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Tough road ahead for Hawks, Dawgs & links

OK, maybe we let our heart get in the way our our brains last week.

I didn’t pick the Washington Huskies to beat Oregon, but I thought the Dawgs were ready to give the Ducks a game. Surely, they’d cover the spread (20.5 points).

Wrong.

I thought the Seattle Seahawks would regroup and handle the Rams in St. Louis.

Wrong.

They did regroup, but it was too late. The Rams rode some special teams tricky to a 28-26 victory and the Seahawks are suddenly 3-3.

Seattle’s defense isn’t nearly as dominating as it was a year ago, but the biggest problem remains the Hawks’ offensive line. They allowed three sacks and had three holding penalties and QB Russell Wilson was running for his life, especially in the first half when the Seahawks fell behind 21-3 at one point.

At the start of the season, I thought these Seahawks might be even better than last year’s Seahawks.

Wrong.

Even after last week’s loss to Dallas, I thought the Hawks were still the team to beat in the NFC.

Wrong.

Arizona (5-1) might be the best team, even better than Dallas (5-1) and Philadelphia (6-1) and don’t forget about the Packers (4-2) or 49ers (3-3). The Seahawks are still in the mix, but they’ve put themselves in a precarious position. At 3-3, they don’t have a lot of room for error and the schedule is far tougher than it was a year ago with road games left against Carolina (Oct. 26), Kansas City (Nov. 16) and Philadelphia (Dec. 7) and home-and-home games still to play with the Cardinals and 49ers.

We were reminded that the previous eight Super Bowl champions didn’t win a playoff game the following year. So the Seahawks didn’t have history on their side when the season started, but to suggest they might not make the playoffs seemed pretty far-fetched.

Now? Well, maybe not so much.

Pete Carroll, interviewed on 710 ESPN radio Monday morning, said, “The story is not written right now.”

What about those Huskies?

The Oregon-Washington game was a total mismatch. Oregon’s 45-20 victory, their 11th straight over the Huskies, was far more convincing than I figured it would be. Washington’s defense, so impressive the week before while holding Cal to seven points, couldn’t stop the run or the pass. And Washington’s offense didn’t look so hot either against an Oregon defense that has struggled at times.

Quarterback Marcus Mariota played like a Heisman Trophy winner and the Ducks didn’t look anything like the team that barely beat Washington State 38-31 and lost to Arizona 31-24.

If Oregon runs the table against Cal, Stanford, Utah, Colorado and Oregon State, they should wind up in college football’s four-team national playoff. But in college football’s most unpredictable season, who can say for sure what’s going to happen from week to week?

As for Washington, it’s back to the drawing board, as a disappointed coach Chris Petersen pointed out after the loss.  The Huskies were also beat up physically in Eugene. QB Cyler Miles left with a possible concussion, and if he’s not available, it appears redshirt  freshman Troy Williams will be the starter. He won the backup job over Jeff Lindquist and played most of the fourth quarter after Miles was injured.

The UW has six games left, including a tough home game against Arizona State on Oct. 26 (7:45 p.m., ESPN), and I wouldn’t be surprised if the Huskies went 4-2 or 1-5. At the start of the season, I predicted Washington would finish 10-3, tied for second in the Pac-12 North. Now my brain tells me they’re looking more like an 8-5 team that will find itself playing in the Cactus Bowl (Jan. 2 at Tempe, Ariz.) or Las Vegas Bowl (Dec. 20).

Some links

The St. Louis Surprise. Mike Silver of NFL.com writes about Jeff Fisher’s call for a fake punt on fourth down, the play that sealed the Rams’ upset of the Seahawks on Sunday.

Mike Sando of ESPN.com writes about how the Percy Harvin trade hurts Seattle’s chances to repeat.

At 3-3, Seattle is not in desperation mode, but the Seahawks’ flaws are showing, writes Don Banks of SI.com.

Percy Harvin trade makes sense for Jets.

Art Thiel of Sportspressnw.com puts the latest Seahawks loss on coach Pete Carroll and GM John Schneider.

Remember Steve “Bye Bye” Balboni? Well, if you’re old as dirt, like me, you do. He was the slugging first baseman for the Kansas City Royals’ 1985 World Series champions. Now? He’s an advance scout for the San Francisco Giants. It’ll be a strange, trip for Balboni when he returns to KC this week for the start of the World Series.

Hard to believe but Tim Lincecum, only 30, is now a bit player with the Giants, the backup long relief pitcher as San Francisco heads to the World Series.

Links: NFL arrogance, ‘The Daily Show’; Sherman, Anthony Kim (remember him?) & more

What I’m reading and watching online:

MAYBE MAARK CUBAN  was right when he talked about the NFL being to arrogant and big for its own britches. Cuban’s comments were made six months ago. Don Banks of mmqb.si.com writes this:

A longtime and well-respected agent I know told me the NFL’s initial tone-deaf response to Rice’s domestic violence incident brought to mind the saying, “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” In other words, people or leagues that hold too much power often succumb to arrogance, and arrogance leads them in a lot of directions, most of them bad. Imbued with the kind of endless big money that often taints everything it touches, they start to believe their judgments are always correct, their wisdom infallible; they become immune to the correcting forces of competition. They live and act as if they are unchallenged, and that never ends well.

***

JON STEWART of “The Daily Show” was in rare form Wednesday night, taking the NFL and Adrian Peterson to task.

On the committee of four women appointed to shape domestic abuse policies, Stewart said: “You know your business model is in rough shape when you need to appoint your own in-house Special Victims Unit.”

IN CASE YOU MISSED ITGregg Doyel of CBSSports.com took Richard Sherman to task for not talking to the media following Sunday’s loss in San Diego. Doyel writes:

“… he’s front and center when he wins, hides when he loses; case closed …”

Sherman denied that he ducked the media, and takes a shot at “two little Chargers,” who called him out.

***

WHATEVER HAPPENED to Anthony Kim? Kim, who showed off his immense talent during the 2006 US Public Links Amateur at Gold Mountain, has become a man of mystery. Sports Illustrated Allen Shipnuck has done some digging and it was suggested by one source that Kim would have to give up a lucrative disability settlement if he returns to the PGA Tour. It’s a fascinating story.

Shipnuck writes this about the guy who was once considered the face of U.S. golf:

No IMG staffer would comment for this story, but the party line is that Kim is still injured and expected to return to the Tour someday. This is refuted by a close friend of Kim’s in Dallas who watched him hit balls recently. (Kim declined numerous interview requests from SI, and his comrade would speak only anonymously, saying, “He’d be f—— livid if he knew I was talking to you.”) “AK’s not injured,” says the friend. “He can play, he can walk. His swing looks good, the strike sounds solid, his ball flight is good. His physical health is not the issue.”

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SI.COM PUT TOGETHER  a list of the Top 100 players in the NBA. Tacoma native and former Washington star Isaiah Thomas checks in at No. 90 after averaging 20.3 points and 6.3 assists in his third NBA season with Sacramento. Thomas is now with the Phoenix Suns. Check out the complete list here. Nos. 20-11 will be released Thursday and Nos. 10-1 on Friday.

 

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TONY STEWART’S CASE involving the tragic accident that took the life of a fellow sprint car driver is headed to a grand jury. Stewart faces the possibility of being indicted and charged in his role in the death of driver Kevin Ward Jr.

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MLB.COM BREAKS down the postseason playoff picture. They do it daily, so if you want to stay posted on the latest standings and magic numbers, this is a good place to visit while you’re sipping on our morning Joe.

Keith Jackson, Tom Sneva, Throwin’ Samoan to be inducted into state HOF Thursday at WSU game

Marc Blau, the executive director of the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame, sent out this press release on Sunday.

Three new members of the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame will be inducted during the Rutgers-WSU Cougars football game on Thursday, Aug. 28.

The inductees are longtime ABC-TV sportscaster Keith Jackson, Indy 500 winner Tom Sneva and WSU quarterback Jack Thompson.

Four additional inductees – the late softball barnstormer Eddie Feigner, basketball star Detlef Schrempf, hydroplance racer Chip Hanauer and “Mr. Mariner” Alvin Davis, were honored earlier this month with their induction prior to a Mariners game at Safeco Field.

(NOTE: Check out this story at Sportspressnw.com about the late Feigner. He was an original. Feigner and crew barnstormed into Bremerton in the early 1990s, taking on Pop’s Inn’s men’s fastpitch team in a game on a makeshift diamond at Thunderbird Stadium. Feigner was up in years but still magical. The show continued into the wee hours at the old tavern that sat next to the rodeo arena. The King and His Court played just as hard off the field as they did on it.)

With this year’s inductees, the State of Washington Sports Hall of Fame grows to a total of 189 members. Plaques of the inductees are on display in the Shanahan Sports Museum in the Tacoma Dome. The hall of fame was founded in1960 by Tacoma broadcaster Clay Huntington.

Georgia-born Jackson got his start in broadcasting at Washington State University and worked for KOMO radio and then KOMO-TV from 1954-64. Jackson is best known for his more than 50 years of football telecasts. The phrase “Whoa, Nellie!” was his signature phrase. He is also credited with creating and popularizing the description of the Rose Bowl as “The Granddaddy of Them All”. Often forgotten is that Jackson was the first play-by-play announcer on Monday Night Football and covered major-league baseball, PGA golf, the NBA, major auto races, boxing matches and the Olympics during his career.

Sneva won the 1983 Indianapolis 500. He won season Indy car championships in 1977 and 1978. In 1977 he became the first driver to qualify for the Indy 500 at a speed of more than 200 mph. Sneva is a graduate of Lewis & Clark High School in Spokane and after graduating from Eastern Washington University was a school teacher and junior-high principal before becoming a full-time racer.

Thompson may have the best nickname in state history. The “Throwin’ Samoan” was nicknamed by late Spokane Spokesman-Review columnist Harry Missildine. Thompson was the most prolific passer in NCAA history with 7,818 yards when he concluded his Washington State career. He is only one of two players to have his WSU number (14) retired. He was the third player taken overall in the 1979 NFL draft (by Cincinnati) and played six seasons in the league. He starred at Evergreen High School in White Center.

 

The Jet, Willie, Seahawks, Hammel, World Cup & more

Here we go, in no particular order:

Dude can fly: James (The Jet) Jones is up to 14 steals (he’s been caught once) through Tuesday and considering he didn’t get his first one until May 1, that’s pretty impressive. Michael Saunders led the Seattle Mariners with 13 steals a year ago. Ichiro (438 steals during his time in Seattle), Jose Cruz (290) and Harold Reynolds (228) are Seattle’s all-time leaders in steals, but the M’s have never had a lot of speed guys. Willie Bloomquist (71) ranks No. 11 in steals in franchise history. Jones, if he’s as good as I think he might be, could pass Willie in the summer of 2015.

Speaking of Willie: The South Kitsap grad is hitting .278, and get this — the M’s are 18-7 when he starts (through Tuesday). That’s the stat that matters, right?

Sherm shuts up: Richard Sherman’s never been at a loss for worlds, but he reportedly isn’t speaking to the media, upset with the Seattle Times because the newspaper published the address of his new home. Got to side with Sherm on that one. Some things don’t need to be printed, and that’s one of ‘em.

Speaking of Seahawks: Sherman, Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson have all been nominated for ESPYs. 

World Cup fever: Portugal’s late goal in extra time against the U.S. in the World Cup was a punch to the gut, but it didn’t take long for me to get over the 2-2 tie. I’m really looking forward to see how Jurgen Klinsmann’s boys do against Germany on Thursday (9 a.m. ESPN). Klinsmann is a former German star, a legend in his country. He played on West Germany’s 1990 World Cup championship team and coached the 2006 German World Cup team. Germany is now coached by Joachim Lowe, a protege of Klinsmann. The U.S., which needs a tie to move on to the round of 16, has five players who grew up in Germany. This one promises to be emotional. I can’t wait.

Speaking of soccer: How ’bout those Pumas? Kitsap’s soccer club is 6-0-4 and has opened a seven-point lead in the Northwest Division of the PDL. Coach Andrew Chapman, the Olympic High grad who has turned Peninsula CC into an NWAACC power, seems to be making all of the right decisions. The Pumas are one of six unbeatens in the 64-team league. Kitsap won a national title in 2011, and it looks like the Pumas are going to make another serious run this summer.

BlueJackets bashing: Kitsap’s summer college baseball team, the BlueJackets, are off to a good start. Kitsap’s 8-5 and just a half-game back of Bellingham in the Western Division of the West Coast League (through Tuesday). They boast the No. 1 (Danny Woodruff, .453) and No. 3 (Alex Bush, .395, 2 HRs, 15 RBI) hitters. Woodruff’s an outfielder from Creighton who played in just seven games as a freshman. Bush is a 6-foot-6, 255-pound first baseman/DH who just graduated from high school in Turlock, California. He’s going to be a freshman at UC Santa Barbara. Kitsap’s second in hitting (.296 average) and eighth in pitching (5.46 ERA) in the 12-team wood-bat league.

Hammel report: Jason Hammel, the 2000 South Kitsap grad who is having a fine season (6-5, 2.99 ERA, 91 Ks, 20 BBs, 96.1 IP, 1.017 WHIP) for the Chicago Cubs, continues to be linked to the Mariners. This report says the Cubs and M’s have had serious talks, and that Chicago wants RHP Edwin Diaz, Seattle’s third-round pick in the 2012 draft, to be part of the package.

Minor league report: Brady Steiger (South Kitsap/WSU/Lewis-Clark St.) hit his first home run as a pro over the weekend. He plays for the Class A Staten Island Yankees. … Drew Vettlesen (Central Kitsap) wrapped up an eight-game rehab stint with the Auburn Doubledays. He was 4-for-4 on Friday and hit .318. The outfielder, who broke a bone in his hand when hit by a ball in April, is back with the Double-A Harrisburg (Pa.) Senators (Nationals) of the Eastern League. He was 2-for-3 with a stolen base on Tuesday. … Aaron Cunningham (South Kitsap/Everett CC) hitting .258 with no homers and 20 RBI for the Reno Aces (Diamondbacks) of the Pacific Coast League.

Back on the tee: Troy Kelly, the Central Kitsap grad whose 2013 golf season was derailed by a knee surgery after playing in just 10 PGA Tour events, is resuming his comeback. He played in four Web.com events earlier, but made just one cut and wasn’t satisfied with his game, so he returned to Tacoma to work on it. There might be some rust when he plays in this week’s Web.com tournament in Newburgh, Indiana. He’s using it as a tuneup for the PGA Tour’s Greenbrier Classic the following week in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Kelly’s got fond memories of Greenbrier, where he shot 6-under 63 in the third round in 2012 to get into contention. He closed with a 66 and wound up losing a playoff on the third hole to Ted Potter. Kelly plans to play four straight weeks. He’ll head to Illinois for the John Deere Classic in Illinois after the Greenbrier Classic before returning to Boise, Idaho, for another Web.com stop. … Kelly’s brother Ryan, his caddie, finished second in the Tacoma City Amateur over the weekend.

Coming Friday: I’ll be writing about “The Legend” later this week. That would be 83-year-old Buzz Edmonds, a three-time winner of the Kitsap Amateur, nine-time club champ at Kitsap Golf & Country Club and one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. I chatted with Buzz and some of his golfing buddies earlier this week. The story will publish Friday.

Nice sendoff: South Kitsap’s three-sport star Logan Knowles, who is headed to the Naval Academy to play baseball, wrapped up his high school career by going 2-for-4 with a home run, double and 4 RBI in the consolation game of the Washington State All-State Baseball Series in Yakima. His home run was the only one hit during the weekend.

Recommended reading: Charlie Pierce, who writes for Grantland,com, among other outlets, weighed in on the O’Bannon vs. NCAA trial that is going on. He writes:

” … If you are a college athlete, you must — willingly or unwillingly — help the NCAA and its member institutions keep faith with Coca-Cola. One of the ugly moral truths about all our sports is that athletes represent one of the categories of Americans who can be legally and publicly treated as commodities, and nowhere is that truth more obvious, and more ugly, than in college athletics, where the athletes are not only forbidden from profiting from their own commodification, but also required to help the institutions they represent to profit from it. Then they have to hear the people who profit most from the commodities who play ball for them tell a judge that they’re doing it only for the athlete’s own good. This trial is about the NCAA’s desire to maintain that arrangement forever. Unless you’re afflicted with a kind of moral myopia, this is no less than grotesque.”

 

Six ex-BlueJackets drafted by MLB teams

The Kitsap BlueJackets, off to a 2-0 start in West Coast League play after a pair of exciting wins Friday and Saturday, had six former players selected in the 2014 MLB amateur draft.

5th Round: Rhys Hoskins, first baseman from  Sacramento State, Phillies (Hoskins was overlooked when I put together the Jackets’ 10-year anniversary Dream Team)

7th Round: Relief pitcher Reed Reilly, three-time All-Big West first-team selection from Cal Poly, Red Sox

24th Round: First baseman Cisco Tellez, UC Riversside, Red Sox

30th Round: Pitcher Spencer Watkins, Western Oregon (threw a perfect game for BlueJackets in 2013)

31st Round: Catcher Alex McKeon, University of Texas A&M International, Boston

37th Round: Pitcher Sam Lindquist, Stanford, Mariners

Plus Brock Burke, a high school pitcher from Colorado who was supposed to play in Bremerton this summer, was a third-round pick by the Tampa Bay Rays. Burke has signed with Oregon. He’s expected to turn pro so he’ll probably never wear a BlueJackets’ uniform.

Notes: The Jackets play the Klamath Falls Gems at 3:05 p.m. Sunday at the Fairgrounds. They travel to Wenatchee for three games, then return to host Bellingham next weekend (June 13-14-15) and Bend (June 17-18-19) … Daniel Orr, first baseman from Kingston/Everett CC and Corban University, was another top homegrown product that deserved mention in the BlueJackets’ 10th Anniversary Dream Team.

 

 

South Kitsap cruising in state semifinals

South Kitsap leads Wenatchee 8-0 in the fourth inning of the Class 4A state semifinals against Wenatchee in Pasco.

If the Wolves hold on, they will play the Puyallup-Wenatchee winner Saturday at 4 p.m. for the championship. South lost in the finals to Skyview a year ago, and lost two games to unbeaten and N0. 1 ranked Puyallup earlier, including a 10-0 loss in the district championship game.

There was a lot of conjecture about how coach Marcus Logue would use his pitchers this weekend. He started Logan Knowles today, but Mac McCarty is now pitching. He’s also got Cooper Canton available. Looks like he’ll probably go 3-3-1 today. I’m guessing he’ll start McCarty on Saturday. The submariner bounces back in a hurry and should be ready.

In case you missed it, here’s a story I wrote about McCarty.

WIAA is live blogging the semifinals. Click here. 

The championship game will be lived stream, but here’s a cost: $9.95. Go to wiaa.com and click on tournament central. You can follow all of the state’s championship events this weekend. The WIAA’s doing a really good job go with updates etc.

UPDATE: It’s still 8-0 going to the top of the fifth.

MVPs Kluge (Umpqua), Dixon (Peninsula) will play in NWAACC

Bremerton’s two Olympic League basketball MVPs — Sawyer Kluge and Deonte Dixon — have made their decisions on where they will play basketball in college.

Kluge’s heading to Roseburg, Oregon, where she will play for Umpqua CC. Former Olympic High athlete Ashli Payne, who scored 51 points in one game for Umpqua this season, will be a teammate. Kluge averaged 22.6 points, 11.7 rebounds and 4.5 steals per game her senior year.

Dixon, a smooth 6-foot-2 guard who averaged close to 18.9 points and 3.1 steals  a game, is headed to Peninsula College in Port Angeles.

Quick hits

Working on a story on Mac McCarty, the South Kitsap junior. He’s 10-1 with a 0.66 ERA in 64 innings. He’s struck out 88, walked 28 and allowed just 30 hits. Pretty impressive. Oh, he’s also hitting .388. The Wolves play Wenatchee in the Class 4A state semifinals Friday in Pasco. McCarty’s getting lots of looks from colleges and told me the expects to sign in the fall. … At least five SK seniors will also play college baseball: Logan Knowles (Naval Academy), Tyler Ludlow (Jamestown), Tyler Pinkerton (Everett CC), Tanner Paulson (Treasure Valley CC in Ontario, Oregon) and Conner Sharp (still undecided, but Jamestown, Treasure Valley and other see-cees in the region are possibilities, said coach Marcus Logue). … Drew Vettleson, a two-time Washington State Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year (2007-08 and 2008-09) from Central Kitsap is rehabbing in Florida from a broken bone in his hand that put him on the DL in mid-April. Vettleson’s an outfielder with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He was hit by a pitch and broke the pisiform bone, a small rounded carpal bone situated where the palm of the hand meets the outer edge of the wrist. … Kaitlyn Oberg, a middle infielder who helped Lehi High win the Class 5A state softball title in Utah, will play softball at Olympic College next year. .. The annual senior high school all-star baseball and softball games will be played Monday, June 9, at the baseball field at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds & Events Center. The Kitsap Athletic Roundtable sponsors the events. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, students and military and free for kids 12 and under.

Some linkage

“Hubris. Arrogance. Complacency. Inattention. Sloth. All more formidable than the San Francisco 49ers.” Art Thiel of Sportspressnw.com writes about the Seahawks as they return to the practice field for their OTAs (organized training activities). He also writes about OG James Carpenter and how the Seahawks are excited that the former first-round pick, a bust to date, could be on track for a break-through season.

Joe Posnanski takes a look at baseball’s batting average. He takes you back to when it was established (and why) and he examines how it has changed over the years. It’s a fun and informative read, for those who like to analyze statistics and for those who don’t.

If you don’t watch HBO’s Game of Thrones, then skip this link. But if you do, you might be interested in NFL.com’s All-Game of Thrones football team.

CJ Allen Pac-12 champ, Seahawks’ links, Villopoto, recommended reading & quick hits

CJ Allen, a freshman from North Mason, didn’t take long to make a name for himself at the college level. The Washington State hurdler won the 400-meter intermediate hurdles at the Pac-12 meet on Sunday in Pullman. He won it in a lifetime-best 51.14 seconds. Ruby Roberts, a senior from Kingston, was seventh in the 1,500 and 21st in the 5,000. Here’s a story on the meet, courtesy Washington State athletics

Seahawks stuff

A couple videos from NFL.com about two of the elite players from 2013. And yes, they are Seattle Seahawks. Check out the best of Richard Sherman and the best of Russell Wilson. And did you know that Marshawn Lynch is making a movie … about himself growing up in Oakland? It’s called “Family First,” and is scheduled for release at the end of the year. Coach Pete Carroll likes what he sees from this year’s rookie class. Here’s his analysis of some, courtesy ESPN.com. Finally, some insight on Sherman’s contract, according to Peter King of SI.com (scroll to the bottom of the page; it’s the 10th item).

Villopoto out for outdoor season

Poulsbo’s Ryan Villopoto, 25, will not defend his outdoor AMA motocross season, opting for surgery to repair a lingering injury on his left knee. Villopoto won his fourth straight Supercross championship this season. Jeremy McGrath is the only other rider to win four straight supercross titles. Villopoto had surgery last week. Motocross is off-road motorcycle racing; the stadium version of motocross is supercross. Villopoto won seven supercross races this season, including the last four. He led the last 80 laps of the season, only fueling the feeling that he’s already one of the greatest riders in motorcycle history.

Recommended reading

“Sometimes the New Breed Stat Guys aren’t so good about accepting the vagaries of a very complex game.” That’s a pretty good line from Bob Ryan, the veteran Boston Globe scribe. He wonders if baseball fans care about the new breed of stats, and I’m right there with him on this one.

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times writes about Washinton State football coach Mike Leach, who writes about Geronimo. Legendary hoops coach Don Meyer dies. Meyer spent his career working at small colleges.

California Chrome’s Triple Crown bid could come up short by a nose. The burning question: Nasal strip or no nasal strip? Will New York horse-racing officials allow one?

Finally, some quick hits

Central Kitsap grad and Tacoma resident Troy Kelly will get 14 starts to make $563,133 or earn 354 FedExCup points to retain his PGA Tour card. Kelly had surgery on his right knee almost a year ago, and played in five Web.com Tour events earlier. He’s been working with nationally-recognized coach Brian Mogg, who was born in Bremerton and grew up in Lakewood. Dick Mogg, Brian’s dad, played basketball and baseball at Bremerton High and went on to captain the Seattle Pacific College basketball team.

Central Kitsap grad Drew Vettleson, Washington Natoinals outfield prospect from Central Kitsap, remains on the disabled list. Vettleson started the season at Double-A Harrisburg Senators. Vettleson, who was acquired from Tampa Bay, suffered a broken hand on April 13 when he was hit by a pitch.

Aaron Cunningham will be at Cheney Stadium this week, playing for the Reno Aces, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Triple-A club. The Aces play a four-game series against the Tacoma Rainiers. Game times Monday and Tuesday are 6:05 p.m. with an 11:35 a.m. start Wednesday and a 7:05 p.m. start on Thursday. The South Kitsap grad hit .195 in April but has got his average up to .269. The 28-year-old outfielder had a walk-off game-winning walk in the 10th inning on Saturday and has collected at least one hit in eight of his last nine games.

Erynne Lee and the UCLA Bruins will compete in the NCAA Women’s golf Championship, May 20-23, at the Tulsa Country Club in Oklahoma. Lee’s a junior and three-time first-team all-Pac-12 golfer from Central Kitsap. Central Washington’s Kasey Bielec, a junior from North Mason, was named to the Daktronics NCAA Division II West Region second team. Bielec, a third baseman-designated hitter, batted .339 with team-leading totals of seven homers and 39 RBI.

Daniel Jewett, a junior from North Kitsap, helped Omaha win the Summit League regular-season championship, but the Mavericks (30-20 overall, 14-9 league) are not eligible for the 2014 Summit League Tournament due to its status as a reclassifying Division I program. Jewett, an outfielder who played for the Kitsap BlueJackets last season, was second in hitting (.333) and fourth in RBI (29) for Omaha. He played at Truman State (an NCAA Division II program) for two years before transferring to Omaha.

Cheyenne Barger, a sophomore softball player at Treasure Valley (Ontario, Ore.) is worth mentioning. She put up some amazing numbers this season. The big right-fielder/first baseman hit .600 with 22 home runs and 80 RBI heading into the NWAACC tournament. She struck out just twice. Boise State’s among the schools recruiting her. The Chukars were one of four teams left in the tournament, which was rained on Sunday. The top three seeds — Mt. Hood, Clackamas and Wenatchee Valley, in that order — were also alive going into Monday’s action. Olympic College lost 6-3 to Wenatchee Valley and 8-6 to Douglas, B.C., the fourth seed. They mixed in a wild 17-11 victory over Pierce between those losses.

Catching up with some Kitsapers in college: Box MVP; Jonson, Lee earn 1st-team honors

SOFTBALL

Western Oregon’s Bridjet Box (sr., South Kitsap/Olympic College) was 3-for-3 with three home runs and five RBI in a 20-9 win over Central Washington in the GNAC Championship game on Saturday. Box was named the MVP of the tournament after  hitting .750. For the season, she hit .379 with seven homers and 41 RBI for the Wolves (33-21), who advance to the NCAA Division II playoffs.

Western Washington’s Haylee Baker (sr., Bainbridge/Bellevue CC) hit .354 with eight HRs and 46 RBI for the Vikings (30-14), who finished second to Western Oregon in the GNAC regular season.

Erin Kinney (fr., Bainbridge) is hitting .405 for Linfield (33-7), which won the Northwest Conference and opens play in the NCAA D3 regional playoffs next. Kinney, who has been used at designated hitter most of the time, has four homers and 21 RBI in 29 starts. She’s played in 39 games.

GOLF

UNLV’s Carl Jonson (jr., Bainbridge) was named to the first-team All-Mountain West Men’s Golf Team. Jonson is second on the Rebels in scoring (72.64) and 10th in the conference. He has three top-10 finishes in 10 events this season with a fourth-place showing at the Jackrabbit Invitational. He has shot in 60s three times with a low of 67. The Rebels will compete in the NCAA regionals on May 15-17 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.

UCLA’s Erynne Lee (jr., Central Kitsap) was named to the first-team All-Pac-12 Women’s Golf Team for the third straight year. Lee posted her third college win in September at the Mason Rudolph Classic and has seven top-10 finishes this season with an average score of 71.7. Lee and teammate, Alison Lee, the consensus No. 1 player in women’s college golf, were named to the 2014 U.S. Curtis Cup team in march.

 

TRACK & FIELD

Ruby Roberts (jr., Kingston) wasn’t supposed to run the 3,000 meters, but she did and her third-place finish was the difference as she helped Washington State beat Washington 82-81 in a Pac-12 dual in Pullman on Saturday. Roberts ran 9:35.38. She was also second in the 1500 (4:30.13). Cameron Brink (so., Bainbridge) won the discus (154-11) and CJ Allen (fr., North Mason) was second with a PR in the 400 hurdles (48.14) for the WSU men, who lost 84-79 to the Huskies.

Western Washington’s John Hoskin (so., Bainbridge) won the javelin (181-2) at the St. Martin’s Invitational on Saturday. WWU competes in the GNAC Championships on May 9-10 at Monmouth, Ore.

BASEBALL

Tyler Baumgartner (sr., Central Kitsap/Bellevue CC) is hitting .309 for the Oregon Ducks (34-13, 13-8 Pac-12). Baumgartner has started all 47 games in the outfield and has one home run and a team-high 37 RBI.

Kasey Bielec (jr., North Mason) is hitting .340 with seven homers and 38 RBI for Central Washington (28-18, 17-14 GNAC). Pitcher Kurtis Pitcher (sr., Klahowya/Western Oregon/Olympic) is 2-2 with a 4.07 ERA for Central. The lefty has started nine games and pitched 42.1 innings. Central opens GNAC tournament play on May 8 against St. Martin’s at Western Oregon.

Outfielder Daniel Jewett (jr., North Kitsap/Truman State (Mo.)/Omaha University) is hitting .324 for the Mavericks (23-19, 8-8 Summit Conference) with a home run and 22 RBI.

Josh Sontag (so., Central Kitsap) helped St. Martin’s (18-28, 14-17 GNAC), reach the conference tournament as the No. 3 seed. Sontag, who is hitting .122 with a home run in 29 at bats, developed into a starting pitcher and was 2-5 with a 5.52 ERA in 60.1 inning. The 6-foot-2 right-hander got a no decision, but pitched 5.2 strong innings in an 11-6 win over beating Central Washington in a key game on Saturday. Sontag’s started 10 games.

Linfield’s Joe Stevick (jr., Olympic) has appeared in 13 games, pitching 20.2 innings of relief for the Wildcats (33-7), who won the Northwest Conference and will play in the NCAA D3 playoffs. Stevick a 6-6 right-hander, is 0-2 with a 3.48 ERA. He has struck out 11, walked two and allowed 17 hits.

A.J. Milyard (fr., North Kitsap) appeared in two games as a relief pitcher for Whitworth (13-22).

Two former Olympic College Rangers and Kitsap BlueJackets — pitchers Devin Smith (jr., West Seattle) and catcher Dustin Dhanani (jr., Blaine) — are playing at NCAA Division I Alabama A&M (20-29, 12-9) of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Smith is 4-6 with a 4.31 ERA, and is the workhorse of the staff with 79.1 innings pitched in 15 appearances (11 starts). Dhanani is hitting .234 and has started 30 games.

Daniel Orr (jr., Kingston/Everett CC) led Corban University (29-26) in virtually ever major hitting statistic. The first baseman batted .374 with 23 doubles, four triples, three HRs and drove in 48 runs.

Catcher Curtis Wildung (jr., North Kitsap) is hitting .224 for Pacific Lutheran (25-14, 16-8 Northwest Conference) with four home runs and 14 RBI. He has started 33 games.

NWAACC Baseball

Everett CC: Ben Tamm (fr., North Kitsap) is 2-1 with a save and 0.54 ERA in 33.1 innings in 10 relief appearances. He has 30 strikeouts, 15 walks and allowed just 15 hits. … Michael Wood (fr., South Kitsap) is 3-5 with a 1.57 ERA in eight starts. He’s pitched 57 innings, allowed 47 hits, fanned 41 and walk d21.

Tacoma CC: Quinn Eldridge (so., Chimacum) is 5-0 with a 1.12 ERA for the Titans, who are 32-2 and ranked No. 1 in the NWAACC poll. Eldrige has appeared in nine games, four as a starter. He’s pitched 32 innings, struckout 24, walked nine and allowed 24 hits and five runs. … Cory Main (fr., South Kitsap) is 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA as a reliever. He’s pitched  18.2 innings and has allowed 11 hits, fanned 12 and walked three.

Here’s Olympic College’s hitting statistics.

Here’s Olympic College’s pitching statistics.

NWAACC Softball

Here’s Olympic College’s hitting statistics. 

Here’s Olympic College’s pitching statistics.

Go to nwaacc.org for complete NWAACC stats. Note: Cheyenne Barger of Treasure Valley is on pace to win the triple crown. She’s hitting .603 with 21 home runs and 79 RBI.

 

 

We’re gonna miss ya, Westy

NOTE: I wrote this column for The Sun’s Monday, April 7 editions. Information for Pat Westhoff’s funeral and service will be announced later this week. Look for Pat’s obit in The Sun. Wanna know what others are saying on this sad day? Go to Facebook and search Patrick Westhoff. Here’s a story Eric D. Williams wrote when Westy retired from the city in 2002.

PAT WESTHOFF WAS ONE OF A KIND

I’ve been staring at the birthday card I bought for Pat Westhoff a few months ago.

I never got a chance to give it to him. Pat would have turned 68 on Friday, but he died early Sunday morning after a brave fight against cancer. He was surrounded by his family at the home he grew up in on the corner of Fifth and Veneta, across the street from Our Lady Star of the Sea Catholic Church in Bremerton.

I’d share the words on the card, but the language is a bit too much, if you know what I mean. I’m pretty sure Westy would have gotten a kick out of it.

There was always laughter when you hung with Westy. This little guy might have been 5-foot-4 in his cowboy boots, but he was larger than life. He could make an ordinary day hilarious.

Nobody was safe from Pat’s biting one-liners. Nothing was off limits. He made us laugh at ourselves. Sometimes all it took was a look, a sideways glance or roll of his eyes followed by “jeeezzzz….”

I found myself listening to a lot of Roy Orbison on Sunday. Every time I hear an Orbison song I think of Pat. Along with family, friends and fishing, Pat was definitely into his music.

There was a time when softball, and golf consumed him. I met him through softball, as a fastpitch teammate — he was a shortstop and catcher and later my manager.  He was as competitive as they come on the field and later became the face of softball in our area.

He was a protégé of Andy Pendergast, the late Bremerton Parks and Rec superintendent. Westhoff was the recreation coordinator, the guy who operated all of the softball and basketball leagues in town. He was the district Amateur Softball Association commissioner for years, and represented the area and the state at national meetings.

When he was named rec coordinator in 1969, Bremerton had 20 men’s softball teams. By 1980, he’d turned the program into one of the state’s biggest with 400 registered teams, counting women and youth leagues. Westhoff ruled those leagues with an iron fist.

When the city got more heavily into the golf business, adding the championship Olympic Course to the existing Cascade Course at Gold Mountain, Westhoff was in the middle of it. He was park and rec’s liaison to the project manager and design team during the building of the Olympic Course that opened in 1996 as well as the $3.5 million clubhouse that opened six years later.

Westy had the ear and trust of his bosses — all the way to the mayor’s office. He was a voice of the people, a voice of reason that sometimes cut through the politics and red tape. He also had a golfer’s perspective on what made a golf course challenging and interesting, and his ideas always carried a lot of weight. They named a creek after him on the back nine of the Olympic Course.

Pat’s honesty was refreshing, and it earned him a lot of respect in the community. If he didn’t like something, he shared his opinions. Sugarcoating wasn’t part of his DNA, and he might drop an expletive or two to make his point.

Was Pat Westhoff feisty? Well, is the pope Catholic?

After arguing a call with an umpire, he sailed his bat from the softball diamond in the right-field corner of old Roosevelt Field (now an Olympic College parking lot) over the fence and against the toll-booth on the Warren Avenue Bridge. That’s not an urban tale.

And an angry Westhoff once flung his bat on top of the old wooden grandstands at Roosevelt after striking out. That’s an impressive physical feat for a guy that weighed maybe 130 pounds, but it doesn’t surprise me at all.

Westy never got cheated, whether he was swinging at a rise ball, coming out of his shoes on his tee shots or going chin-to-chest with an umpire.

He was the feistiest, funniest, ballsiest guy a lot of us ever knew, but he was more than a character. He was passionate about life, what he believed in and the people he loved.

Roy Orbison’s still playing, and I’m sneaking peaks at the birthday card I was going to give Pat. Man, he’d have loved that card.

I’m tempted to drink a Coke, his favorite beverage, and light up a cigar in his memory.

Taco Tuesdays, among other days, will never be the same.

We’re going to miss his spirit, his stories, his sense of humor.

Lord, you don’t make ‘em like Pat Westhoff anymore.