02/20/2017 4:39 PM
Arturo Reyes with Walla Walla in 2012. He looks good in red, doesn't he? Hopefully he'll be able to trade that Sweets cap for a St. Louis Cardinals one soon!
Ben Farber here – I’m excited to be making my way out west this summer. Summer. How we all miss summer. Somehow, some way, it’s nearly 60 degrees in St. Paul, Minnesota today (where I am currently covering sports for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune before I get to Walla Walla) – about the same temperature in #SweetsCountry! That's sixty above zero! The formerly-mountainous snow has been reduced to iced-over grey piles on street corners. You never want to jinx it by saying it out loud, but it feels like spring might come early this year. The Super Bowl already came and went two weeks ago. The NBA and NHL have had their all-star games. Regular-season play in college hoops will soon draw to a close. And baseball is just around the corner.
With Division I play officially beginning this past Friday, the college baseball season is now in full swing. With that in mind, we are proud to present another installment of our weekly “10 Things to Know” notebook with a review of the last week’s action.
10 Things to Know Volume XIII: Week of 2/20/17:
1.Fifteen players listed on the Sweets’ preliminary 2017 roster saw playing time over the weekend as Division I baseball began play on Friday. While the Sweets have some key veterans returning, many high-ceiling prospects will be freshman this season. Expect the younger Sweets to receive increased playing time as the season wears on. That being said…
2.One of the freshman that made an impact was C Ryan Shaw. Shaw started 2 of 3 games for the Richmond Spiders, picking up a hit and an RBI in his first collegiate game.
3.Shaw’s teammate SS Vinny Capra, a junior transfer from Eastern Florida State, went 1-for-5 and scored a run batting leadoff in his collegiate debut, an 8-5 loss to No. 18 Coastal Carolina on Friday. Capra occupied the top spot in Richmond’s batting order for all three of their games. Both the Spiders and the Sweets will be counting on Capra to provide speed, defensive versatility, and an ability to hit for contact.
4.Another Sweets infielder that’s taken over the leadoff spot for his college team, California-Berkeley 2B Ripken Reyes batted first for the Bears in all three of their games last weekend when they took 2 of 3 from in-state rival Cal Poly. Reyes was 2-for-15 with an RBI and a run scored.
5.Washington State 3B Shane Matheny (a sneak peak at the roster movement because he hasn’t officially been announced yet) blasted the lone longball for the eventually-Sweets last weekend. He homered in the third inning of a 10-2 loss to Sacramento State on Friday. It was the only hit the Cougars recorded off Sacramento State righty Justin Dillon across seven innings.
6.Cal State Bakersfield righty Isaiah Moten (another on the list of “sneak peeks”) took the loss in relief on Saturday as the Roadrunners fell to Utah 7-5 at home. Moten pitched 2.1 innings, allowing 5 hits and 3 runs while punching out a pair.
7.Turning to Division III action, Emory RHP Billy Dimlow, who is set to return to Walla Walla for his second season with the Sweets in 2017, turned in a sensational performance in a 2-1 win over Washington & Lee on Sunday. Dimlow hurled 7 terrific innings, allowing just one hit and one unearned run while walking one and striking out eight. He retired 21 of the 26 batters he faced. Unfortunately, Dimlow took a no-decision, though he certainly pitched well enough to win the ballgame. Emory walked off in the ninth inning on a deep sacrifice fly to centerfield. So far, Dimlow’s stats on the young season are unreal. Through his first two starts, the sophomore has allowed just three hits and one walk across 14 innings while striking out 20. He has yet to cough up an earned run. The Eagles are undefeated at 7-0 and are ranked No. 4 nationwide by D3baseball.com.
8.The day before Dimlow’s masterful performance, his college teammate, former Sweets’ LHP Jackson Weeg made school history by recording 18 strikeouts in 8 innings during a 7-3 win over Washington & Lee on Saturday. Weeg’s 18 strikeouts shattered Emory’s 23-year-old record for punchouts in a single game (16), set by RHP Scott Kramer in 1994. That summer, Kramer wound up being selected in the 13th round by the Cleveland Indians. Weeg’s college stats—a 2.36 ERA with 242 hits allowed, 245 strikeouts and 84 walks in 271.1 innings—suggest he might be on a similar trajectory.
9.Speaking of players who were drafted, a former Sweets—Cardinals righty Arturo Reyes—earned an invitation to Major League Spring Training as a non-roster invitee. Reyes played for the Sweets in 2012, and was an All-Star (the game was hosted at Borleske Stadium). He pitched to a 4.17 ERA in 101.1 innings across 19 starts last season for Triple-A Memphis. He has been a grinder in getting to this point, as he wasn’t a high-round pick. However, it’s realistic to believe that Reyes is simply one or two injuries away from making his Major League debut in 2017.
10. Finally, five future Sweets went at it over the weekend as Loyola Marymount took 2 of 3 from No. 24 UC-Santa Barbara.