See all the News

Q&A with Richie Jimenez and Matt Andriese.

November 1, 2009

Interview with 2009 WCL MVP and Pitcher of the Year

Q&A with Richie Jimenez and Matt Andriese.

We recently caught up with Corvallis star shortstop Richie Jimenez of UNLV and ace pitcher Matt Andriese (pictured) of UC Riverside.

Following last season, Jimenez (.354) was named the 2009 WCL MVP and Andriese (5-0, 0.78) WCL Pitcher of the Year.

Richie is from Riverside, California and Matt from Redlands, California.

Both ex-Knights were gracious to take time out of their busy baseball and class schedules to let us know how they are doing this fall.

Check out our interview below.

Q: You two are Southern California natives, Angels or Dodgers (and why)?

Richie Jimenez: I am a Dodger fan!!! I grew up going to a lot of Dodger games with my family and I have always loved them since I was little.

Matt Andriese: Got to go with the Angels definitely! I grew up going to Angels games and have always been a big fan of the Halos.

Q: How is fall baseball going, give your Corvallis Knights fans a quick update on how things are going with you and your team?

RJ: Fall ball at UNLV is going great. I find myself getting a little tired from the lengthy summer with the Knights, but I am certainly having a great time. The weather was hot at first, but as the winter approaches it is starting to cool down. We got a fun, athletic bunch of guys and we are all working hard trying to get ready for the spring. Go Rebs!!

MA: Fall ball is going really good right now, been throwing the ball well, pitching in inter-squads weekly and staying healthy. The team looks to be pretty good and heading in the right direction.

Q: Who was the toughest pitcher you faced this past summer, Richie. And the toughest hitter you faced, Matt.

RJ: The toughest pitchers last summer probably came from the Wenatchee Applesox. I'm not good with names I just remember that they had a really good team and also had some good pitchers that shut down our offense.

MA: The toughest hitter I faced during the summer would have to be Bobby Crocker of the Bend Elks. He's a great fastball hitter and I'll be seeing him this upcoming spring season again as he plays for Cal Poly.

Q: Andy Beresford of UNLV is signed up to pitch with the Knights in 2010, give Knight Nation a quick scouting report, Richie.

RJ: Andy is a tall, lengthy right-handed pitcher with good command of his pitches. He throws a firm fastball and also has a good change up. He is just a fun guy to have on your team because of his personality. I think he will do very well with the Corvallis Knights.

Q: UCR Pitchers Mitch Patito and Ben Doucette are headed to Corvallis for summer 2010, give our fans a quick review, Matt.

MA: Mitch Patito is a hard throwing righty, and is considered a power pitcher. He throws in the low 90's consistently with a good breaking pitch. Ben Doucette is a lefty with some velocity, but is more like your typical lefty that spots up and throws his off-speed pitches for strikes. Both should be good assets to the Knights in 2010.

Q: Your brother is also coming up next summer, tell us a little about your brother David Andriese.

MA: My little bro is a well built outfielder that hits from the left side. He can be considered a power bat, but more consistently sprays gaps with the line drives. He's a great teammate and really hits the ball well.

Q: Richie, your nickname with the Knights was "Jeter", is it true the Yankee great is your favorite player and why?

RJ: Yes, Jeter is my favorite player because he plays the game the right way. I have never seen him throw a helmet or even get in any kind of trouble. He just does his job to the best of his abilities and doesn't worry about anything else. That is why I admire him and I give him a lot of credit because it is not easy to play shortstop for the New York Yankees, but he makes it look easy.

Q: What's up with Redlands products being great Knights. Tommy Hanson (Atlanta Braves), Robby Hudson (national champion with Texas and the Knights) and now Matt Andriese. Tell us a little about baseball in Redlands, California and have you ever met Tommy or Robby?

MA: Baseball in Redlands has been really good, especially the high school teams. Redlands produces good prospects as some of the guys have gotten drafted. I know Tommy personally pretty well as my older brother played with him throughout high school and I would come up and practice with them when I was younger. So, I see him whenever he visits Redlands in the off-season. I don't really know Robby well, but used to watch him play in high school.

Q: How is Las Vegas, Richie? Do you miss Riverside?

RJ: Las Vegas is a lot of fun. Don't take that the wrong way because I am too young to enjoy the city life, but playing baseball in the sun really doesn't get any better. However, I do miss Riverside. There were some coaches that I played for at Riverside that I will remember forever. They know how to win and how to run a program. I had a great two years learning and playing under head coach Dennis Rogers and his staff.

Q: Tell me about one of your summer teammates that you developed a new friendship with last season.

RJ: I have great relationships with a lot of the guys from last summer so it is really hard to name just one of them because everyone got along with each other. Pat Colwell is one guy that every team needs. His work ethic is unbelievable and I really enjoyed getting to know him this summer. He plays at San Diego State so we will be playing against him this spring and I am looking forward to it. He is a great guy but we won't be friends the weekend the Aztecs play the Rebels!!

MA: This past summer I developed a close relationship with my buddy Andrew Susac. We got along well and always hung out. Playing summer ball is all about meeting new friends and having a good time while trying to get better as a player. I always loved throwing to him in the games and our close relationship kind of helped the success and communication during games.

Q: How was playing last summer with your Redlands buddy Eric Young. How is Eric doing this fall at RCC, Matt?

MA: I was happy Eric was chosen to come play summer ball up in Corvallis. We have been really close friends throughout high school, and it was good to get the opportunity to play with him again. I believe Eric is having a great fall. He's going to be the main pitcher at RCC this year and should have a great upcoming season.

Q: What did you guys like best about Corvallis? Any tips for the new players coming to the Mid-Valley in 2010?

RJ: Corvallis is the best place to play summer ball. The fans and the atmosphere is great. I don't have any tips for the newcomers because I know they will love it no matter what. All I can say is make sure they eat at Local Boyz. Wow, some of the best food I have ever had.

MA: I enjoyed being up in Oregon for a change. The weather always seemed to be great during the summer. I really liked playing at Oregon State playing in a great stadium in a fun college town. But one of the things I enjoyed most was Local Boyz. Lol, great food!

Q: What was your impression of the West Coast League? How was the competition? How did you like the ballparks? What was your favorite trip?

RJ: The West Coast League is very competitive. The ballparks are fun to play at because the fans enjoy going to the games during the summer. My favorite trip is going to Bend. They always draw good crowds that are loud and funny. I enjoy playing in front of thousands of rowdy people.

MA: The West Coast League is a great league and had good competition. Most of the teams played us very well and the games were really exciting to be a part of. The other ball parks in the league were obviously not as good as the Knights, but they were always in decent playing condition, except some of the mounds. My favorite trip had to be going to Kelowna, Canada and going out of the country. The drive was real nice and had a great time in the town.

Q: What was your most fond moment from last summer?

RJ: My best moment from last summer had nothing to do with baseball. Hometown favorite and a great friend of mine, Billy Clontz took me and a couple of the guys to a swimming hole in Sweet Home. We had the day off and enjoyed every second of it. We jumped off rocks into crystal clear water and it was the best time I ever had. I will remember that forever and I can't wait to go back and do it again.

MA: The fondest moment I had last year had to be pitching in the third of July game in front of a packed crowd against our rivals the Bend Elks. This was very exciting for me and I enjoyed the intensity of the competition. Also, I loved how we won so many games consecutively. I had a really great experience playing with the Corvallis Knights.