Eight 2001 Warriors Enter Pro Ball
Six Play in Northwest League
Cheff Receives Honor
Pitcher Wes Hutchison was the closer for the 2001 Northwest League Champion Salem-Keizer Volcanoes, a San Francisco Giant affiliate. He posted a 6-2 record with an ERA of 1.64 and a league-best ten saves, in leading S-K to a 51-25 record and the West Division title. Hutchison picked up the save in the final game of the NWL Championship Series against Boise. He finished tied for fourth in appearances with 25. Former Lewis-Clark State star and major leaguer, Steve Decker, is the hitting coach for the Volcanoes.
The Eugene Emeralds, a San Diego Padre affiliate, was one of two teams that had more than one former Warrior playing. Outfielder Matt Hellman and catcher Trevor Brown, a native of Eugene, each saw considerable playing time this season. Brown batted .280 with a pair of home runs and 17 RBI. Hellman batted .220 with three homers and 15 RBI and was called up to Class AAA Portland at the end of the year, playing in one game. The Portland manager, Rick Sweet, played for Cheff at Lower Columbia College in Longview, WA.
Ramon Royce pitched for the Everett Aqua Sox, a Seattle Mariner affiliate. He posted a 3-5 record with a 5.87 ERA in 20 appearances. Royce started three games this year and closed ten. He only walked 15 batters in 38.1 innings pitched.
The Vancouver Canadians, an Oakland Athletics affiliate, was the other team with a pair of Warriors. Pitchers Chris Mabeus and J.R. Crider helped lead the Canadians to a second-place finish in the West Division. Mabeus, the ace of the Warrior staff before suffering a wrist injury just before the NAIA World Series, went 2-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 20 appearances. He was bounced between starting (eight starts) and the bullpen (six finishes and two saves). Crider posted a 1-3 record and a 3.27 ERA with three saves. He led the Canadians in games finished with 14. Both pitchers will participate in the fall instructional league.
In addition, outfielder Ricky Osuna signed with the Frontier League’s St. George Pioneerzz and pitcher Nick Gravelle signed a non-drafted free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Gravelle will start his pro career with instructional league this fall.
Also, Barry Larson, a former Warrior and team MVP, was an umpire in the Northwest League this past season.
Warrior mentor Ed Cheff was recently honored by his alma mater, Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. The Lewis & Clark College Sports Hall of Fame named Cheff the recipient of the college’s first Lifetime Sports Achievement and Leadership Award for his achievements in sport after graduating.
During his senior year, Cheff was the captain of Lewis & Clark’s Northwest Conference Championship football team. That spring, he was also selected by his teammates to captain the baseball team and earned team MVP and All-America honors.