Baseball: Bower joins WSU pro contingent

MATT BOWER has joined five former Washington State baseball players in the minor leagues who made their pro debuts last month.

Bower, the only junior among WSU’s June draftees, has been assigned to Houston’s Rookie-class farm club in Greeneville, Tenn., of the Appalachian League. Bower signed with the Astros on Tuesday, three days before the deadline for college players to sign.

Bower, primarily a relief pitcher for WSU, was Houston’s 23rd-round draft pick. He compiled a 7-3 record with a 4.79 earned run average in 27 games for the Cougars this year.

Two of WSU’s June draft picks, Joe Pistorese and Ian Sagdal, have made impressive starts in pro ball at the short-season Class A level.

Pistorese, Seattle’s 17th-round pick, is 3-0 after five games (all in relief) with Everett in the Northwest League. He’s given up nothing but an unearned run in 11 1/3 innings, with 10 strikeouts and one walk.

Sagdal, Washington’s 16th-round pick, is batting .290 after 12 games with Auburn (N.Y.) in the New York-Penn League. The second baseman has no homers and nine runs batted in.

Catcher P.J. Jones, selected in the 19th round by Seattle, is hitting .188 with no homers and two RBIs in 10 games with Everett. Sam Triece (10th round) and Ty Jackson (32nd round) are pitching out of the bullpen for Tampa Bay’s Rookie team at Charlotte, Fla., in the Gulf Coast League. Triece is 1-1 with a 5.14 ERA in four games. Jackson, who spent the past two seasons at NAIA powerhouse Lewis-Clark State in Lewiston, is 0-1 with a 1.42 ERA and two saves in seven games.

Former Seattle and Arizona farmhand Taylor Ard went 1-for-3 with an RBI Wednesday when he started at third base for the West Division for the second straight year in the Frontier League All-Star Game. Ard has bashed a league-leading 17 homers in 50 games with the River City Rascals of O’Fallon, Mo.

Ard is batting .279 with 39 RBIs (tied for fourth) in the independent league. Former WSU teammate Seth Harvey, a onetime Milwaukee Brewers farmhand, has appeared in 15 games in relief for Florence (Ky.) of the Frontier League. He’s 2-2 with no saves and a 5.30 ERA.

Adam Conley was named to the Pacific Coast League team in the Triple-A All-Star Game on Wednesday, but he didn’t play after earning his first major league win Saturday with Miami. Conley, who threw a scoreless inning of relief in his only previous big league game June 10, limited Cincinnati to a pair of runs over five innings in his major league starting debut.

The Marlins quickly returned Conley to New Orleans after he filled in due to injuries in both his appearances with Miami. He’s 8-2 with a 2.33 ERA in 16 games (15 starts) with New Orleans. He’s tied for second in the PCL in wins and ERA.

California League All-Star catcher Alex Burg has not slowed down since his recent promotion from Class A to AA. The Texas Rangers farmhand is batting .333 with three homers and eight RBIs in 15 games with Frisco (Texas) of the Texas League.

Nick Tanielu, a Midwest League All-Star third baseman, remains a consistent contributor for Class A Quad Cities (Davenport, Iowa). He’s batting .299 with two homers and 37 RBIs in 74 games.

Collin Slaybaugh continues to play like an all-star in the Class A South Atlantic League. He’s batting .348 in 26 games since being pulled out of extended spring training by the New York Yankees. Slaybaugh has no homers and just eight RBIs, but the fleet-footed catcher has stolen nine bases in 10 attempts with Charleston (S.C.).

Infielder Trace Tam Sing, a Pittsburgh farmhand, plays for the other Charleston club in the SAL. He’s batting .215 with no homers and 17 RBIs in 23 games with the West Virginia Power.

Outfielder Yale Rosen, batting .205 for San Diego’s farm club at Lake Elsinore (Calif.) in the California League, has been placed on the Storm’s seven-day disabled list. Cougars who remain on extended DL stints in the minors are outfielder Kyle Johnson (New York Mets) and pitchers Tanner Chleborad (Baltimore Orioles) and Taylor Williams (Milwaukee Brewers).

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