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Times reporter Bob Condotta keeps the news coming about the Montlake Dawgs.

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May 15, 2008 9:43 AM

Baseball interlude two, more

Posted by Bob Condotta

Another week, another couple wins for the UW baseball team, another assignment to write a story about a player on that team.

So here it is, a little feature on outfielder Kyle Conley who has been tearing up Pac-10 pitching of late, winning the last two conference Player of the Week awards, hitting six homers in his last seen games.

And he also has a little bit of a football background, having played on the defensive line at Richland where he had to tussle a few times with Ryan Tolar, who played at rival Pasco. As he said in the story, Tolar tended to get the better of those matchups. "He's so massive and strong,'' Conley said, adding that Tolar didn't really have to block him but would just "bear hug me'' and fall over.

Last year, Conley said he roomed for a while with mostly football players, including Jake Locker.

His play of late has helped put the Huskies in contention for an NCAA tourney berth. UW is 31-17 overall and 10-8 in Pac-10 play with two series left --- this weekend at conference leader Arizona State and the following weekend at home against second-place Stanford. That's two tough teams and coach Ken Knutson thinks the Huskies have to finish with a winning conference record to have a chance at the tournament, meaning going at least 3-3 the rest of the way. "We've probably got to be over .500 and in the top four,'' he said.

UW's cause isn't helped by the fact that its RPI is just 89. Knutson said UW had a couple of planned non-conference series canceled late in the game and filled them in with opponents who ended up not helping in the RPI department as much. But if UW keeps playing as it has --- it has won seven of eight overall --- it could take make that a moot point.

AROUND THE PAC-10:

Given its mid-May, a surprising amount of Pac-10 football news today, so here goes:

--- USC has agreed to a deal to play at the LA Coliseum for another 25 years. There had been rumblings last year that USC might consider moving to the Rose Bowl.

--- Arizona has gotten some late help for next season, signing a highly-touted JC safety who was also recruited by Florida State and Arizona State, among others.

--- Oregon State is opening a new Sports Performance Center and columnist Kevin Hampton of the Corvallis Gazette-Times says it puts OSU's facilities on par with Oregon.

--- Washington State has suspended safety Xavier Hicks for the first three games of next season after he was sentenced to jail for 45 days for assault and theft.

--- Ted Miller, a former colleague on the UW beat, has these pretty darn informative and exhaustive breakdowns of each Pac-10 team today on ESPN.com

--- Another ESPN.comer, Ivan Maisel, says Brandon Johnson could be the key to UW's hopes for a winning season as part of a look at things to watch for in the Pac-10 this season.

All for now.

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