Willamette Baseball Players Excel in Summer Leagues

By Robert McKinney, Athletics Communications Director, (503) 370-6110

SALEM, ORE. -- Willamette University baseball players are having a successful time while playing for summer league teams. The Bearcats have seen action for six teams in five states.

Mitchell Rowan (Jr., OF/DH, Cotati, CA/Rancho Cotate HS) is hitting .317 for the Willmar Stingers of Willmar, Minn., who compete in the highly-regarded Northwoods League. Rowan, who missed most of the 2011 college season with a broken hand, has registered 14 runs and 11 RBIs for the Stingers in 101 at bats. He also has recorded seven doubles to go with 10 stolen bases.

Rowan earned First Team All-West Region and First Team All-Northwest Conference honors at designated hitter in 2010. He was a First Team Preseason All-America selection by D3baseball.com prior to suffering his injury this spring. He has been playing in the outfield for the Stingers.

Galen Duff (So., INF, Spokane, WA/Gonzaga Prep) has played in 16 games for the Parker Toros of the Rocky Mountain Baseball League in Colorado. He is batting .310 with five doubles, one triple and two homers. He has achieved 15 RBIs.

Tyson Giza (So., OF, Salem, OR/Sprague HS) has contributed a .305 batting average to the Atwater Aviators in Atwater, Calif. He has scored 22 runs and smacked five doubles, while converting on 12 of 16 stolen bases. The Aviators compete in the Far West League.

Four current Bearcats and one recent Willamette graduate are playing for the Manitowoc Bandits in Wisconsin. The current players are Brandon Chinn (Fr., OF/1B, Salem, OR/Sprague HS), Tommy Kawamura (Fr., SS/2B, Renton, WA/Lindbergh HS) and twin brothers Nathan Shea (Fr., RHP, Aberdeen, WA/Montesano HS) and Matt Shea (Fr., RHP, Aberdeen, WA/Montesano HS).

Chinn, who played first base for the Bearcats this spring, his playing in the outfield for the Bandits and has earned a .279 batting average with 14 runs and 10 RBIs on the season. Kawamura, who saw action at second base for WU, is a shortstop for Manitowoc. His is now hitting .219 with 22 runs, 11 RBIs and four stolen bases.

Nathan Shea owns a 1.54 earned run average with a 4-0 record and one save for the Bandits. He has made six appearance while throwing a total of 23 1/3 innings. He has registered 17 strikeouts. Matt Shea is 1-1 with a 4.32 ERA and seven strikeouts.

Former Bearcat Max Stepan ('11), who graduated this spring, is batting .383 as one of Manitowoc's catchers. He has successfully thrown out six of 17 runners on stolen base attempts. Stepan was named First Team All-NWC in 2011 with a .381 batting average and 11 home runs.

Manitowoc competes in both the Wisconsin State League and the Northeastern Wisconsin Baseball League. Chinn, Kawamura and Stepan were all selected for the WSL All-Star Game.

Parker Johnson (So., RHP, Carlsbad, CA/La Costa Canyon HS) is playing for the San Diego Mavericks in the Western Baseball Association. He has made seven appearances for a total of 14 2/3 innings. He has achieved a 4.2 ERA and has struck out 10 batters.

Jake Jones (So., RHP, Wilsonville, OR/Wilsonville HS) and Jamie McCaffrey (So., LHP, Canby, OR/Canby HS/Clackamas CC) are pitchers for the Portland Lobos in the West Coast League - Portland.

Jones has maintained a 0.00 ERA in five appearances and eight innings on the mound. He has registered eight strikeouts while recording three saves. McCaffrey owns a 2-2 record with a 3.00 ERA and 18 strikeouts in 27 innings pitched. He has made six appearances.

Willamette finished the 2011 season with a 22-17-1 overall record in the team's third season under Head Coach Aaron Swick. The Bearcats produced a .311 team batting average, pounded out 83 doubles, hit 10 triples and belted 33 home runs. Willamette's pitching staff concluded the year with a 3.60 team ERA to rank fifth in school history.

Notes:  Statistics included above are recent, but may not be through the last game played. Year in parentheses is for eligibility during the 2011 college season.

Galen Duff is batting .310 for the Parker Toros in the Rocky Mountain Baseball League.

Galen Duff is batting .310 for the Parker Toros in the Rocky Mountain Baseball League.

Parker Johnson has struck out 10 batters in 14 2/3 innings for the San Diego Mavericks.

Parker Johnson has struck out 10 batters in 14 2/3 innings for the San Diego Mavericks.