WSU Baseball Notebook

ALL-TIME WASHINGTON STATE saves leader Ian Hamilton might be moving into the starting rotation next season, but he proved he’s still a powerful presence out of the bullpen Saturday night at the Cape Cod League All-Star Game.

Hamilton (pictured above) was named co-Most Valuable Player for the West Division after he struck out two while pitching a 1-2-3 sixth inning in the West’s 1-0 loss to the East in Wareham, Mass.

An estimated 5,200 spectators turned out at Spillane Field. Fox College Sports televises the game on tape delay at 3 p.m. Sunday.

Hamilton owns a 3-0 record with a 0.92 earned run average and one save in 10 games with the Wareham Gatemen. The Vancouver, Wash., native has made three starts.

The Cape Cod League, the most storied of summer leagues for college baseball players, has produced Hall of Famers Frank Thomas, Craig Biggio and Pie Traynor and Cy Young Award winners Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito. Other prominent Cape Cod alumni include Jacoby Ellsbury, Nomar Garciaparra and Billy Wagner.

Ryan Walker, who primarily worked out of the bullpen with Hamilton this year as a freshman at WSU, picked up the save in the West Coast League All-Star Game.

Walker gave up one hit while working the ninth inning of the South’s 3-0 win over the North. The game drew 1,985 last Monday at Joe Martin Field in Bellingham. Former Seattle Mariners star Jamie Moyer threw out the ceremonial first pitch after speaking at a luncheon earlier in the day.

Walker is 3-2 with a 4.17 ERA and one save in eight games (five starts) with the Corvallis Knights.

A third WSU player was denied an all-star game appearance when Shea Donlin watched helplessly as the New England Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game was rained out last Sunday in Sanford, Maine.

Donlin had been named the starting second baseman for the South Division. The senior-to-be ranks sixth in NECBL batting at .341. In 23 games, he has no homers and 10 runs batted in with the Newport (R.I.) Gulls.

Legendary WSU baseball coach Bobo Brayton was honored by the Seattle Mariners during WSU Cougar Day on Saturday at Safeco Field.

Brayton’s wife, Eileen, and sons Fritz (who played for his father at WSU in 1974) and Herb represented the family on the field prior to the afternoon game with Toronto. Herb threw the ceremonial first pitch to Mariners shortstop Brad Miller.

Brayton, a College Hall of Famer and the winningest coach in WSU history, died in March.

Two former Washington State pitchers are making strong bids to lead their respective minor leagues in victories.

Adam Conley (8-3, 2.58 at Class AAA New Orleans) is one win behind the three co-leaders in the Pacific Coast League. Conley went 1-0 in two games with the parent Miami Marlins earlier this season.

Joe Pistorese (4-0, 1.53) is tied for third in the Northwest League, two behind the co-leaders. Pistorese has pitched in relief in his first seven pro games with Seattle’s short-season Class A affiliate in Everett.

Former WSU slugger Taylor Ard leads the independent Frontier League in home runs (19) and runs batted in (50). Ard plays third base for the River City Rascals of O’Fallon, Mo.

Former Cougars pitcher Tanner Chleborad, shut down with arm problems after one game in early April in Class A, returned to action last week on a rehab assignment in the Rookie-class Gulf Coast League.

Chleborad, Baltimore’s 16th-round draft pick last year, has pitched one inning in each of his GCL starts and gave up two runs and five hits.

Another former WSU pitcher, Taylor Williams, is regarded as one of Milwaukee’s top pitching prospects but has yet to play this season due to elbow issues.

Gregg Swenson, WSU’s pitching coach the past 10 seasons, has landed at the University of Portland. Like the Cougars, the Pilots replaced their coaching staff after last season.

As was the case when he arrived at Washington State, Swenson faces a major rebuilding job in Portland. The Pilots finished 12-42 this year and were a distant last in the West Coast Conference at 7-20.

Swenson, an Olympia native and a graduate of Western Washington, is a former Tacoma Community College head coach and Washington Huskies pitching coach.


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