Cougar Baseball Notebook

THE CAPE COD LEAGUE, widely recognized as the premier summer amateur baseball league in the country, has produced hundreds of major league players. If Cougar Jason Monda doesn't join that list someday, it will come as a surprise to a lot of folks in New England.

Monda, coming off a strong freshman season at Washington State, was one of four outfielders named to the Cape Cod League all-star team. League coaches selected the all-stars.

Monda finished fourth in batting at .333 and tied for seventh with 13 stolen bases in 32 games in the wood bat league. Monda, the son of former WSU star Greg Monda, had one homer, four triples, four doubles and 17 RBIs with the Brewster (Mass.) Whitecaps.

Last month, the 6-foot-4, 197-pound Monda started in right field and played in the Cape Cod League All-Star Game at Boston's Fenway Park.

Current and former major league stars who played in the Cape Cod League include Thurman Munson, Mark Teixeira, Ryan Braun, Craig Biggio, Bobby Valentine, Tim Lincecum, Lance Berkman and Joe Girardi.

Monda was one of several Cougars who enjoyed strong summer seasons.Taylor Williams, who struggled as a freshman last spring, led the New England Collegiate Baseball League with six wins. He earned second-team all-star honors after going 6-1 with a 2.18 earned run average (eight) and 41 strikeouts (sixth) in 41 1/3 innings with the league champions from Keene, N.H.

Outfielder Kyle Johnson did not earn post-season all-star honors in the NECBL, but the senior-to-be ranked sixth in batting at .331 and tied for ninth in stolen bases with 13 in 34 games. Johnson represented the Newport (R.I.) Gulls in the league's all-star game.

Adam Nelubowich led the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League with eight home runs and 36 runs batted in. He hit .304 (ninth) in 52 games with Wenatchee. The versatile sophomore-to-be started at third base in the WCCBL All-Star Game.

Richie Ochoa, another Cougar selected for the WCCBL All-Star Game (he did not see action), ranked third in ERA at 1.65. Ochoa, who will be a junior, posted a 2-3 record in 12 games (seven starts) with Bellingham. Collin Slaybaugh wound up sixth in the Coastal Plain League batting race with a .349 average in 39 games with the Martinsville (Va.) Mustangs.

Slaybaugh, who started behind the plate for WSU much of the year as a freshman, tied for 10th with 15 stolen bases and was not caught stealing all summer. He had one home run and 24 RBIs and started in the league all-star game. Taylor Ard and Derek Jones, two of WSU's top returning players, struggled this summer.

Ard hit .231 with four homers and 16 RBIs in 34 games as Monda's teammate in the Cape Cod League. Jones hit .226 with two homers and 12 RBIs in 24 games with the (Montpelier) Vermont Mountaineers in the New England League.

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