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10 Things to Know, 2017 Edition: Week of 4/3/2017

1.OF J.J. Hancock of Washington State blasted his third home run of the season during the eighth inning of Monday’s 6-4 win over Cal State Northridge. The solo shot added an important insurance run as WSU wound up winning the game by a pair.

2.Later in the week, the Cougars, who had raced out to a 14-9 start, were manhandled by 2B Ripken Reyes and the California Bears. Reyes was 1-for-3 with a couple of RBI as Cal romped WSU 12-2. The Bears swept the Cougars in the three-game series over the weekend; effectively pouring cold water on a Washington State squad that has played extremely well during the season’s first half.

3.Another middle infielder who had a big moment last week, Loyola-Marymount SS Kevin Jordan belted the first longball of his college career on Sunday. He took Pacific’s Ed O’Bannon deep in the eighth inning of LMU’s 15-6 victory. The Lions have roared to an 18-10 start (7-2 in West Coast Conference play).

4.San Francisco LHP Scott Parker picked up his third career victory, hurling 2.1 innings in relief during the Dons’ 9-6 win over Nevada on Tuesday. In 22 pitches, Parker allowed two hits, walked none and punched out a pair in the outing. Talk about efficiency! The sophomore southpaw is 2-1 with a 2.45 ERA in 14.2 innings this season.

5.Parker wasn’t the only Sweets pitcher to pick up a W over the weekend. Cal Baptist RHP Matt Amrhein notched the first victory of his collegiate career over Point Loma on Friday. The freshman from Upland, CA hurled 2.2 innings out of the bullpen, earning the win as Cal Baptist took the contest 4-3. The Lancers are ranked No. 27 overall in Division II.

6.Whitman 1B/OF Joseph Zimmer pounded the ball last weekend. The junior from Billings, MT went 7-for-15, scored five runs and drove home five more. Zimmer’s .385 batting average and 12 extra-base hits are best on the Blues. His strong junior campaign has done nothing but reinforce his selection as a Preseason Division III All-American. Thanks to Zimmer’s hot bat, Whitman swept three games from Puget Sound.

7.In a battle between two of the top programs in Division III, Washington University in St. Louis downed Emory 3-0 on Friday. RHP Billy Dimlow turned in a sensational start—scattering eight hits and two earned runs while striking out four across seven innings—but he was outdone by Wash U’s Brad Margolin. Margolin one-hit the Eagles while punching out nine and handed Dimlow the first loss of his sophomore campaign.

8.Western Oregon LHP Justin Dolezal excelled in his second collegiate appearance. The first-year from Spokane dazzled by pitching 2.1 innings of one-hit baseball in relief on Friday when the Wolves dropped a high-scoring contest 13-10 to Northwest Nazarene.

9.Spring Training is over and the Major and Minor League Baseball seasons will officially begin this week. Although no Sweets have ever made it to The Show, two Walla Walla alumni currently occupy the highest level of baseball’s minor league system. RHP Eric Yardley (San Diego), and of course RHP Arturo Reyes (St. Louis) are slated to begin 2017 in AAA. Will this be the year we see a former Sweet earn a call-up?

10.Finally—and as a Minnesota resident this one is near and dear to me—the Sweets have picked up RHP Nathan Odahl, who is Nick Nyquist’s teammate at Gonzaga. A redshirt freshman, Odahl should fit right into coach Frank Mutz’s young and rambunctious pitching staff. But for me personally, the most exciting thing here is that Odahl graduated from Cretein-Derham Hall HS in St. Paul, which is literally three blocks down the street from where I live. Cretin is widely considered to be one of the top high school programs in the state of Minnesota. If you drive down Randolph Avenue and you pass by their field, make sure to catch a glimpse of the big scoreboard in right centerfield. Once you do, you’ll understand why CDH is synonymous with Minnesota baseball. There, you’ll see a pair of retired numbers—tributes to the program’s two most prominent graduates, Hall of Famer and current Twins manager Paul Molitor and three-time batting champion and former Twins MVP Joe Mauer.