The Tampa Bay Rays may have tipped their hand back on Aug. 9 when they promoted Kyle Manzardo from High A Bowling Green, Kentucky, to AA Montgomery, Alabama.
Last week the American League team named the former Lake City High School and Washington State University baseball standout its Minor League Player of the Year.
“Our group evaluated Kyle as one of the more advanced hitters in his class when we drafted him” in the second round of the 2021 Major League Baseball draft, Carlos Rodriguez, Rays vice president of baseball operations overseeing player development, is quoted in a Baseball America story.
“And that certainly helped him progress (to Double-A) as quickly as he did.”
At the time of the announcement, the first baseman led Rays minor leaguers in multiple categories, including batting average (.327). He had 26 doubles, 22 home runs, 81 RBIs and 59 walks in 93 games. Ten of the doubles, five homers and 26 RBIs came in 30 games with Montgomery, which was eliminated from the Southern League playoffs in the semifinals Friday.
“His willingness to challenge himself, be coachable and make adjustments give us confidence that he will keep getting better,” Rodriguez said.
“He wants to be a complete player and he has been committed to putting in the time to improve his defense,” Rodriguez added. “Over the course of the season, we saw meaningful gains with his hands, range and mobility around the bag.”
Baseball America wrote, “the Rays think Manzardo, who signed for an under-slot $747,599, can do a little more. And they can’t wait to see him show it.”
“He still has room to get stronger and more explosive,” Rodriguez said of the 6-foot-1, 205-pounder. “And this is something we feel will continue to elevate his ability on both sides of the ball.”
Gonzaga senior goalkeeper Lyza Bosselmann collected her third career West Coast Conference soccer defensive player of the week award on Sept. 19 after registering her third and fourth shutouts of the young season in Bulldogs’ road wins at Weber State and Idaho State.
• Ricardo Chavez, Idaho’s junior kicker/punter who is 6-for-6 in field goals this season, was named Big Sky Conference football Special Teams Player of the week after he kicked four from 31, 25, 44 and 36 yards and two extra points on Sept. 17 in a 42-14 home win over Drake. He also averaged 37 yards on three punts, dropping one inside the 20.
• Two Idaho freshmen received Big Sky volleyball player of the week awards on Sept. 19 for their performances the previous week.
Kate Doorn was co-winner of offensive honors after she collected 108 assists in the Vandals’ 3-0 sweep through the UniWyo tournament, earning MVP honors in the process. Middle hitter Madison Wilson was defensive player of the week after she had 14 blocks, three solo.
• Ashlee Bachman, a Lewis-Clark State junior volleyball player from Lewiston, was named chairman of the Cascade Collegiate Conference Student-Athletes Advisory Committee.
• Megan Billeter (Mt. Spokane) shot a 2-under-par 70 in Saturday’s second round of the 36-hole Saint Martin’s Bishop Invitational at The Home Course in Dupont, Wash., to help the Western Washington senior collect her first collegiate victory with a 1-under total of 143.
Billeter had four birdies and an eagle on the second day as she posted a four-stroke win and led the Vikings’ charge from a nine-stroke deficit to a five-stroke team victory.
• A 3-under-par round of 285 in the final round enabled the Washington State men to vault from third place to the championship of the 2022 Husky Invitational golf tournament Sept. 20 at Gold Mountain Olympic Course in Bremerton, Washington, with a 4-over 868 for 54 holes.
Junior Jaden Cantafio, who shot 4-under 68 the final round, tied for third at 213, and senior Pono Yanagi, off a final round 71, was in a tie for fifth at 214.
• The biggest news for area schools in the USTFCCCA Division I cross country coaches’ Week 2 polls is that the Gonzaga women earned their highest ranking in program history, climbing two spots to No. 21 in the national rankings.
The GU men also climbed two spots, to No. 16 nationally, and are third in the West Region. Gonzaga’s women are fourth in the West. The Washington State men remained 10th and the women 12th in the West and the Idaho men remained 15th.
Washington leads the area men and women both nationally and regionally. The Huskies men are eighth and the women sixth nationally. Both are second in the West.
• Community Colleges of Spokane was ranked fourth in the NWAC women’s soccer coaches’ Week 2 poll on Sept. 20 and received votes in the United Soccer Coaches’ Week 3 national poll. North Idaho College dropped from sixth to seventh in the NWAC Week 2 poll.
In the NWAC volleyball coaches’ Sept. 20 poll, NIC dropped from second in Week 1 to sixth.
Coaches Russell Grove of North Idaho College and Corey Prugh of Community Colleges of Spokane qualified for the 2023 PGA Professional Championship May 18-21 in Pittsford, New York, with their performances in the 2022 Pacific Northwest PGA Championship last week at Manito Golf & Country Club in Spokane.
Grove figured in a five-way tie for fifth at 8-under-par 205 (69-67-69) for 54 holes, four strokes back of the 201 posted by winner Jeff Coston (Blaine, Wash.). Prugh was 10th at 207 (70-71-66). They are among seven who qualified for the 2023 PGA national tournament.
Jeff Gove, the pro at The Idaho Club in Sandpoint, also figured in the tie for fifth at 205 (69-66-70) and David Nuhn, coach at the University of Idaho, was 11th at 208 (72-69-67).
Letter of intent
Idaho State men’s basketball: Kolton Mitchell, PG, Lake City.
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