball Northwest
Washington:#27 Matt Boissoneault, #28 Max Cuenca, #38 Travis Hagan

Idaho:#2 Ethan Christianson

BBNW Alumni on Roster  20

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University of Oregon – Eugene, OR

Head Coach George Horton (11th year)
Assistants Jay Uhlman, Jason Dietrich, Mitch Karraker
Affiliation NCAA Division I
Conference PAC 12
2018 Record 26-29 overall, 12-18 (T-8th in conference)
Top Returning Players Jakob Goldfarb, SR, RF, All-Conference Honorable Mention (.308 avg, 6 HR, 13 2B, 29 RBI, 14 SB)
Spencer Steer, JR, 3B, All-Conference Honorable Mention (.275 avg, 4 HR, 11 2B, 37 RBI, 4 SB)
Gabe Matthews, JR, 1B (.265 avg, 4 HR, 13 2B, 27 RBI, 3 SB)
Kenyon Yovan, JR, RHP, 1st Team All-Conference (6-4 W/L, 2.98 ERA, 84.2 IP, 98 K, 37 BB, 5 saves)
Ryne Nelson, JR, RHP (3-1 W/L, 3.86 ERA, 23.1 IP, 37 K, 4 saves)
Top New Players AJ Miller, FR, 1B/C, Casa Grande HS (CA)
Vinny Tosti, FR, OF, Mater Dei HS (CA)
Kyle Froemke, FR, INF, Round Ronk HS (TX)
Christian Ciuffetelli, FR, RHP, Servite HS (CA)
James Bell, FR, C/OF, Clovis North HS (CA)
Robby Ahlstrom, SO, LHP, Chemeketa CC
Sam Novitske, FR, INF, Foothill HS (CA)
Head Coach Commentary “This year’s group is a fantastic blend of talented and experienced returners combined with a Top 25 recruiting class. Our weekend rotation and veteran presence in the lineup are strengths. We have the look of a club that will get a real boost on the offensive side with significant gains in the weight room, increased athleticism, and speed. The unproven areas of the club right now are through the middle of the diamond and in the back end of the bullpen. We will solidify these areas this fall and into the winter. We are very encouraged by the direction the club is heading right now and are optimistic that we will be back in the postseason mix again this year.”
BBNW Analysis Coach Horton begins his second decade as the Ducks head coach with his sights set on getting Oregon to Omaha. This could very well be the year to do that with the talent, experience, and the upcoming recruiting class needed to break through. U of O is no stranger to the post-season with 5 berths since the program’s reinstatement  in 2009, including 4 of the last 7 years. “Coach” is no stranger to Omaha having won it all in 2004 leading Cal State Fullerton. He is also only one of 17 men who have appeared as a player and a coach in the College World Series. Horton has 836 wins in 21 seasons as a D1 head coach. Head assistant Jay Uhlman is in his 9th season as a Duck and 3rd as Associate Head Coach. Jason Deitrich joined the staff a year ago as pitching coach and recruiting coordinator coming from Cal State Fullerton where he was Collegiate Baseball’s National Pitching Coach of the Year.

Two highly regarded professional prospects in Yovan and Nelson could be the No.1 and No. 2 starters, while Somers could settle in as the 3rd starter, coming off a good freshman year with 11 starts. Yovan, a pre-season All-American, will lead this upside potential rotation that could produce a ton of strikeouts; Oregon was 2nd in the conference a year ago. Yovan and Somers are native Oregonians. Breault may head the bullpen with five others returning solid contributions. The offense could revolve around Goldfarb, Deluca, and Steer who return as the top home run and RBI team leaders from 2018. Depth offensively will need to come from Mathews and Yovan (as DH). Freshmen Novitske, Miller, and Kroemke may crack the opening day lineup.

Twenty-one pre-season ranked teams highlight the Oregon 2019 campaign with the Texas Tech Red Raiders being one of those for the February 15th season kick-off in Lubbock, TX. The Duck’s home opener against Saint Mary’s is the first D1 game in the Northwest (Seattle U plays that day too) on February 22nd. Loyola Marymount comes in the following weekend for a good early season look for Oregon fans. The conference Civil War Series is at PK Park on March 10-12.  The Ducks mix in a Hawaii trip in early March to prepare for the Huskies in the league start on March 15. Key home Pac-12 series’ include Washington, UCLA, and Stanford. The roster has 9 Oregon, 2 Washington, and 18 California natives. Go Ducks!

Class of 2018 Top Prospects on roster, ranked previously by Baseball Northwest
Oregon: #3 Aaron Zavala, #10 Heath Pickhardt
BBNW Alumni on Roster  10

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University of Portland – Portland, OR

Head Coach Geoff Loomis (4th year)
Assistants Jake Valentine, Connor Lambert, David Tufo
Affiliation NCAA Division I
Conference West Coast
2018 Record 23-30 overall, 12-15 in conference (7th in conference)
Top Returning Players Eli Morse, SO, RHP, All-Conference Freshman Team (3.62 ERA, 71 K)
Chad Stevens, SO, SS (.251 avg, 49 H)
Cody Hawken, SR, OF, 1st Team All-Conference (.316, 60 H, 10 HR, 36 RBI)
Connor Knutson, JR, RHP, All-Conference Honorable Mention (2.75 ERA, 8 saves, 36 IP, 41 K)
Matt Kelly, SR, 2B (.270 avg, 51 H)
Daniel Lopez, R-SR, INF (10 2B, 31 RBI)
Top New Players Trace Tammaro, FR, 1B, De La Salle HS (CA)
Brett Gillis, FR, INF/RHP, Cascade HS (WA)
Chris Clements, R-SR, RHP, UC Santa Barbara
Nate Packard, JR, RHP, Tacoma CC
Noah Cracknell, FR, C, San Louis Obispo HS (CA)

Morgan White, FR, RHP, Kamiak HS (WA)

Head Coach Commentary “The 2019 roster has got a good balance of experienced upperclassmen and a strong group of talented young players on the roster. Portland’s offense returns a large group of lettermen that helped produce one of the best offenses in the conference. The Pilots return the bulk of their rotation with their Friday, Saturday and closer all coming back. The four Pilots earning All-WCC honors in 2017 are the most for the program since 2013. Portland is coming off its most successful season since 2012, producing the most overall wins (23) and conference victories (12) since that year. We’ve got a challenging preseason schedule and the always tough West Coast Conference to navigate and we’re excited about the challenge ahead of us.”
What would you want a prospective student-athlete to know about your program?
“The University of Portland Pilots Baseball program is a program on the rise, garnering back to back nationally-ranked recruiting classes and moving 4 players onto pro ball in the last 3 years.”
BBNW Analysis Coach Loomis is in his 4th year with the Pilots and coming off the best year at the helm with strong expectations for 2019. The former UP player welcomes back 5 position players and 2 starting pitchers along with 16 new Pilots. Hawken led the team in home runs and RBIs; Lopez was second in RBIs. Stevens and Kelly should provide good support offensively and anchor the infield and defense. Morse made 13 starts a year ago with solid numbers. Baker and Richman may prove to be the best candidates for the other spots in the rotation. Knutson was very effective out of the bullpen with 8 saves and a .191 batting average against. The Pilots’ roster includes 15 Washington, 7 Oregon, and 9 California athletes; it also includes 4 Baseball Northwest top-ranked prospects for the class of 2018 noted below.

From the 2017 to 2018 season, the Pilots saw their win total improve by 13, its team ERA drop over 1.5 points, and its team batting average increase by 3 hundredths of a point. The team will look to build upon this momentum in 2019.

The Pilots will go to the sun to begin the season in Hawaii for 4 games and to Edinburg and Nacogdoches, Texas to play North Dakota State, UT Rio Grande Valley, and Stephen F. Austin. A home opener vs. Oregon on March 5th kicks the season off on the bluff at Joe Etzel Field. West
Coast Conference play begins for the Pilots at USF March 15th followed by their home start vs. Loyola Marymount on March 29th. UP will host conference rival Gonzaga April 12-14.  Go Pilots!

Class of 2018 Top Prospects on roster, ranked previously by Baseball Northwest
Washington: #25 Morgan White, #39 Peter Allegro

Oregon:#6 Jacob Biesterfeld, #13 Cole Wilkinson

BBNW Alumni on Roster  21

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University of Washington – Seattle, WA

Head Coach Lindsay Meggs (10th year)
Assistants Jason Kelly, Ronnie Prettyman, Dave Nakama
Affiliation NCAA Division I
Conference PAC 12
2018 Record 35-26 overall, 20-10 (3rd in conference) Top 8 of NCAA Division I College World Series
Top Returning Players

Joe Wainhouse, SR, DH/RHP, 1st Team All-Conference (.306 avg, 19HR, 61RBI)

Nick Kahle, JR, C, 1st Team All-Conference (.293 avg, 6HR, 37RBI)
Braiden Ward, SO, CF (.304 avg, 19 SB)
Jordan Jones, JR, RHP, All-Conference Honorable Mention (6-4 W/L, 3.98 ERA)
Stevie Emanuels, SO, RHP (8-2 W/L, 4.37 ERA)
Jack Enger, SO, RHP (5.2 IP, 9 K)

Mason Cerrillo, SR, OF, All-Conference Honorable Mention (.341 avg, 14 2B, 21 RBI)

Top New Players David Rhodes, FR, RHP, Langley Secondary (BC)
Connor Blair, JR, OF, Butte CC
Ramon Bramasco, JR, SS, Cerritos CC
Head Coach Commentary “We are excited about this group. We have a lot of guys back from last year’s College World Series team and we expect them to take the next step in their development as players and as a team. While we may not have a superstar in this group, we have a locker room full of relentless competitors.”
What would you want a prospective student-athlete to know about your program?

“The University of Washington is the ultimate blend of athletics and academics. Student athletes at the UW have the ability to have the most dynamic college experience in the Pac 12. The city of Seattle and the University of Washington combine to make for a great college experience.”

BBNW Analysis Coach Meggs’ ninth season leading the Huskies in 2018 was something special. UW’s wins in the last six PAC-12 series’, a regional victory, and a super-regional walk-off put them in the College World Series for the first time in school history. Meggs has averaged nearly 30 wins per season as a Husky. Pitching coach and recruiting coordinator Jason Kelley has had a big impact helping Washington to three regionals in the last six years. He was named Associate Head Coach in 2014.

Not too many teams can use the “return to Omaha” motivation this season but the Huskies will and have the returning experienced and talented players to do just that. Six of the top eight hitters for average return led by Wainhouse who was 3rd in home runs, 5th in RBIs, and 7th in total bases. Cerrillo’s .341 batting average was 13th overall in the conference. Ward led the conference in steals. Pitching (4th) and defense were both in the upper half of the league a year ago. Jones led the Huskies in starts and earned 6 wins. Emanuels won 8 games out of the bullpen. Junior catcher Nick Kahle managed the pitching staff well and caught all but 17 innings for the Huskies. The Huskies not only get after it on the mound, they excel in the classroom as well, compiling a team GPA over 3.0 in 18 of last 20 main session quarters.

The upgrades of Husky Ballpark and its unique picturesque setting make it one of the most fan-friendly venues in the PAC-12.

Many early home games highlight the Huskies pre-conference schedule. Northern Colorado and Cal Poly come to Husky Stadium late February and early March after an opening series on the road at UC Irvine to begin the season.  Oregon comes to Seattle to open league play on March 15th . Key conference contender OSU comes to UW, but they will travel to play other highly ranked PAC-12 opponents in UCLA, Stanford, and Arizona. They will travel to Pullman for the in-state rival series vs. WSU. Go Huskies!

BBNW Alumni on Roster  16

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Washington State University – Pullman, WA

Head Coach Marty Lees (4th year)
Assistants Dan Spencer, Jim Horner, Kurt Lupinski
Affiliation NCAA Division I
Conference PAC 12
2018 Record 16-33-1 overall, 8-21-1 (10th in conference)
Top Returning Players AJ Block, JR, LHP (44 IP, 4.91 ERA, 48 K)
Hayden Rosenkrantz, SO, RHP (36.1 innings, 25 K)
Dillon Plew, JR, INF, (.277 avg, .407 OBP)
Andres Alvarez, SR, INF (.263 avg, 16 2B)
Danny Sinatro, JR, OF, Pac-12 All-Academic Honorable Mention (.226 avg, 9 SB)
Collin Montez, SO, OF
Brody Barnum, SO, OF
Top New Players Kyler Bush, FR, LHP, Fremont HS (UT)
Brandon White, FR, RHP, W.F. West HS (WA)
Connor Barison, FR, RHP, Redmond HS (WA)
Zane Mills, FR, RHP, Lincoln HS (OR)
Tyson Guerrero, FR, OF/LHP, WF West HS (WA)
Trent Sellers. FR, RHP, Kennewick HS (WA)
Trevor Ichimura, FR, RHP, Iolani HS (HI)
Dylan Steen, JR, RHP, College of Southern Idaho
Owen Leonard, JR, RHP, Everett CC
Kodie Kolden, FR, INF, Lake City HS (ID)
Kyle Manzardo, FR, INF, Lake City HS (ID)
Garrett Gouldsmith, SO, 2B, University of New Mexico
Head Coach Commentary “We are excited to have another ranked recruiting class going into this season, a season
where we continue to build on the success and failures we have had, and ultimately to strive to put a championship caliber ball club on the field. This 2019 group is an exciting mix of young personalities and talent. These young players will have to gel with the kids that we have coming back, and ‘grow up’ fairly quickly but it’s going to be a very fun year for this coaching staff to work with these young men all season long.”
What would you want a prospective student-athlete to know about your program?
“WSU is a special place, and Pullman is a very unique college town. It’s a place for athletes that want to work with experienced coaches, who have experienced getting to Omaha. It’s an opportunity to be a part of the exciting energy that is surrounding Cougar Athletics at this present time. This ranges from National Media Coverage, to facility upgrades, as well as multiple post season sports for Men and Women’ s Athletics. Let’s not forget the unique fan experience provided by the loyal followers of Cougar Nation. Washington State University Athletics might be worth looking into!”
BBNW Analysis Coach Lees is in his 4th year at WSU and has the Cougs poised for their best season with him at the helm. Two nationally ranked recruiting classes in the last three years fill the roster with depth and skill level to develop. Marty had huge impact and experience developing players when he was with Oregon State when they won National Championships and Oklahoma State when they made regional runs. Defense has always been a trademark of Coach Lees’ teams. It is a family affair on the Palouse with wife Christy as the Coordinator of Operations, and son Brandon a freshman infielder. Dan Spencer, the former head coach at Texas Tech, begins his 4th season and carries the title of Associate Head Coach and Pitching Coach. Spencer has Oregon State history too, having been on the staff in the national championship era. He was Collegiate Baseball Newspaper’s National Pitching Coach of the Year in 2007. Jim Horner and Kurt Lupinski complete a Northwest-native coaching staff.

Five returning pitchers (Block, Rosenkrantz, Anderson, Newstrom, Mullins) who made starts in 2018 are experienced candidates for the 2019 rotation. The expectations are high for freshman Utah-native Kyler Bush who was drafted by the Royals in 2018. The infield is in good hands with the return of proven players Plew and Alvarez who both played in all 50 games last year. Danny Sinatro adds speed and defense in the outfield and steals when on the base path. The Washington State coaching staff have been hard at work recruiting and bringing in an impressive class of newcomers, with 12 Baseball Northwest Top-Prospects from the class of 2018.

The Washington State Board of Regents recently approved the BTO (Back to Omaha) project which will upgrade and modernize Bailey-Brayton Field.

The Cougs’ schedule for 2019 kicks off with the first two weekends in northern California vs. St. Mary’s and Santa Clara. Nevada and Cal State Northridge come to Bailey Stadium early on February 28th and March 8th. Pac-12 play begins on the road at Arizona State on March 15th. Key home conference games are the opener vs. Stanford March 29-31, UCLA May 10-12, and the baseball version of the Apple Cup against the Huskies May 3-5. Go Cougars!

Class of 2018 Top Prospects on roster, ranked previously by Baseball Northwest
Washington#5 Sam Lauderdale, #6 Tyson Guerrero, #7 Koby Blunt, #8 Brandon White, #9 Connor Barison, #17 Trent Sellers, #26 Anthony Notaro, #35 Brandon Lees, #42 Payton Flynn

Oregon: #4 Zane Mills

Idaho: #4 Kodie Kolden, #8 Kyle Manzardo

BBNW Alumni on Roster  23

These season previews were compiled by Jeff McKay and Josh Warner.

View other season previews here:
GNAC (NCAA Division II)
Northwest Conference (NCAA Division III)
Friday, February 15th: ID/MT Junior Colleges
Monday-Friday, February 18-22: NWAC Week