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Keep Your Enemies Closer: Washington Huskies Baseball

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Get a closer look at the Diamond Dawgs first opponent in Omaha

Washington v Stanford Photo by Stephen Lam/Getty Images

School Profile:

  • University of Washington: Seattle, WA
  • Public
  • Founded: 1861
  • Student Enrollment: 46,686
  • Acceptance Rate: 53%
  • Endowment: $3.4 Billion
  • Out of State Tuition: $35,538

Historically, the University of Washington Huskies baseball team has appeared in nine NCAA tournaments. However, the 2018 season is their first appearance in the College World Series. They were the last team from the Pac 12 to appear in the College World Series.

Some Bulldog fans residing in the south may have seen the Washington Huskies recently. They actually made it to the finals against Ole Miss in the 2014 Oxford Regional. The Huskies appeared again in 2016 in the Vanderbilt Regional losing to UC Santa Barbara and Xavier.

2018 Season Review

Overall Record: 35-24

Conference Record: 20-10

Home: 17-13

Away: 14-10

Neutral: 4-1

The Huskies opened the season with a series split against Sacramento State. What followed was a handful of meaningless non conference wins and losses. One particular low point was losing two straight to Illinois and Seattle, followed by dropping 3 of 4 to Illinois State. Once conference play began the Huskies began to shape up. Washington won 8 out of their 10 conference series this season including a winning streak of 5 conference series wins to end the season. Their only series losses came on the road to Oregon State and California.

Conference Series Wins:

Arizona

@ USC

Oregon

Washington State

@ Arizona State

UCLA

@ Utah

Stanford

Conference Series Losses:

@ Oregon State

@ California

NCAA Postseason Review

The NCAA awarded the Huskies with a 3 seed in the Conway Regional. In their first game against the UCONN Huskies, Joe Demers pitched eight strong innings and Levi Jordan had three hits in a 7-1 win. Their next game was a tilt against the #1 seeded cinderella team, Coastal Carolina. The Huskies won 11-6 with help from Nick Kahle’s second inning grand slam. In the Regional Final once again the Washington Huskies beat the other Huskies from Connecticut 9-6.

Washington earned the right to continue playing with a matchup against Cal State Fullerton in the Super Regionals. Cal State Fullerton is a proud program with 14 Super Regional Appearances and 18 College World Series Appearances. But the underdog Huskies came to play. In game 1, freshman Kaiser Weiss came in as a defensive replacement but ended up with a huge eighth inning double to secure the Husky win. In game 2 the Huskies put together only 2 runs off 6 hits in a 5-2 loss. Joe Wainhouse provided two home runs in the loss. Game 3 was the biggest in program history for the Huskies. And all they did was deliver an all time classic game. Joe Demers once again dominated into the ninth inning but the Titans managed to take a 4-3 lead heading to the bottom of the ninth. Washington tied it off a Jonathan Schiffer single. In the top of the tenth, Fullerton answered right back with a home run off Alex Hardy to take a 5-4 lead. Then in the bottom of the tenth the bottom fell out for Cal State Fullerton. A combination of hits and errors led to the bases being loaded in the bottom of the tenth. Then freshman Kaiser Weiss hit a fly ball to left to bring home the winning run and award the Huskies with their first trip ever to the College World Series.

Key Players

Joe Wainhouse (DH)

This 6-6 Senior from Kent, WA is the main bat that the Bulldogs will have to watch out for. Wainhouse accounts for almost half of the Husky home runs this year with 19. He’s second on the team with 69 hits and leads them with 59 RBIs. However, Wainhouse also leads the team with 69 strikeouts. His teammates have referred to him as “Paul Bunyan.” He’s got the bat, size, and beard to back it up. Wainhouse was an All Pac 12 selection in 2018 as well as the 2018 NCAA Conway Regional MVP.

Levi Jordan (SS/2B)

Levi is the other main offensive threat the Huskies have. Jordan hits right above .300. His 8 home runs and 42 RBIs are good for second on the team. He leads the team in runs scored going across home plate 46 times this year. The 5-8 Senior was drafted this year by the Chicago Cubs in the 29th round. Jordan is a very good infielder. He has started at shortstop and second base for the Huskies.

Joe Demers (Starting Pitcher)

Demers is the no doubt ace for the Huskies. Barring a huge change, Demers will be starting against Mississippi State on Saturday. Demers leads the Huskies in innings pitched (123.0) and strikeouts (92) for the season. His 3 saves and 7 wins are good for second on the team. Demers made headlines this year when he completed a perfect game against UC Riverside in February. Demers has two other complete games this season. Demers has also been called on to save games. He can do it all. The junior was selected in the 11th round by the Oakland A’s. He was also named to the 2018 All Pac 12 team.

Alex Hardy (Closer)

Another upperclassmen on this Huskies squad is Alex Hardy. Hardy is a player that the Bulldogs may not see. This would be a bad thing because that probably means Demers is on his game. Hardy is the main closer for the Huskies. Hardy has a solid ERA with a 2.14 and holds opponents to a .212 batting average. He is the team leader in saves with 8 and has pitched 59 innings this year.