What a difference a national championship makes. Last year, even after a College World Series appearance, Oregon State had 175 kids in its summer baseball camp. This week, the roster swelled to 440.
Coach Pat Casey and his staff utilized fields at various places -the Truax Indoor Center, the OSU softball stadium, Corvallis and Philomath high schools, and Crystal Lakes Little League complex -to find enough room for all the campers.
'It's great,' Casey says. 'We talked about getting kids excited about baseball. We've had so many players from the Northwest, it gets people excited about what baseball in our area can be.'
The new scoreboard at Goss Stadium, where the Beavers play, is expected to be erected next week. The old scoreboard was sold to Tualatin High - for $300 and the cost to transport it to the school.
Casey now is having second thoughts about installing a FieldTurf surface in his infield.
'We're the grass seed capital of the U.S.,' Casey says. 'We've lost one game to rain in 12 years. We'll see if we can upgrade the drainage system, but we just don't get rained out of games. We may lose some outdoor practice time, but we have a great (indoor) facility in Truax. We're still kicking the idea around.'
• After considering Arizona, UCLA and California, Westview High's Andy Poling is headed to Gonzaga. The 6-11, 225-pound center, a second-team all-state selection as a sophomore last winter, decided after a recent visit to Spokane, Wash., to commit very early to the 'Zags.
• Milwaukee Buck coach Terry Stotts says the Trail Blazers can count on Jamaal Magloire in the rebounding department. Free throws? That's another matter.
'When he plays, Jamaal gets his 10 rebounds - you just put it in the book,' Stotts says of the 6-11 center Portland acquired in a Monday trade that sent Steve Blake, Brian Skinner and Ha Seung-Jin to the Bucks. 'He can flat-out rebound. He has broad shoulders, long arms and big hands, and he gets rebounds. He's very consistent.'
Magloire averaged 9.2 points and 9.5 rebounds last season despite seeing his playing time drop when veteran Joe Smith returned to action in January after recovering from an injury. Magloire's Achilles' heel was a .535 free-throw percentage.
'If he had shot better at the line, he would've had a better year statistically,' Stotts says.
As for acquiring Blake, Stotts says this: 'I've heard nothing but good things about him. We need help at the point. He can run a team and shoot a 3. I don't know whether he'll start or come off the bench, but he'll be in our rotation.'
• After mid-June, big-time track and field annually vanishes from the Willamette Valley. But not this year.
Tuesday's 'Road to Eugene '08' meet - Hayward Field is to be the site of the 2008 Olympic trials - boasts a star-studded field that will include shot putter Adam Nelson (two-time Olympic silver medalist, 2005 world champion, 2006 U.S. champion).
The pole vault will feature all the 2004 Olympic medalists - Tim Mack (gold), Toby Stephenson (silver) and Jeff Hartwig (bronze) - along with NCAA indoor champion Brad Walker of Washington and NCAA outdoor king Tommy Skipper of Oregon.
Also competing in the meet will be the 130-member U.S. junior team that will compete in the world junior championships Aug. 15 through Aug. 20 in Beijing. Oregon coach Vin Lananna, running the meet with support from USA Track and Field, felt it was important to showcase Eugene, which will host the '08 Olympic trials, and stage an annual high-performance meet featuring American athletes.
Athletes will compete without appearance fees. Proceeds will be used to create a retirement plan for the Professional Athletics Association.
• Mike Sandago, who resigned after 22 years as Oregon State's head athletic trainer following a falling-out with basketball coach Jay John, has been hired as assistant athletic director-trainer at the University of South Carolina Upstate. Sandago, 50, will be reunited with head coach Eddie Payne, who coached at OSU for five years. The Spartans will move from Division II to Division I in basketball next season.