In-State Baseball Pitching Prospects Show Strong This Spring

Two of Oregon St.'s baseball pitching prospects had strong spring seasons.

Clackamas pitcher Ben Wetzler compiled a 12-0 record, with a 0.33 ERA, while leading the Cavaliers to the 6A state championship. Wetzler capped his high school career with a two hit shutout in the 4-0 title game win over South Medford.

It all led the state's coaches to choose the Oregon St. bound Wetzler as Class 6A player of the year.

Wetzler was a key component of the pitching staff on Clackamas' 2008 state championship team as well, but saw his 2009 season spoiled by a broken ankle. As a result, Wetzler missed summer baseball last year, and didn't throw again until winter workouts.

"He probably wasn't completely healthy until the end of football season," Clackamas coach John Arntson said. "I was worried he might be rusty."

There were no lingering effects, though, for Wetzler, who decided he wanted the role as the leader for the 2010 Cavaliers.

"I've never been the main guy during a playoff run, so I wanted to be the dude," Wetzler said.

Wetzler dominated from the beginning of the sprint, giving up only four earned runs all season, and averaging about two strikeouts per inning.

Wetzler's top performances included 10 scoreless innings against No. 2 Lake Oswego, plus three playoff wins, which included a complete game 3-1 win at No. 1 Roseburg.

"Ben is confident and he wants the ball. The bigger the game, the bigger the stage, the more he wants the ball," Arntson said. "That attitude is going to help him in college."

Wetzler said his best game of the season was a 9-0 win over Oregon City on April 27.

"My coach is always telling me to be efficient," Wetzler said, "and I was able to throw a complete game in 70 pitches."

The 5A pitcher of the year award was split between Ashland senior Ian Kendall and North Eugene sophomore Andrew Moore. Kendall, who has also signed at Oregon St., led Ashland to the 5A state championship game.

The 6'2" right hander was clocked several times throwing at 95 mph this spring, and was selected in the fifth round (pick No. 161) by Tampa Bay in last week's major league baseball first year player draft. Kendall has said he hasn't negotiated with the Rays, and at this point plans to play American Legion baseball this summer for the Medford Mustangs.

Kendall gave up only one hit in 32 innings against Southern Sky Conference competition.

"Yeah, and that hit wasn't even reall a hit," Kendall said. "In my mind, I didn't give up any."

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com

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