14 Members of College World Series Champions Oregon State Played for a WCCBL Team in Last Two Years; Five Beavers to Suit Up in 2006, Three for Aloha Knights
Jun 28, 2006
Ex-Aloha Star Bill Rowe ('05) Scores Game Winner in Omaha; Former Knight, Kevin Gunderson ('04), Gets Save
PORTLAND, Ore. (June 28, 2006) -- Of the 35 players on Oregon State's national championship roster, 14 of them have played for one of the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League's eight teams in the last two years.
Most notable: Bill Rowe and Kevin Gunderson, who were yesterday named to the College World Series All-Tournament team. Both played for the Aloha Knights, Gunderson in 2004, Rowe in 2005. First baseman Rowe won a WCCBL Rawlings Gold Glove last season.
"We truly believe that the WCCBL is an extension of every college program in the Pacific Northwest, a proven ground to help each university grow and nurture their on-field talent," said league commissioner Jim Dietz.
"The league and our many fans have become very close to these players over the past several seasons -- each city they played in continuing to treat them a hometown son," Dietz continued. "As family, we wish to celebrate in their success. And for a handful, look forward to their return."
This season, five Beavers will play in the WCCBL: Brian Budrow, Alex Sogard (Bend Elks); Rob Summers, Erik Ammon, Brett Casey (Aloha). Both Bend players have reported, while Aloha's three will suit up next week.
Below is a full listing of all 14 OSU players who have played with WCCBL teams, with the team, year they played in parenthesis:
-- Pac-10 Player of the Year Cole Gillespie (Wenatchee AppleSox, 2004);
-- Senior centerfielder Tyler Graham (Bend Elks, 2004);
-- Senior first baseman Bill Rowe (Aloha Knights, 2005);
-- Senior second baseman and 2006 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year Chris Kunda (Bend Elks, 2004);
-- Sophomore setup man Eddie Kunz (Bellingham Bells, 2005);
-- Junior closer and two-time All-Pac-10 selection Kevin Gunderson (Aloha Knights, 2004);
-- Junior catcher Erik Ammon (Aloha Knights, 2005);
-- Junior pitcher Greg Keim (Bend Elks, 2004);
-- Sophomore infielder Lonnie Lechelt (Kelowna Falcons, 2005);
-- Junior pitcher Jake McCormick (Bend Elks, 2005);
-- Sophomore catcher Casey Priseman (Bellingham Bells, 2004, 2005);
-- Redshirt freshman pitcher Rob Summers (Kelowna Falcons, 2005);
-- Sophomore pitcher Daniel Turpen (Aloha Knights, 2005), and;
-- Senior outfielder Geoff Wagner (Bend Elks, 2002-2005).
WCCBL: 2006 Season Storylines to Date
The WCCBL's second season opened to much fanfare in Moses Lake, with the expansion Pirates drawing an opening-night crowd of 1,426. The prior evening, the Wenatchee AppleSox drew 1,246 at its home opener against the Pirates. While the AppleSox -- the league's defending champs -- won both, Moses Lake took the series finale 4-3 to record the new franchise's first win.
In Kelowna, 972 fans caught the Falcons' opening 2-1 win over the Spokane RiverHawks at Elks Stadium. Pitching shined early as Bend, Wenatchee and Kitsap recorded shutout wins in their openers.
Kitsap's Kyle Howe of Columbia Basin College and Kyle Cline of Missouri Valley College turned in scoreless starts in combined shutouts as Kitsap took two of three from Bellingham.
Other impressive starts included Wenatchee's Tommy Milone of USC and Bend’s Jason Erickson of University of Washington as both were part of opening night wins and combined shutouts.
The league's first two players of the week: Wenatchee pitcher Matt Fields (week of June 26) and Aloha infielder/outfielder Ryan Selden (June 19).