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June 23, 2010

Lute Rides Bus, Begins Dream

The newest acquisition for the Arizona Diamondbacks traveled on a bus to Helena, Mont., on Tuesday, June 22, to report to his Rookie Pioneer League assignment, the Missoula Osprey. The Osprey, based out of Missoula, Mont., were gearing up for their first series of the 2010 season on the road before returning home Friday.

The newcomer was former Lute pitcher, Trey Watt, who is expected to be placed in the team’s bullpen and ready to pitch in relief by Thursday, June 24.

Watt (Tualatin, Ore. / Tualatin HS) spent the majority of his four-year career at Pacific Lutheran University as a starting pitcher and said he’s excited to begin his life as a professional baseball player.

He is officially listed as William Watt on Missoula’s roster.

“As a kid playing little league you dream of being a professional baseball player,” Watt said. “When the dream comes true, it’s surreal.”

Watt tallied 22 wins, tying for fourth most in school history. He also recorded the third most strikeouts in PLU history, 212, while racking up 231.1 innings pitched in 45 total appearances at PLU. He finished seventh in the Lute record books with a 3.54 ERA.

Watt appreciated the hard work and dedication PLU head coach Geoff Loomis has put into the team and its players.

“It’s hard to put into words what he’s done for me,” Watt said. “He’s one of the greatest coaches I’ve ever had.”

Among Watt’s strongest seasons was 2010. He went 9-1, tallying a 2.81 ERA, striking out 67 batters and walking only 21 in 86 1/3 innings. He started 12 games, including two complete games, while holding batters to a .248 average.

"The players naturally follow his leadership because he is a hard worker, both in and out of season," Loomis said. "Trey always had what was best for our program as his primary focus."

Reaching the professional level after playing Division III baseball isn’t an impossible task. Watt joins former Lute Joe DiPietro as the only PLU players to sign a free agent contract since 2007. DiPietro is currently in his third season pitching for the Frontier League's Kalamazoo Kings.

“Hang on to your dreams,” Loomis said. “If you want to play professional baseball you can, but you will have to perform at the highest levels.  You will have to be willing to do more than others which means you will have to sacrifice.” 

The Osprey began their 2010 season by losing back-to-back games.

 

By Brendan Abshier, Student Assistant