Alumni notebook: Roenicke looks to catch on with Nationals |
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Alumni notebook: Roenicke looks to catch on with Nationals

Washington Nationals relief pitcher Josh Roenicke (74) throws in a spring exhibition baseball game against the Atlanta Braves, Tuesday, March 4, 2014, in Kissimmee, Fla. The Braves won 8-4. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

With just six days left before the Washington Nationals open the regular season against the New York Mets, Josh Roenicke is still vying for a spot in the Nationals bullpen.

Roenicke, a 2001 Nevada Union graduate, signed a minor league contract with the Nationals in February and has spent the spring in Viera, Florida as a nonroster invitee trying to catch on with the Major League team.

Roenicke said in a tweet that things are going good for him and that he's ready to start the season.

So far the spring has been up and down for the hard throwing right-hander.

Roenicke's first appearance was March 1 against the Braves where he was hit hard, allowing four earned runs while logging just two outs. Since then he has settled down, pitching three more times for a total of 2 2/3 innings without allowing a run and yielding just two hits.

Overall, Roenicke has appeared in four games and thrown 3 1/3 innings, allowing eight hits, four earned runs and striking out one. He hasn't seen action since a March 12 game against the Braves where he pitched one inning of no-hit baseball.

Roenicke has been pitching in majors since 2008, logging time with the Cincinnati Reds, Toronto Blue Jays, Colorado Rockies and Minnesota Twins before landing with the Nationals.

In his career he is 8-3, appeared in 190 games, pitched 220 innings, has an ERA of 4.17, a WHIP of 1.52 and struck out 168 major leaguers.

Roenicke is also married to the sister of Nationals shortstop Ian Desmond.

Brandon O'Callaghan (Nevada Union 2013; Yuba College) and the 49ers (7-14) took one of three games against Los Medanos last week.

O'Callaghan played in two games as the team's designated hitter, going 3-for-6 from the plate with an RBI, a run scored and a stolen base.

Zach Welz (Bear River 2011; Texas Southern University) and Tigers (8-14) dropped a game to the University of Houston last week before sweeping a three game set against Prairie View A&M University.

In the four games, Welz, playing third base, went 2-for-14 with a home run, a double, six RBIs, three runs scored and two walks. The home run was Welz's first of the season.

James Harris (Bear River 2012; Solano Community College) had a good outing from the mound last week, helping the Falcons (5-14) top Contra Costa, 5-4.

Harris (1-3) started the game and threw five innings, allowing one earned run, seven hits and four walks. He took a no-decision in the game as the Falcons scored the winning run in the ninth inning.

Andrew Harris (Bear River 2013; Solano Community College) broke into the Falcons starting lineup in Saturday's game against Contra Costa.

Harris, playing center field, went 0-for-4 from the No. 2 spot in the lineup. Harris has been used primarily as a pinch runner this season.


Katie Mathis (Bear River 2010; San Diego State) and the Aztecs (24-9) took two out of three games with New Mexico last week as Mountain West Conference play got started.

Mathis, playing second base, went 2-for-9 during the three game series, scoring four runs and drawing four walks.

Brianna Nicholson (Nevada Union 2010; Cal State Stanislaus) and the Warriors (10-23) hit a rough patch last week, dropping six conference games; two contests to San Francisco state and four at the hands of Sonoma State.

Nicholson, playing first base, hit in all but one of the six games, going 7-for-16 for the week with an RBI, a run scored and a double.

Kendal Butterfield (Nevada Union 2010; Colorado State) and the Rams (15-8) opened the Mountain West Conference with three straight losses to Utah State.

Butterfield played in all three games, but only logged two at bats, going 0-for-2.

Courtney Ceo (Bear River 2010; University of Oregon) and the Ducks (26-3) opened Pac-12 play last week with a sweep of Utah.

Ceo, playing third base and leading off, went 6- for-11 with four runs scored, an RBI, a stolen base and a triple.

For the season, Ceo has started all 29 games, is batting .489, has scored 23 runs, has tallied 17 RBIs and stolen nine bases.

Oregon is ranked No. 3 in the nation.

Stephanie Ceo (Bear River 2012; University of Texas) and the Longhorns (19-15) beat Iowa and Baylor last week, but dropped a game against Houston.

Ceo went 1-for-8 in the three games and played second base.

Have we missed anyone? If you know of a college or professional athlete with local ties, email or call 530-477-4232.