Baseball: Cougs young & old making headlines

IT'S BEEN A BANNER 24 hours on the Cougar baseball front. Monday evening senior outfielder Jay Miller tied the WSU record for most hits in a career when he laced a pair in a win over Lewis-Clark State. This morning, two future Cougars were named to the Seattle Times' prep All-Area team. Meanwhile, in the Major Leagues, a couple of old Cougs are heading into June on an upswing.

Miller, who will conclude his sterling Washington State career in a three-game series at Washington that begins Friday, is now tied with Mike Kinkade on the career hits chart with 304. Miller wasted no time on Monday getting to work. After a 43-minute rain and lightning delay prior to the game, he led off the bottom of the first with a clean single through the right side. In his next at-bat, Miller's two-out double to right in the third inning scored Scott Suttmeier, tying the game at 1-1, and tying Kinkade's 11-year old mark.

Fittingly, Miller's record-tying hit came on a double, which gives him 73 for his career. That places him just two doubles shy of another Kinkade record, whose 75 career doubles has stood since 1995.

AS FOR THE TWO PREPSTERS, shortstop Cody Bartlett and third baseman Jarett Jackson, both were recently named all-South Puget Sound League for the second straight season and now have been honored as two of only 12 players selected by the Times to its All-Area team.

Bartlett, from Kentwood High, hit .493 this season with seven homers, 30 RBI and 21 steals. The 6-2, 220-pound Jackson, who also was a standout linebacker at Jefferson High, hit .440 this season with 27 RBI and played gold glove-type defense. Cougar coach Don Marbut says he reminds him of former WSU star Stefan Bailie.

Another member of the incoming Cougar recruiting class who hails from the South Puget Sound League, star left-handed pitcher Carsten Bocchi of Todd Beamer High, also was in the news recently. The Tacoma News Tribune did a marvelous feature story on the young man and his comeback from a career-threatening blood clot in his left (throwing) shoulder. Click here for the full story. Bocchi, who was SPSL co-MVP last season, throws a nasty curveball and wicked change up. He's also wields .400-plus average with the bat.

MEANWHILE, IN THE MAJORS, a pair of Cougars are heading into the summer on the right note. Wily veteran Scott Hatteberg, in his first year with the Reds, collected two hits Monday night to raise his batting average to .297. He's riding a five-game hitting streak in which he's gone 9-for-20.

On the pitching mound, Mark Hendrickson picked up his second win of the season last Thursday, going seven innings against the White Sox. He's now 3-3 this year and rounding back into his early season form after a stint on the DL.

NOTABLE NOTE: Kyle Kendrick, the former All-State quarterback from Mt. Vernon once thought destined to play football and baseball at WSU, was named the Philadelphia Phillies' Minor League Pitcher of the Month for April and the Class A South Atlantic League Pitcher of the week for April 17-23. The 21-year-old starter for the Lakewood BlueClaws was 2-1 in April with a 1.60 ERA in five starts. One of his victories came against the son of future hall of famer Roger Clemens. The great man was in the stands for the contest and told Kendrick afterward that he pitched a great game.

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