Sports

Henselman commits to WSU baseball

By CASEY OLSON

Sports editor

Kyle Henselman always had a dream of playing baseball in the Pac-10. That dream will come true in the fall.

The Federal Way High School senior outfielder/pitcher committed to Washington State University last week after Cougar coaches visited his home. Henselman’s scholarship at Washington State will cover his tuition and books.

“It has always been one of my goals to play in the Pac-10,” Henselman said. “I would always watch them play on TV and looked up to the players. Now kids will be looking up to me. That is where the big boys play.”

The Pac-10 is made of up several of the top baseball programs in the nation, including Arizona State, Stanford, Southern California and UCLA.

Henselman chose the Cougars over Gonzaga and the University of Washington. The sweet-swinging left-hander had originally committed to play next season at the two-year South Mountain Community College in Arizona, but NCAA rules allow a player to sign with a four-year university even after inking with a junior college.

“It all happened so quick,” Henselman said. “It all started about three weeks ago that the (Division I) schools wanted me to come play for them. But it’s been a fun time.”

Henselman hit .483 with five home runs, 22 RBIs and a league-high 11 doubles for the South Puget Sound League South Division champion Eagles, who lost last Saturday to Lake Washington in the state tournament quarterfinals.

“It was the toughest decision he has ever made in his life,” said Henselman’s dad, Mike. “But it is really a dream come true for him.”

The Cougars finished up their 2004 season last weekend against the California Golden Bears. Washington State won two of three to finish 29-26 overall and 9-15 in the rugged Pac-10 Conference.

The Washington State roster is littered with players from the South Puget Sound League, including two from Bethel and two from Puyallup high schools. The Cougars are coached by Tim Mooney.

“I like their facilities there,” Henselman said. “They told me that I will have a good chance to start next year.”

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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