Heading into the second-half of the 2009 collegiate season, several West Coast League alums are making an impact on ranked teams and 5 of 10 Pac-10 clubs leading hitters played in the West Coast League.
WCL alums making a difference for ranked teams (Baseball America’s latest rankings):
#1 UC Irvine – Ace lefty Daniel Bibona pitched for Corvallis in 2007 and leads UCI in wins (6-1), ERA (2.21) and Ks (64). And southpaw reliever Noel Avison, who leads the Anteaters in appearances with 19, pitched for Kelowna in 2007.
#14 Cal Poly – Starting outfielders DJ Gentile, Ryan Lee (.365, 19 stolen bases) and Adam Melker played for Bend in 2007, Kelowna in 2006-2007 and Corvallis in 2008, respectively. Lee recently broke Brian Roberts’ (Orioles star) consecutive game hitting streak record at Cal Poly. Gentile leads the Mustangs in hitting with a .388 batting average. WCCBL Pitcher of the Year Jared Eskew (5-1, 4.59) of Corvallis and Eric Massingham (5-0, 1.98), who pitched for the Knights in 2006 and 2007, are tied for the team lead in wins with 5.
#17 Oregon State – The Beavers starting middle infield – shortstop Joey Wong and second baseman John Tommasini – played for Bend, Wong in 2006 and Tommassini last summer. OSU’s #2 and #3 starting pitchers Greg Peavey (3-2, 3.94) and Jorge Reyes (5-1, 3.68) pitched for Corvallis in 2007 and Moses Lake in 2006 and 2007, respectively. Southpaw reliever Kraig Sitton, who pitched for Spokane in 2006 and 2007, leads the Beavs in appearances with 15. The Beavers starting outfield features centerfielder John Wallace, who played for Corvallis last summer, and a mix at the corner spots of Michael Miller (.340), Rob Folsom, Koa Kahalehoe and Logan Lotti, who played respectively for Wenatchee in 2007, Spokane in 2008, Bend in 2007 and 2008 and Corvallis in 2008.
#19 San Diego State – Starting outfielder Brandon Decker, who played for Kitsap in 2007 and 2008, is hitting .285 with 8 stolen bases. The Aztecs #2 starting pitcher Jon Berger (3-4, 4.70) threw for Corvallis last summer.
#20 Hawaii – Starting third baseman Vinnie Catricala played for Wenatchee in 2007 and leads UH in hitting with a .361 batting average. Starter Jayson Kramer (3-3, 3.30), who pitched for Wenatchee in 2006, leads the Rainbows in starts with 9, innings pitched with 60 and strikeouts with 31.
#23 Kansas State – Ace pitcher A.J. Morris (pictured) threw for Moses Lake last summer and leads the KSU in wins (9-0), ERA (1.31), starts (10), innings pitched (68 2/3) and strikeouts (69). Starting outfielder Dane Yelovich, who played for Moses Lake last summer, is hitting .304 and leads the Wildcats in stolen bases with 20.
5 of 10 Pac-10 teams are featuring leading hitters that played in the WCL:
Catcher Gino Aielli of UCLA (17-20, 9-6) leads the Bruins in hitting with a .342 batting average. Aielli played for Wenatchee last summer.
Second Baseman Colin Walsh of Stanford (16-16, 7-8) leads the Cardinal in hitting with a .321 batting average. Walsh played for Kelowna last summer.
First Baseman Dillon Baird of Arizona (17-19, 3-12) leads the Wildcats in hitting and RBI with a .411 batting average and 33 RBI. Baird played for Wenatchee in 2007.
Outfielder Kyle Conley of Washington (15-22, 4-8) leads the Huskies in hitting, home runs and RBI with a .341 batting average, 14 homers and 39 RBI. Conley played for Wenatchee in 2006.
Catcher Greg Lagreid of Washington State (19-17, 8-4) leads the Cougars in hitting with a .376 batting average. Lagreid played last summer for Spokane. Alex Burg of WSU leads the Cougs in RBI with 33 and his .345 batting average is second highest on the team. Burg played for Corvallis last summer.