Wednesday, May 20, 2015

HarbourCats player updates - Pac-12 edition

OSU slugger Gabe Clark is back in action
The NCAA baseball season is down it its final few games before the conference tournaments which then leads to the selection of the 64 teams that make it to the "Dance". What better time to check in with our boys in the Pac-12 since at least two of them will be making an appearance, hoping to make it all the way to the College World Series in mid-June.

The Oregon State Beavers - who are the home for two future HarbourCats - have only lost once in their last thirteen games and that includes a rare 2-2 tie against the Washington Huskies who had to halt the game in order to catch their ride back to the Apple State. The Beavers have made a jump up to number 18 in the latest rankings after not being ranked at all for several weeks.

While I cheer for our lads on Oregon State, it is with mixed emotions. If the Beavers soar and make a deep run, it means that they will not join the HarbourCats until a few days after their season ends. That said, the experience would be amazing and in the end...go OSU! To be honest, I'll just be happy to have a leader like Gabe Clark stay committed to playing this summer because some of the previous "commitments" have not been so solid.

On to Beavers third baseman Michael Gretler, who has been thrust into a starting role in recent weeks as the everyday third baseman. Regular starting shortstop, Trever Morrison, went down with a season-ending hand injury at the end of April so third baseman Caleb Hamilton slid over to short and YAHTZEE, Gretler gets the nod at third.

Mr. Gretler has played in 11 straight games and it didn't start off all that well. In the first six games, he was hitless in twelve at bats before hitting safely in four of the next five games. His average over that span was just .118 but as I said, he is starting to pick it up, just in time for the stretch run. Over that span he has struck out nine times and walked four, while making three errors in the field (but none in the last five games). All in all, he seems to be rising to the occasion lately and here's to hoping it keeps up AND follows him on his plane to Victoria this summer!

OSU first baseman/DH Gabe Clark has not seen a lot of action lately, only playing in two of the last thirteen games. I was thinking he must be nursing some sort of injury or something but it seems that was not the case. Prior to this stretch, he had been struggling a bit at the plate hitting .245 and striking out quite a bit and in a recent online article in the Oregonian, they maintain that he was taken out of the lineup to "recalibrate" his approach .

In the two recent games where he HAS seen some action, he has gone one for four with two K's an a walk. That one hit was a big one though, another home run for the hard hitting DH. And no, he's not just a DH, as he saw a rare stint at first base where I am sure we'll see him a lot this summer.

In Washington, the remaining HarbourCat, catcher Zach Bonneau, has seen no action since the last update. Unfortunately for Zach, all Pac-12 starting catcher Austin Rei returned from thumb surgery on April 17th and has been on an absolute tear. Rei is leading the team in hitting at .346 and has an unworldly OPS of 1.145. Hard guy to knock out the lineup, for sure!

Finally, I don't think we'll see our UCLA third baseman, Scott Jarvis, in action this year as second ranked UCLA make a serious charge (again!) for the title and seem to be quite happy with their current lineup .

And I don't think it's just me...the Victoria weather also seems to be dreaming of baseball these days with temperatures "soaring" into the mid-20's as we anxiously await the arrival of that primal scream - "Play Ball" - in the friendly confines of of the RAP.

Only 16 more sleeps...

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