Cougar Prince making big splash in pro ball

WASHINGTON STATE baseball coach Donnie Marbut spent four years raving about the dedication and character of Cougar outfielder-pitcher Jared Prince, so it's perhaps no surprise to learn that Prince has made a similar impression on his first pro team.

"He's unbelievable," Spokane Indians senior vice president Otto Klein said. "He seems to be the consummate teammate.

"He's the first one to ‘high five' all the guys to get them fired up to play. During the game, he's the first guy who jumps up when a guy breaks his bat and delivers him a new one … (and) when a guy hits a home run, he's the first off the bench to congratulate him.

"Afterwards, he seems to be really good with all interviews, anything asked of him. He's not above anything."

Prince, the 34th-round draft pick of the Texas Rangers, is batting .304 in the short-season Class A Northwest League. He has five home runs and 25 RBIs in 44 games as an outfielder, first baseman and designated hitter.

MEANWHILE, IN THE SUMMER amateur ranks, WSU's Rusty Shellhorn has been named Pitcher of the Year in the Prospect League. Shellhorn, who saw limited duty as a freshman at WSU last season, led the Prospect League with eight wins and 89 strikeouts in 68 1/3 innings. He compiled an 8-3 record and 1.45 earned run average in 18 games (nine starts) with the North Coast Knights of Lorain, Ohio.

WSU outfielder Kyle Johnson joined Shellhorn and a number of other Cougars in being named to his summer league all-star team. Johnson hit .340 for Wenatchee and led the West Coast League with 18 stolen bases in 39 games. Johnson and Cougar teammate Paris Shewey helped the AppleSox capture the WCL championship, with Shewey (3-1, 3.30) earning the save in the title game.

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