WSU baseballers rack-up all-star honors

JASON MONDA

DONNIE MARBUT, normally a man of many words, needed only two words to describe Jason Monda recently. "He's special," said Marbut, who coaches Monda at Washington State.

Jason Monda, a rare blend of size, speed, hitting prowess and fielding wizardry, started in right field and drove in a run with a third-inning single in the East's 4-1 triumph over the West in the Cape Cod League All-Star Game. The game was played Friday night on live TV before 7,007 spectators at Fenway Park, the fabled home of the Boston Red Sox.

Monda, the son of former WSU basseball standout Greg Monda, hit .291 as a freshman at Washington State this past season.

The Olympia native batted third for the East all-stars. He came into the All-Star Game ranked fifth in the Cape Cod League with a .327 batting average and 13 stolen bases (tied) in 40 games with the Brewster (Mass.) Whitecaps. The Cape Cod League is widely regarded as the premier wood-bat summer league for college players. Cape Cod alumni include such current major leaguers as Tim Lincecum, Mark Teixeira, Kevin Youklis, Ryan Braun, Jacoby Ellsbury and Lance Berkman.

Monda was the last of six Cougars known to have been selected to play in summer college league all-star games.

Kyle Johnson and Tommy Richards started for the East in a 3-1 victory over the West in Wednesday's 18th annual New England Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game in Lynn, Mass.

Johnson, leading off and playing center field, went 1-for-3 with a run and an RBI. Richards played third base and went 0-for-1 with a walk and an error, and he charged a grounder expertly with men on first and third and made the throw to first for the final out of the second inning.

Prior to the game, Johnson impressed the major league scouts on hand by running the 60-yard dash in 6.50 seconds. Johnson and Richards play for the Newport (R.I.) Gulls.

Earlier in the week, WSU's Adam Nelubowich started at third base for the East in a 4-2 victory over the West in the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League All-Star Game in Corvallis. Nelubowich, who plays for Wenatchee, is the league's leader in home runs, and hit two round-trippers in a pre-game derby. WSU pitcher Richie Ochoa, who plays for Bellingham, was named to the East squad, but did not play.

And Lastly, Cougar catcher Collin Slaybaugh of Puyallup started in the Coastal League's all-star game.

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