Monthly Archives: May 2013

Quick Hits: High school all-star games today; Husky kickoff set for Boise State game & more

PREPS: The Kitsap Athletic Roundtable’s annual high school all-stars games for area baseball and softball players is today (Thursday, May 30) at Gene Lobe Fields at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds & Events Center.

The Senior Baseball Games, affiliated with the Washington State Baseball Coaches Association, start at 4 p.m. It consists of two 7-inning games.

The Softball Showcase is at 3:30 p.m. It’s one, 9-inning game featuring softball players of all classes.

Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for students and seniors over 60. Kids 12 and under and active military are free.

FOOTBALL: The Washington Huskies will kick off their 2013 football season against Boise State on Aug. 31 at 7 Husky Stadium. It will be the first game at the new-look, modernized stadium and it will be televised by FOX Sports 1, the new network that debuts earlier that month. The Apple Cup will be on Nov. 29 at 12:30 p.m. And the Huskies also know their game times for two of their other games: The Sept. 14 game vs. Illinois at Soldiers Field in Chicago starts at 5 p.m  PST, and the Nov. 15 games at UCLA starts at 6 p.m. The Illinois and UCLA games are Friday night games.

Here’s Washington’s 2013 schedule.

And here’s the school’s press release about the Boise State starting time.

GOLF: The Washington Huskies are not playing their best golf at the NCAA men’s tournament, but they are only four strokes out of eighth-place heading into Thursday’s third and final round of stroke play. The top eight move on to the match-play portion of the championships. Hogan Award winner Chris Williams is tied for 58th (72-70—142). … UNLV’s Carl Jonson, sophomore from Bainbridge, is tied for 128th (73-74—147) and the Rebels are tied for 21st as a team.

BASEBALL: WILLIE BLOOMQUIST is hitting .467 (7-for-15) with eight RBI in four games with the Triple-A Reno Aces. The Port Orchard native played two games, rested, played two more, and then sat out as he tests himself after starting the season on the disabled list with a strained oblique. Expect him to be recalled by the Diamondbacks pretty soon. … The Tacoma Rainiers being an eight-game homestand on Saturday against Sacramento. The Tuesday game starts at 11:30 a.m. and the forecast is for sunshine. It’s a good chance to get a good look at Dustin Ackley, Jesus Montero, Franklin Gutierrez, Brandon Maurer and Lucas Luetge, who all started the season with the Mariners. Ackley was 5-for-6 with a home run, two walks and 3 RBI at Colorado Springs on Thursday. Montero’s hitting .250, Gutierrez .208.

MOTORSPORTS: MY WEEKLY Thursday column for The Sun was about Bremerton native and open-wheel racer Randy DuBois, who had quite a day as a spectator at the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday.

RETIREMENT?: I THOUGHT I RETIRED in January, but the assignments keep coming. But that’s OK. It’s good to be busy. Looking forward to seeing the Kitsap Pumas, who take on the Portland Timbers 23 s in their  home opener at Gordon Field on Saturday at 7 p.m. The Timbers Army travels pretty good, so there should be a good crowd. Hey, and there’s supposed to be a beer garden for those of you who might like to sip on a cool one. … Sunday, I’ll be at Gold Mountain Golf Club for the final round of the City Amateur golf tournament, and between now and then I’ll find some time to talk to manager Ryan Parker and some of his BlueJackets for a preview on the West Coast League baseball club, which opens its season on Wednesday at Cowlitz in Longview. That story is scheduled to run Tuesday, June 4.  The BlueJackets home opener is Saturday, June 8, vs. Medford.

Quicks hits on Memorial Day: DuBois and Indy, good day for M’s & more

GOT A TEXT message from Poulsbo’s Randy DuBois earlier today. The local sprint car driver was on his way back from Indianapolis,where he watched his first Indy 500. Not only that, but he spent the day before the race and the day of the race with Tony Kanaan’s winning team. “Lots of tears,” writes DuBois. Gonna catch up with DuBois later. Sounds like he had a helluva time at the Brickyard.

WENT TO SAFECO FIELD on Memorial Day. Great game for the M’s. Aaron Harang throws complete-game shutout, but the Padres hit a lot of balls hard. Still pretty impressive considering how bad he’s been. Starting to really like Kendrys Morales a lot. The switch-hitter is fun to watch at the plate, and he handled himself pretty good in the field at first base, too. Morales is hitting .500 (16-32 with seven doubles and a homer) in his last seven games. Carlos Triunfel’s still waiting for his first hit (he’s o-for-10) since coming up from Triple-A, but the guy oozes talent. Pulling for him, too.  He smoked one ball, absolutely crushed it, but right at the second baseman. Nick Franklin made his MLB debut. Triunfel and Franklin could be the middle infield combo of the future, or one of them could be trade bait. A lot probably depends on Brendan Ryan and Dustin Ackley. Will Ryan continue to hit? Can Ackley get untracked?

“WE HAVE TO GROW UP.” That’s was the message sent by Cam Chancellor and other Seattle Seahawks’ veterans during a recent team meeting. Good call. It would be nice not to read about PEDs and the Seahawks in the same sentence.

BALTIMORE’S JASON HAMMEL goes eight innings in 6-2 win over Washington Nationals. South Kitsap grad is now 7-2  with a 4.59 ERA. He’s bounced back with two strong outings after a couple stinkers.

ANOTHER SK GRAD, Willie Bloomquist, was 2-for-4 with a triple and 3 RBIs for Reno in an 11-10 loss to Tacoma on Monday. Bloomquist is hitting .455 (5-for-11) since starting his injury rehab in the minors. Look for the D’backs to rush him back to the big club, where he’ll probably see most of his time at second base. Arizona’s using Josh Wilson (.204) and Cliff Pennington (.193) at second since Aaron Hill went down with a fractured bone in his hand earlier in the year. Rookie Didi Gregorious is doing a nice job at short, but Willie Ballgame will also fill in there.

SPEAKING OF SOUTH KITSAP, my heart tugs for the Wolves’ baseball team. Nine errors in a championship game. It’s hard to see a team lose like that. Imagine how it feels? It probably doesn’t feel like it now, but the Wolves had a helluva year. They put together a pretty impressive run to reach the 4A title game, and hopefully that’s what they’ll remember, not the 8-5 loss to Skyview.

UNLV GOLFER CARL JONSON, sophomore from Bainbridge, tees it up with the Rebels at the NCAA Championships in Atlanta on Tuesday. So do the Washington Huskies, led by the strong 1-2 punch of Chris Williams and Cheng Tsung-Pan.

MORE GOLF NEWS: A one-day qualifier for the Washington State Men’s Amateur will be held June 5 at Gold Mountain. The state Am is June 18-20 at Chambers Bay in Tacoma. The Bremerton City Am is June 1-2 at Gold Mountain.

COMING THIS WEEK: The Kitsap Athletic Roundtable sponsors the annual Senior Baseball All-Star Games and Softball Showcase at the Fairgrounds. Softball at 3:30 p.m., baseball at 4. Stop by and see some of our area’s best athletes. Softball is one 9-inning game, while they will play two 7-inning baseball games.

Bloomquist begins rehab at Reno against Tacoma Rainiers

Going to Reno this weekend?

If so, stop by Aces Ballpark in downtown Reno and say hello to Willie Bloomquist, who will begin his rehab process with the Reno Aces, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Triple-A club.

Reno opens a four-game home series against Tacoma on Friday, and Bloomquist, a South Kitsap grad, will be in uniform. Correct me if I’m wrong, but Bloomquist’s last minor-league game was with the Rainiers in 2002. He was called up in September, hit .455 and he’s been a big leaguer ever since.

Bloomquist, 35, started the season on the DL with a strained oblique muscle suffered at the end of spring training. He’s coming off a year he which he hit a career-best .302 for the Diamondbacks.

Thursday links

Art Thiel of writes about the SeaAdderal Seahawks suddenly perceived by many as the bad boys of the NFL.

You’ve probably heard by now that the Mariners have sent catcher Jesus Montero to Triple-A Tacoma. Interesting move. Makes you think more moves are coming. Robert Andino, it’s been nice to know you, but isn’t it time to give Carlos Triunfel a long look? And how long do you keep running Dustin Ackley out there? The Rainiers, by the way, close out a homestand Thursday night at 7 o’clock against Nashville, then  hit the road. Next home stand will be June 1-9.

There’s no excuses for Sergio Garcia for his joke about inviting Tiger Woods over to eat some “fried chicken.”

How will Michael Crabtree’s injury impact the 49ers? Read this piece by Bill Barnwell.

Legendary short-track driver Dick Trickle recently took his life. Trickle competed in 303 NASCAR races, and never won one, but he’s considered by many to be one of the greatest drivers of all time. He never reached the Winston Cup level until he was 48. According to a Sports Illustrated article, he won more than 1,200 feature races in his career.

I helped out as a volunteer softball coach at Olympic College this spring, and it turned out to be a really rewarding experience. I’d played fastpitch for years, and had managed teams at times, and I coached youth baseball, but I’d never coached girls. Anyway, just thought this was a cool story about how one of our division rivals, Bellevue, supported another division rival during the championship game in Portland on Monday of this week. Not sure if a male team would have ever shown this kind of support for a rival. Check it out. (go down to the second headline, THE BIGGEST BUZZ OF ALL). Bellevue, by the way, is coached by former Sun Female Athlete of the Year, Leah Francis, a North Mason grad.

Kitsapers in college: CK grad Roberts earns first-team All-WAC honors for Seattle U

Some final updates on local college athletes:

Nate Roberts, a senior shortstop from Central Kitsap, earned first-eam All-Western Athletic Conference honors for Seattle University (21-33, 10-16 WAC).

Roberts hit .298 (.327 in conference games) and led the Redhawks in hits (61), doubles (17), home runs (5), RBI (45) and total bases (95). He was third on the squad with 30 runs scored, and a perfect 9-for-9 in stolen base attempts.

Freshman outfielder Landon Cray from Chimacum led Seattle U with a .313 batting average. Cray had three triples, three homers, and 24 RBI.

Brady Steiger hit .431, third in the NAIA, during the regular-season for Lewis-Clark State, which hosts the NAIA World Series May 24-31 in Lewiston, Idaho. Steiger, a South Kitsap grad, also led the Warriors in runs (56), hits (81), doubles (21) and walks (29). He was second in RBI (46) and hit five homers. The No. 10-ranked Warriors (41-13) open the tournament Friday (May 24) against Rogers State. FYI: York College (Nebraska) is making its first NAIA World Series appearance. Ex-York players include ex-Olympic College and Bremerton High players Ryan Parker, Paul Gehring and Spencer Stark. Parker, currently the head coach at OC, also coached at York. Gehring’s an assistant at Edmonds CC and Stark is an assistant AD at Edmonds. OC assistant Abe Lupkin also played at York, as did South Kitsap grad and former assistant Jay Powers.

Central Kitsap grad Tyler Baumgartner goes into the final regular-season series at Utah with a .244 batting average. The junior transfer from Bellevue CC tailed off a bit at the end of the year. He’s made 31 starts, mostly at DH, and played in 44 games for the Ducks (41-13, 20-7 Pac-12). Oregon is ranked No. 8 nationally and tied for second in the Pac-12.  FYI: Washington (22-31, 13-14 Pac-12) has moved up to sixth and is playing its best baseball late. WSU (22-30, 8-19) is having a disappointing year and is buried in 10th place in the 11-team league.

Bainbridge pitcher Colin Feldtman, a red-shirt junior, was 2-2 with two saves for the University of Portland (18-36, 8-16 West Coast Conference). The former Kitsap BlueJacket had a 2.91 ERA in 19 appearance, all in relief. He pitched 34 innings, allowed 34 hits, struck out 22 and walked eight. Ben Grubb, a senior catcher from Sequim and Lower Columbia, hit .287 with five homers and 23 RBI for the Pilots.

Central Washington’s Kasey Bielec, a sophomore second baseman from North Mason, earned second-team All-Great Northwest Athletic Conference honors. Bielec hit .320 with two homers and 25 RBI for the Wildcats (30-24, 19-13 GNAC), who lost the title game of the GNAC Tournament to Western Oregon. Randy Button, a senior pitcher from North Mason and Big Bend CC, was 2-3 in 39.1 innings for CWU. Button’s appeared in 17 games, 15 as a reliever.

Pacific Lutheran catcher Curtis Wildung, a sophomore from North Kitsap, shared first-team All-Northwest Conference honors. Wildung hit .275 and led the Lutes (22-18, 12-12 NWC) with 25 RBI and 14 doubles… A.J. Konopaski, a sophomore reliever from Port Angeles, finished with a 1-1 record, five saves and a 0.97 earned run average. In 37 innings he struck out 38 opposing batters. Konopaski was also a first-team pick.


Josh Sontag of St. Martin’s, a freshman infielder from Central Kitsap, hit .200 in part-time duty for the Saints (9-39, 7-24 GNAC). Sontag played in 31 games, making 14  starts.

North Kitsap grad Daniel Jewett, who will play for the Kitsap BlueJackets this summer, had to sit out a year after transferring to Nebraska-Omaha. He will be a junior in eligibility next year.

Daniel Orr, a sophomore first baseman at Everett CC from Kingston, hit .348 with three homers and a team-high 45 RBI for the Trojans, who won the NWAACC North regular-season title and go into this weekend’s NWAACC Championships in Longview as the No. 2 seed out of the conference. Orr will play for the Kitsap BlueJackets this summer. … Tanner Romo, a sophomore infielder from South Kitsap, hit .290 for Everett and drove in 20 runs.

Olympic College third baseman Vince Sablan, a freshman from South Kitsap, hit .290 for the Rangers and will also play for the BlueJackets this summer. … Ryan Taylor, a pitcher/first baseman from OC, will also play for the BlueJackets. Taylor, from Salt Lake City, hit .250 and was 3-6 with a 3.22 ERA.

For a look at more of the 2013 BlueJackets, click here.


Shortstop Haylee Baker, a junior transfer from Bainbridge and Bellevue CC, hit .228 for Western Washington (23-23, 12-12 GNAC). Baker’s started every game even though she was playing with a heavy brace on her knee. … Shortstop Meagan Rancier, from South Kitsap, helped Bellevue CC to a fourth-place finish at the NWAACC Championships. Rancier hit .310 for the Bulldogs four homers and 37 RBI.


UCLA’s Erynne Lee, sophomore from Central Kitap, was tied for second at the NCAA Championship after the second round. She shot 71-70 the first two days.

UNLV’s Carl Jonson, sophomore from Bainbridge, tied for seventh at the NCAA regional in Columbus, Ohio, and helped the Rebels qualify for next week’s NCAA Championships.


Kitsapers in the pros: Cunningham, Vettleson heating up in minors

Aaron Cunningham and Drew Vettleson, a couple of minor-league outfielders, appear to have gotten untracked after slow starts.

Cunningham, from South Kitsap and Everett CC, is playing for the  Round Rock Express, Texas Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate that plays in the Pacific Coast League. He has hit .302 (13 for 43) with six RBI over his last 10 games going into Monday night’s game at Tucson. He was 4 for  6 with a home run at Las Vegas on May 10. Cunningham, now hitting No. 5 in the order, is hitting .272 for the season with a .373 on-base percentage and .395 slugging percentage.

Vettleson, an outfielder from Central Kitsap, is hitting .308 (12 for 39) over the his last 10 games for the Charlotte Stone Crabs of the advanced Class A Florida State League. Vettleson was 2 for 4 with an RBI double on Monday and has hit two homers in that stretch to boost his average to .233. He’s now batting No. 3 for the Stone Crabs after  seeing his average flirt with the Mendoza Line for most of April. He’s got a .270 on-base percentage and .380 slugging percentage.

Todd Linden, another Central Kitsap grad, fouled a ball off his right foot on April 20, suffering a deep bone bruise, and he remains on the Fresno Grizzlies’ disabled list. Linden, who was hitting .286 after just 35 at bats, is targeting a mid- to late-June return, according to the Grizzlies.

At the major league level, shortstop Willie Bloomquist remains on the Arizona Diamondback’s disabled list with a strained oblique. The South Kitsap grad pulled it prior to the start of the season and recently had a small setback in extended spring training.

Bloomquist was shut down for a couple of days before resuming hitting a week ago.

“We just kind of slowed him down a little big,” Arizona manager Kirk Gibson told “It’s not like he totally reinjured it, it just wasn’t as good as it needed to be to start playing in games.”

Baltimore pitcher Jason Hammel has had some rocky outings, but he’s 5-1 with a 4.93 ERA and on pace for a 21-4 season. The Orioles have won six of his eight starts. The South Kitsap grad lasted just four innings in his last start, and got a no decision after allowing eight hits and six unearned runs at Minnesota on Friday. Hammel has 32 strikeouts and 18 walks in 45.2 innings. The right-hander has been getting some serious run support by his teammates.

Thursday Links: Is Tebow getting a raw deal?


Is Tim Tebow getting unjustly blackballed? That’s the gist of this story by Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports.

Silver writes

Isn’t there a coach out there who can help Tebow get the most out of his abilities? Logic would suggest that someone with his level of commitment would be a strong candidate for improvement.

It may have already happened: After Tebow was released by the Jets, one of the franchise’s former quarterbacks, Vinny Testaverde, expressed his disappointment to’s Rich Cimini. Testaverde, who had just spent a week working with Tebow in Florida, said he and another ex-NFL quarterback, Chris Weinke, made a key footwork adjustment that produced noticeable results.

“Chris and I looked at Tim careful and we were both amazed,” Testaverde told Cimini. “Everybody has been focusing on his throwing motion, trying to fix that, but nobody had picked up his footwork. His footwork was all screwed up …

“We got his footwork fixed. His throwing motion is now a non-issue. He throws with what we call ‘effortless power.’ He doesn’t have that elongated motion anymore and his head isn’t moving two-and-a-half feet when he throws it.”

Referring to the Jets’ coaches, Testaverde added, “I think they would have been impressed if they had compared this year to last year.”

Instead, Tebow is metaphorically throwing into the wind, and it’s a cold, heartless squall.



Check out Eric Williams’ latest stuff on his Seahawks Insider blog at the Tacoma News Tribune. Eric worked at The Sun before joining the Trib in 2006.

NWAACC Softball

Here’s the latest NWAACC softball standings. You’ll notice that Olympic College is holding down third place in the North Division and qualified for the 16-team NWAACC Championships, which begin May 17 at Delta Park in Portland. The Rangers host Douglas of B.C. on Friday at Lions Park with the first game starting at 2 p.m., and plays a non-league twinbill at Highline on Sunday before heading to the tournament. Here’s OC’s stats. Shortstop Jenna Bartlett, a sophomore from Central Kitsap, is having a helluva year. She’s hitting .488 and should be in the conversation for division MVP honors. Of course, I’m a bit prejudiced since I’m helping out as a volunteer assistant at OC this spring. Bartlett stepped up and handled the pitching chores when OC’s top three pitchers were all out with injuries.


You’re still disappointed in the Mariners? Imagine being an Angels’ fan about now, writes Jon Heyman of The underachieving Halos have a $155 million payroll and might get swept by the Houston Lastros.


The Brandon Roy Story has been written by Dan Raley, former Seattle P-I sportswriter and basketball player from Roosevelt High (class of ’72). Raley was a teammate of Peter Nielson’s, a point-guard who played at Olympic College. He’ll be at the University Book Store on Friday at 7 p.m. for a book signing. Roy’s the former Garfield and UW star whose pro career was derailed by knee injuries.

“Reading Dan Raley writing about Brandon Roy is like watching Dwyane Wade throw a floor-length pass to LeBron James. This is more than a book, it is a breathtaking connection between two greats, an unforgettable assist that results in a rim-rattling finish. Raley is a great storyteller. Roy is an even better story. Read it and leap.”
– Bill Plaschke, Los Angeles Times sports columnist and panelist on ESPN’s Around the Horn

I read Cold Crossover, a mystery by Tom Kelly, earlier this spring. It’s about a former high school basketball star — Limbert “Cheese” Oliver — whose car is found abandon on the Bremerton ferry. His former high school coach, Ernie Creekmore, doesn’t believe that Cheese took his life. Kelly, a former sports writer at the Seattle Times who raised his family on Bainbridge Island, writes a compelling story. I’m looking forward to the second book in the Creekmore series.

Harshman Memorial

Just a reminder: Marv Harshman’s public memorial will be held on Saturday at 1 p.m. at Hec Edmundson Pavilion at the University of Washington. The former UW/WSU/PLU coach died April 12 at 95.

Fred Couples calls Hall of Fame induction ‘coolest night of my life’

There’s Ted Williams’ baseball swing, Dan Marino’s football sling, and Ray Allen’s outside shot in basketball, but none are as sweet as Freddy Couples’ golf swing.

The Seattle native was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame on Monday. He teared up a couple times and told the story about how Lee Trevino inspired him as a 14-year-old.

A lot of people forget that Couples, who attended O’Dea High, competed against a lot of Kitsap Peninsula golfers when the Irish were part of the Olympic League.

Couples turned pro on a whim in 1980, and looking back, he called it “the dumbest decision,” he ever made. He turned pro so he could play in the Queen Mary Open in 1980.

You can see Couples’ acceptance speech here. “Thanks for taking a kid from Seattle and putting him in the Hall of Fame. This is the coolest night of my life,” is how an emotional Couples ended his speech.