The #5 ranked Oregon State Beavers won the Pac-10 title for a second straight spring. OSU posted a conference best 16-7 mark and will host a regional June 2-4 as a #1 seed. The 39-14 Beavers offense was led by junior outfielder Cole Gillespie who was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for May 23-29 and Pac-10 Player of the Year Wednesday, May 31. The right-handed hitting slugger from West Linn, Oregon is OSU’s top position player prospect and in an incredible comfort zone.
Gillespie came into his own during the summer of 2004 with the Wenatchee AppleSox. In 122 league at bats, Cole led the Sox in hitting with a .402 batting average, home runs with 5, on base percentage at .493, runs with 36 and RBI with 27.
The Pac-10’s Player of the Year was an absolute force this spring as he led Oregon State in hitting with a .370 average, home runs with 11, doubles with 20, RBI with 50, runs with 69, total bases with 129, walks with 39, hit by pitch with 10, on base percentage at .492 and stolen bases with 14. Gillespie is among 30 Brooks Wallace College Player of the Year semifinalists. The award will be presented at a two-day celebration of college baseball on July 3-4 in Lubbuck, Texas.
Oregon State opens its post-season vs. the Horizon League Champion Wright State Raiders Friday, June 2 at 5 pm at Goss Stadium.
The Beavers feature 14 student-athletes with experience playing on WCCBL clubs including starters Cole Gillespie, senior centerfielder Tyler Graham (Bend Elks, 2004), senior first baseman Bill Rowe (Aloha Knights, 2005), senior second baseman and 2006 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year Chris Kunda (Bend Elks, 2004), sophomore setup man Eddie Kunz (Bellingham Bells, 2005) and junior closer and two-time All-Pac-10 selection Kevin Gunderson (Aloha Knights, 2004); and reserves junior catcher Erik Ammon (Aloha Knights, 2005), junior pitcher Greg Keim (Bend Elks, 2004), sophomore infielder Lonnie Lechelt (Kelowna Falcons, 2005), junior pitcher Jake McCormick (Bend Elks, 2005), sophomore catcher Casey Priseman (Bellingham Bells, 2004-2005), redshirt freshman pitcher Rob Summers (Kelowna Falcons, 2005), sophomore pitcher Daniel Turpen (Aloha Knights, 2005) and senior outfielder Geoff Wagner (Bend Elks, 2002-2005).
Other Northwest school DI collegians who played for WCCBL clubs that exceled this past spring were Gonzaga’s All-WCC selections sophomore third baseman Darin Holcomb, senior left-handed pitcher Patrick Donovan, senior first baseman Bobby Carlson and junior right-handed pitcher Brandon Harmon. Holcomb was named second-team All-WCC and Donovan, Carlson and Harmon All-WCC honorable mention. Holcomb led GU in RBI with 57 and hit .338, Donovan went 8-4 with a 3.22 ERA, Carlson hit .323 with 8 HR and 39 RBI and Harmon went 2-2 with a 3.25 ERA and 3 saves. Holcomb played for Aloha in 2005, Donovan for Wenatchee in 2004, Carlson for Wenatchee in 2003 and Harmon for the Sox in 2004 and 2005.
Matt Hague, who played for Aloha in 2005, led the University of Washington in hitting for a second straight spring with a .381 batting average and also led the team in runs with 53. Ex-Bellingham Bell senior first baseman Curt Rindal led the Dawgs in doubles with 21 and his 2004 Bells teammate senior leftfielder Zach Clem led UW in home runs with 20 (Clem also played with Bellingham in 2003). Hague, Rindal and Clem were all named First-Team All-Pac-10 Wednesday, May 31. Senior outfielder Cory Rickard, who played with Spokane in 2005, finished strong with a .367 average. On the mound, junior pitcher Elliott Cribby emerged as UW’s closer and was recently named All-Pac-10 Honorable Mention. Elliott pitched for Wenatchee in 2004 and 2005. He led the Huskies in saves with 10 and over a team leading 29 appearance went 7-6 and posted a 3.76 ERA.
The Washington State Cougars #1 pitcher Wayne Daman, Jr., who pitched for Aloha in 2004, turned in a stellar junior season as Daman went 6-4 with a 4.50 ERA over 14 starts. Junior outfielder Ryan Krauser, who played for Bellingham in 2004, hit .363.
The Portland Pilots second-team All-WCC selection Travis Vetters starred for Wenatchee in 2004-2005.