Former Warriors Open Minor League Seasons
Lewiston, ID-13 former Lewis-Clark State College Warriors will open the 2002 Minor League baseball seasons tomorrow, April 4th. Four will open in Class AAA, four in Class AA, and the other five in long-season Class A.
John Foster, a left-handed pitcher, was recently (3/30/02) sent to the Atlanta Braves’ Triple-A franchise in Richmond. There, he will team up with another former Warrior, outfielder Kenny Woods. Bucky Jacobsen returns for another season with the Indianapolis Indians, the Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. Catcher Ryan Luther is the newest member of the LCSC alumni to make a Triple-A roster. Luther will open the season with the Fresno Grizzlies, an affiliate of the San Francisco Giants.
In Class AA, Ryan Baerlocher and Michael Natale will team up once again, but for the Wichita Wranglers, a Kansas City Royals’ affiliate. Relief pitcher Anthony Ferrari will now close games for the Harrisburg Senators, a member of the Eastern League and franchise of the Montreal Expos. Another former L-C closer, Wes Hutchison, makes the biggest leap of any of the former Warriors. After starring for short-season Salem-Keizer and being named the top pitcher at the Giants’ instructional camp, Hutchison finds himself pitching for the Shreveport Swamp Dragons, following the trail taken by former LCSC hurler Steve Reed.
In Class A, there are three former Warriors in the California League. The Oakland Athletics have two franchises in the league, the Visalia Oaks and the Modesto Athletics. George "J.R." Crider will don the Oaks uniform while Chris Mabeus will wear the Modesto Athletics colors. Jason Ellison will patrol the outfield for the San Jose Giants. Ramon "Ben" Royce will toe the rubber for the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers of the Midwest League. Outfielder Matt Hellman will play for the Fort Wayne Wizards, also in the Midwest League, and an affiliate of the San Diego Padres.
Sill awaiting assignment in extended spring training are Trevor Brown, with the Padres, and Nick Gravelle, with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Neither are on a current roster and are expected to start the season in a short-season Class A league. Those rosters will not be posted until June.
The minor league season kicks off Thursday, April 4th, around the country.
State College, 500 8th Avenue, Lewiston, ID 83501 (208) 792-5272