Monthly Archives: March 2013

Kitsapers: Steiger raking at LC-State; Baumgartner DHing at Oregon

I ducked out of the sun in Scottsdale on Sunday and did a little surfing on the web. Look what I found out:

Brady Steiger is on fire at Lewis-Clark State. The South Kitsap grad is hitting .437 with 13 doubles, four home runs and 35 RBIs. The first baseman hits No. 4 in the order for the NAIA Warriors (26-8). He’s walked 13 times and been hit by pitches seven times. His on-base percentage is .511 and his slugging percentage is .647. Steiger started his career at Washington State, but left the program after his freshman year, citing burnout. After sitting out a season, Steiger played a year of JC ball at Sierra College in California. He also played in the summer for the Cheney Studs.

Central Kitsap grad Tyler Baumgartner is starting to see more playing time with the Oregon Ducks, who returned seven of nine starters, including its entire outfield. After a slow start, the transfer from Bellevue CC star has worked his way into the lineup as a DH. He’s hitting .261 with five doubles, a triple and is 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts. He’s started 13 games for the No. 12-ranked Ducks (22-6, 8-1 Pac-12), who are coming off a weekend sweep of Washington in Seattle.

Senior shortstop Nate Roberts is hitting .299 for Seattle University (10-16, 2-4 Western Athletic Conference). The CK grad has seven doubles, a triple, 20 RBI and five steals for the Redhawks. … Landon Cray, a freshman from Chimacum, has cooled off a bit after a fast start for the Redhawks. He’s hitting .243 with a home run.

Bainbridge pitcher Colin Feldtman is 2-0 with two saves for the University of Portland (11-16, 4-2 West Coast Conference). The former Kitsap BlueJacket, a redshirt junior,  has a 1.89 ERA in 19 innings, allowing 14 hits, striking out 14 and walking five.

Central Washington’s Kasey Bielec, a sophomore from North Mason, was 5-for-5 with four runs scored and two doubles in a 13-10 win over Western Oregon on Saturday. Three of his hits came in the final three innings as he helped CWU (17-13, 11-5 Great Northwest Athletic Conference) a four-game series with Western Oregon (17-13, 12-4). Bielec’s hitting .340 for Central. … Randy Button, a senior pitcher from North Mason, is 1-2 with a 4.43 ERA in 22.2 innings for CWU. Button’s appeared in nine games, seven as a reliever.

Pacific Lutheran catcher Curtis Wildung, a sophomore from North Kitsap, has raised his average to .324 for the Lutes (13-9, 6-6 Northwest Confernece). Thirteen of his 23 hits are for extra bases, including 10 doubles, 2 triples and a home run. He’s also walked a team-high 13 times and leads PLU with a .543 on-base percentage.

Allen Hewey, former Central Kitsap and Olympic College standout, is being used as a closer at Campbellsville University in Kentucky. The right-hander is 3-0 with 4 saves and a 1.89 ERA. He’s appeared in eight games. Hewey has given up 19 hits, struck out 18 and walked three in 19.1 innings for NAIA Campbellsville (22-7, 9-2 Mid-South Conference). He is 1-for-2 with a single, walk and hit by pitch in limited time at the plate.


Josh Sontag of St. Martin’s, a freshman infielder from Central Kitsap, is hitting .240 in part-time duty for the Saints (3-27, 1-17 GNAC). Sontag’s played in 18 games, making seven starts. … Michael Calderson, former Olympic College pitcher from Davis High in Yakima, is 6-3 with a 3.29 ERA for Bellevue University in Omaha, Neb.  He has 28 strikeouts in 38.1 innings for the NAIA Bruins (24-4-1), who are working on an 18-game winning streak. Calderon was the Midlands Collegiate Athletic Conference pitcher of the year n 2012. … North Kitsap grad Daniel Jewett, who played for the Kitsap BlueJackets last summer, is a junior transfer at Nebraska-Omaha. Jewett is using this as his red-shirt season after transferring from Truman State.


Shortstop Haylee Baker, a junior transfer from Bainbridge and Bellevue CC, is hitting .230 for Western Washington (16-14, 8-8 GNAC). Baker’s started every game and has a homer and seven RBIs. … Not sure if we hae any other softball players from the Kitsap area playing at four-year colleges. If you know of anybody, let me know. … Watched No. 2 Arizona State beat Oregon State 11-0 in five innings on Saturday in Tempe, Ariz. Sun Devils had eight hits, five of them homers, during the blowout win. Pretty impressive softball team.


UCLA’s Erynne Lee, sophomore from Central Kitap, had eight birdies during a record-tying round of 65 (-7) on The Bay Course in Hawaii. Lee finished at one-under par 215 and tied for ninth. She climbed 25 spots on the leader board with her best collegiate round. Lee was ninth in her previous tournament.

UNLV’s Carl Jonson, sophomore from Bainbridge, tied for 35th at the Don Puckette National Invitational Tournament at the Omni Tucson National Golf Club. He was 63rd and tied for 37th in his previous two tournaments.



Rangers release former NK/WSU star Jared Prince

Got caught by surprise when I showed up in Surprise, Ariz., Tuesday morning. Was looking to get together with North Kitsap grad Jared Prince and South Kitsap grad Aaron Cunningham, a couple of outfielders in camp with the Texas Rangers.

Talked to Prince Monday night and he sounded upbeat. Said he thought he’d be with the Rangers’ Double-A squad at Camelback Ranch for a game against the White Sox.

As I waited for players to file into the bus for the ride to the game, Cunningham strolled by. We exchanged greetings, and when I told him I hoped to get together with him and Prince in the next day or two, he told me Prince had been let go in the morning.

Tough deal for the 26-year-old. The former NK and Washington State star is one of the good guys you like to pull for and he’ll bounce back. As his former manager Steve Buechele told me, “Whatever he ends up doing, he’s going to be successful at.”

Prince hit .234 with 12 homers at Double-A Frisco a year ago. The former Pac-10 Freshman of the Year and All-American from WSU was drafted in the 34th round by the Rangers in 2009 and had moved from rookie league to low high, high A and Double A. His numbers weren’t the greatest, but he impressed everybody with his demeanor and the way he played the game. If he’s a higher draft choice, the Rangers would have made room for him, but they didn’t have a lot of money invested in a guy who also had the talent, in my opinion, to be a starting quarterback in the Pac-12. Here’s his complete minor-league stats.

He got into three major league spring training games for Texas this year, going hitless in two at bats. He played against the Mariners in a game that was televised in the Northwest.

It was 73 degrees and overcast when we headed out of the place we’re renting down here around 8:45 a.m.. When we returned, after catching a few innings of the Rangers-White Sox Triple-A game, it was 87 and sweat was starting to trickle everywhere, if you know what I mean.

Cunningham, by the way, played left and batted No. 2 for the Rangers’ AAA club. He struck out and ground out in the two at-bats we saw.

It looks like Cunningham’s locked in to be a starter for Texas’ Triple-A club at Round Rock, Texas. But sometimes this game will throw some curve balls at you that you weren’t expecting. Like the one Prince got today.

I hope to talk to Prince before he gets out of town. He’ll likely be the subject of my regular Thursday column. I hope to write about Cunningham next week.

And if you missed the monthly Q&A I’m now doing (it runs the last Monday of each month), here’s the conversation I had with Mike Curto, broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers. He’s another one of the really nice guys in baseball.

Bremerton handball player Carden reaches finals in Tucson; wins sportsmanship award

Bremerton’s Glenn Carden advanced to the finals in open singles at the United States Handball Associations’s Hall of Fame and Rocky Mountain Regional tournament in Tucson, Ariz., on Saturday.

The 61-year-old Carden, a 15-time national age-group champion, takes on David Fink, a touring pro who is about 35 years younger, in Sunday’s singles finals. Update: Fink beat Carden 21-3, 21-3.

Carden was also awarded the Marty Decatur Sportsmanship Award during the tournament. Here’s a picture of Glenn and his wife Jackie with the award.

Carden’s been in the Phoenix area for the past month or so.  He was going to enter the 60s, but there weren’t enough entries and they made him the No. 2 seed in open singles.

Carden heads to San Diego for the U.S. Masters singles tournament the first week of April.


Husky football not getting a lot of love by bookies & how about GONE-zaga?

How about some more odds?

Passing through Nevada on my way south to Arizona, I checked out  some odds other than those related to the NCAA basketball tournament.

The Washington Huskies, who open the football season at home against Boise State on Aug. 31, are 80-1 shots to win the BCS championship. Boise State, which beat the UW in the Las Vegas Bowl in December, are 50-1 shots.

Alabama (3-1) is favored to win another title. Oregon (4-1) and Ohio State (6-1) were behind ‘Bama.

Besides Oregon, Stanford (10-1) is the only Pac-12 team given a decent shot of winning a national title. But UCLA (40-1), USC (40-1), Arizona State (50-1) and Oregon State (60-1) are all higher rated than the Huskies. Arizona (100-1), Washington State (150-1), Colorado (200-1) and Utah (300-1) didn’t get much respect at all from Nevada bookies.

The Seahawks are getting a lot of respect. Seattle is lumped with New England and Denver at 5-1 to win Super Bowl XLVIII. The 49ers (4-1) are the team to beat. Green Bay (9-1), Houston (10-1), Atlanta (10-1), New Orleans (10-1) and defending champion Baltimore (10-1) are in the next tier.

Do you like the Mariners chances to win the World Series? Nevada oddsmakers list them at 30-1, same as the Diamondbacks, White Sox and Pirates. The Dodgers (5-1) are the pick this season, followed by the Tigers (7-1) Angels (7-1) and Blue Jays (7-1). The Nationals (8-1), and Yankees (8-1) have the next-best odds. The Marlins (100-1) and Astros (100-1) are the longest shots.

Did you put money on Florida Gulf Coast in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament?  FGC’s odds are 999-1. And what were the odds of the FGC coach landing a supermodel for a wife? Really, he did. Read it right here.

GONE-zaga was an 8-1 shot with WAS being the operative word. The Zags ran into a pretty good team in Wichita State, which shot it really good when it mattered. But a lack of depth was apparent, especially after guard Gary Bell went out with an ankle injury in the first half and didn’t return. The Shockers’ bench outscored Gonzaga’s little-used subs 34-7.

The Miami Heat have now won 25 straight games, so it wasn’t surprising to see them as a 5-6 favorite to win the NBA Finals. That means you gotta bet $5 to win $6. Unless you have Donald Trump money, it’s not even worth a play. The Spurs and Thunder are at 3-1 with the Bulls and Clippers at 8-1 and Pacers and Knicks at 9-1.

Jimmie Johnson (2-1) is the clear-cut favorite to win NASCAR’s 2013 Sprint Cup.


Sacramento’s new arena deal avoids new taxes. Are Kings closer to keeping NBA team from moving to Seattle?

RG3 recovery from injury superhuman, says Dr. James Andrews.

Here’s a nice photo gallery from The Spokesman-Review of the Gonzaga-Wichita State NCAA game.

That’s all for now. Got a baseball game to see tomorrow. Time to break out the sunscreen. We’re six minutes away from the home of the White Sox and Dodgers in Glendale, it’s 20 minutes to Peoria, 30 to Surprise. Have a good Sunday. Hope your bracket’s not too busted up.

A few NCAA thoughts from the road

Left Bremerton on Sunday, and it already seems like we’ve been gone three weeks. From B-town to Reno to Las Vegas, the road trip has taken us to Flagstaff, Ariz. Next stop: The Grand Canyon. Then it’s off to Arizona for some  sun and baseball.

Followed the NCAA Tournament on the radio for most of the day, wondering if Gonzaga was going to hold off Southern. Southern? Can you imagine the heat the Zags would have taken if they’d lost to a No. 16?

When B.F. Goodrich invented rubber galoshes in 1923 in Akron, Ohio, they featured a new invention called the zipper. Hence, that’s how Akron came to be known as the Zips. And those are the things you google while on the road with a couple of buddies. Maybe the Zips were wearing galoshes on Thursday during an 88-42 loss to Virginia Commonwealth? Or maybe VCU is that good? If a No. 11 seed is ever going to win the tournament, this might be the one. “Organized chaos,” is how one of TV’s talking heads described VCU.

Cal, Oregon and Arizona all win on Thursday? Who saw that coming? The Pac-12 hasn’t gotten much respect in recent years, but maybe this is the year they will earn some R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

This just in: No. 14 Harvard KO’s No, 3 seed New Mexico in the West, 68-62. The Ivy Leaguers weren’t suppose to be here this year after losing two co-captains after a grade scandal.  Next up for the Crimson is Arizona. Upsets like this are what make this tournament so great. Look at your bracket. I bet it just got busted.

This just in: Syracuse leads Montana 72-28. Do you think the Grizzlies are happy they made the tournament?

My column this week was about the Odds of March. The next one will be about spring training.

Quick hits

Former Central Kitsap football coach Paul Stoffel, who was an assistant at West High when I played, is living in Prescott, Ariz., and we will get together on Saturday. Stoffel’s granddaughter, Kristin Stoffel, is a freshman basketball player at Seattle University.

Miami comes from 27-points back in the third quarter to beat Cleveland and extend its NBA winning streak to 24 games. This, two days after overcoming a 17-point deficit in a victory over Boston. Oh, yeah, both games were on the road. The Heat won three straight in four days to cap a 5-0 road trip. Enough about this nonsense about LeBron James not being in Michael Jordan’s league. When Jordan left the Bulls to play pro baseball, Chicago still managed to get back to the NBA Finals the next year. When James left Cleveland, which had become one of the league’s elite teams, the Cavs suddenly became the worst team in basketball.

Nate Roberts, a senior from Central Kitsap, is finishing up his four-year baseball career at Seattle University and coach Donny Herrel calls the middle infielder the “perfect program guy.”

Nice to see Olympic College’s baseball team is off to a good start. The Rangers are 9-4. It’s still a shame that Kitsap County officials won’t let the Rangers volunteer their time to work on the field at the fairgrounds. OC’s willing to work on the field before and after practices. Unless something’s changed in the last week, the county is only allowing the college to practice 10 times on the field. OC’s played several of its home games at the Regional Athletic Complex in Lacey.

South Kitsap grad Aaron Cunningham is hitting .276 for the Texas Rangers this spring and is still in the running for a backup outfield position. North Kitsap grad Jared Prince has appeared in three spring games for the Rangers and is hitless in two at bats. It’s possible both Kitsap products could start the season at Triple-A Round Rock, which plays in the Pacific Coast League.



This could be Gonzaga team that gets to Final Four & links on Seahawks’ Percy Harvin trade

Like a lot of you, I’m not sure Gonzaga’s the No. 1 team in the country, but the Zags proved during its 65-51 West Coast Conference championship victory over Saint Mary’s on Monday night that they are certainly deserving of a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Gonzaga showed off all elements of its game against the Gaels. Kelly Olynyk and Elias Harris dominated inside. Kevin Pangos, Kevin Bell Jr. and David Stockton brought toughness, and smart decision-making to the court. David Hart brought his defense and all those intangibles that make him the player he is. Coach Mark Few pretty much stuck with those six players, but he’s got a capable bench that will need to come up big at some point if the Zags are going to make a deep run in the tournament. There will be games when Gonzaga will need more than 10 minutes from 6-10 Sam Dower.

Questions? They might be susceptible to a tough zone defense. BYU made it tough for Gonzaga to get good looks in a late-season game where it pushed the Zags to the very end. Syracuse, for instance, might be a tough draw.

Have the Zags been pushed like Indiana and Michigan in a tough conference like the Big 10? No, but there’s no question this is the best Gonzaga team, perhaps, since the Spokane school burst on the NCAA scene in 1999, getting within a game of the Final Four. Gonzaga’s Wonderdogs lost to No. 3 Connecticut in the West Regional championship 67-62 in Phoenix that year. Don Monson was the coach, Few his loyal assistant and they featured guards Quentin Hall, Richie Frahm and Quentin Hall and rebounding machine Casey Calvary, whose tip-in gave Gonzaga an upset win over Florida and a shot at UConn. Gonzaga hasn’t missed an NCAA tournament since, but it’s never returned to the Final Eight.

The current team (30-2) might not shoot it as well from the outside as that ’99 bunch, but it’s just as athletic, much better defensively and it has Olynyk, the best big-man in the country. Did you see his dunk Monday night after taking a pass from Stockton on the break? You had to remind yourself that was a 7-footer making that play.

So maybe this is the year the little school gets to the Final Four. This is a pretty hard-nosed group. If I was a coach of a team in the tournament, I wouldn’t want to play ’em.


Tuesday links

Former Seahawks’ offensive lineman Steve Hutchinson, a key to their Super Bowl run in 2005, announced that he is retiring, ending a 12-year NFL run.

One man’s view: Percy Harvin not the player you think he is, writes Pete Prisco of CBS Sports.

Another man’s view: Harvin could turn out to be a headache for Hawks, writes Mike Freeman, also of CBS Sports.

And, yet, another opinion on the trade that brings Harvin to Seattle: Don Banks of says this bold move could work in the Seahawks’ favor.

Former UW commit McLaughlin MVP of the GNAC

Wonder how much of a difference Mark McLaughlin, the well-traveled, sometimes troubled basketball player from Bothell, would have made to the Washington Huskies if he’d decided to stay in Seattle and play for coach Lorenzo Romar and the Dawgs this season.

The 6-foot-6 McLaughlin was recently named MVP of the Great Northwest Conference. This story by Roger Underwood, the former Sun staffer now working for the Yakima Herald, is a month old, but it sounds like McLaughlin’s found a home at Central Washington.


Anyone listening to 1090 The Fan talk radio?; Fox Sports I coming to a TV near you

Nothing against the established local sports talk-radio stations, Sports Radio KJR (950 AM/102.9 FM) and 710 ESPN Seattle, but when I’m driving around, I find myself tuned in to 1090 The Fan more and more.

1090 AM is CBS sports radio. You get the opinions of national personalties like Jim Rome, Doug Gottlieb and John Feinstein. And you still get your local Seattle fix from 3-6 p.m., with Steve Sandmeyer, formerly of KJR, and longtime Seattle broadcaster Bill Swartz interviewing local athletes and coaches and breaking down the hot topics of the day.

Nothing wrong with the old standbys at KJR (if you’re a Husky fan, you gotta get your Husky Honks fix) and ESPN 710 (The Go-To Guy, who writes a weekly column for my favorite daily newspaper, remains a favorite), but it’s nice to have an alternative. Instead of getting the same old stories hashed over and over again, you can go to 1090 and get something totally different. Just throwing it out there in case you weren’t aware that you had another choice.

While we’re at it, it’s nice to see that Fox is launching an around-the-clock cable station that’s going to take on ESPN. Fox Sports 1 is scheduled to launch on Aug. 17. It’ll be tough, probably impossible, to take down ESPN, which has over the years mostly lived up to being the “world-wide leader in sports,” as it claims. ESPN has contracts with the NFL and NBA. But Fox seems ready to take ’em on. The network already has contracts with the MLB, NASCAR, the Pac-12, Big 12, soccer’s Champions League and Europa League and the UFC. When ESPN’s contracts with the NFL and NBA expire, some think FSI might have enough millions (ESPN paid the NFL $1.9 billion for its latest contract) to make a serious play. And maybe they’ll come up with some better alternatives to ESPN’s tired day-time programming. First Take I can’t take anymore. And Around the Horn, Pardon the Interruption, Sports Nation, Mike and Mike etc. etc., they stuff the same topics down listeners ears hour after hour.

Let’s hope FS1 will be worth tuning in to. It’s good to see somebody taking on the big dog in sports broadcasting.