With Friday being the 4th of July, the news flow on WSU athletics was rather slow. The biggest noise from Pullman came from Sunnyside Park where the Pullman Chamber of Commerce held their 39th Annual 4th of July Celebration. In the weeks leading up to the celebration, I received multiple daily reminders, including a Friday morning wake-up visit, from my six-year old son Isaac. With Ike's help, I managed not to miss out on our annual family tradition. Now we can start counting down the seven weeks until Lentil Fest. Both the 4th of July event and Lentil Fest are two of my favorite seasonal markers in Pullman leading into the new school year.
With the dog days of summer upon us, let's take a look at a few former WSU baseball program that are making the transition from being the boys of spring to the boys of summer. In June, four players parted ways with the Washington State baseball team to pursue the opportunity to play baseball at the professional level. Yale Rosen (11th round), Nick Tanielu (14th round), Tanner Chleborad (16th round), and Collin Slaybaugh (26th round) were each selected in the 2014 MLB Draft. Slaybaugh is the only one of the four that exhausted his amateur eligibility.
Rosen was drafted by the San Diego Padres organization. He remained in the Pacific Northwest to play with the Padres' short-season A affiliate the Eugene Emeralds. Rosen has gotten off to a slow start. In his first 51 ABs, Rosen holds a stat line of .211/.333/.294 with a .627 OPS.
Tanielu has by far been making the most noise of the four draftees. Drafted by the Houston Astros and assigned to their short-season A affiliate the Tri-City ValleyCats (Troy, NY) of the New York-Penn League, Tanielu has been on a tear of late. On Monday, he hit his first professional home run on a 4-for-5 night that included two doubles, three runs scored, and four RBIs. Tanielu has hit safely in 11 of his last 21 ABS to raise his overall stat line to.310/.379/.483 with an .862 OPS. WSU fans should remember well what a hard out Tanielu can be when he gets in a zone. I remember several evenings and afternoons at Bailey-Brayton where it seemed like a foregone conclusion that Nick was going to hit his way on.
Chleborad was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles and assigned to their short-season A affiliate the Aberdeen Ironbirds (Aberdeen, MD). Chleborad made his first appearance on June 28th pitching one scoreless inning in which he allowed only one hit.
Slaybaugh has made a limited number of appearances for the Staten Island Yankees, also of the New York-Penn League. In 18 ABs, Slaybaugh has collected four hits, including two doubles, for a .222 average.
Jacob Thorpe revisited the Idaho game from last season in his weekly Friday flashback column.
If you thought 2013 was fun, you should have seen 2003. You can tell things are getting better for the Washington State football program because the Cougars are starting to do things that haven't been done since the halcyon days of 2003, when Marcus Trufant was young, Oregon and Stanford ...