Looking for some first-round redux

The Colorado Rockies will try to map a fruitful future when the Major League Draft begins tonight. In part, they’ll be shaping the Boise Hawks’ present. The Colorado Rockies will try to map a fruitful future with the selections they make when the Major League Draft begins tonight. In part, they’ll be shaping the Boise Hawks’ present, as a number of the draft choices the Rockies are able to sign will end up at Memorial Stadium. Colorado has the fourth overall pick tonight, spurring hopes of some Kris Bryant-Kyle Schwarber déjà vu in Boise. Hawks fans were able to see Bryant, a No. 2 overall pick, and Schwarber, a No. 4 overall selection, in 2013 and 2014, respectively. Shortstop Brendan Rodgers was the No. 3 overall selection last year, but the Rockies sent him to their rookie league team in Grand Junction before jumping him to long-season Class A.

The Hawks had pretty good luck with Chicago first-rounders during the years of affiliation with the Cubs, getting guys like Josh Donaldson and Andrew Cashner in addition to Bryant and Schwarber. Last season, one Rockies first-round pick from a previous year came through. David Dahl, the 10th overall selection in 2012, was here on a rehab assignment. Despite batting just .125 in a six-game cameo, the organization saw it as a major step considering his ordeal with injuries. Many still see Dahl as the Coors Field centerfielder of the future.

Speaking of Bryant, the reigning National League Rookie of the Year clubbed his 14th home run of the season yesterday as he and three other former Hawks led the Cubs past Philadelphia 8-1. John Lackey, now 7-2, allowed just three hits and struck out eight in seven scoreless innings while retiring the final 16 batters he faced. Javier Baez went 4-for-4 with three runs batted in, and Albert Almora collected his first big league hit and RBI. It’s only June 9—and the Cubs are now 24 games over .500.

There’s no Boise State nor Washington State in Mark Schabach’s new early-summer Way-Too-Early Top 25 at ESPN.com. But there is a U-Dub. From the “what’s up with Coach Pete” department, Washington is ranked No. 16 by Schlabach, who writes, “After losing six games in each of coach Chris Petersen’s first two seasons in Seattle, the Huskies look more than ready to make a move in the Pac-12 North. Sophomore quarterback Jake Browning spent the spring trying to improve his deep balls, and he was helped by the return of speedster John Ross III, who missed the 2015 season with a torn ACL in his left knee. Of course, Washington’s Rose Bowl hopes are riding on its defense, which led the Pac-12 in scoring defense (18.8 points per game) in 2015.” No nostalgia in this years season opener—UW hosts Rutgers September 3.

Next in line at No. 17, Schlabach has Houston, the only Group of 5 team on his list. There’s this caveat from Schlabach: “After going 13-1 in coach Tom Herman’s debut season, the Cougars might have a hard time duplicating that in 2016.” Keep in mind though that’s Houston’s cataylist, quarterback Greg Ward Jr., returns. And the Cougars have Texas transfer Duke Catalon coming in to be there every-down back. Catalon might be the key.

Idaho may have lost an FBS opponent off its future schedule, but it’s not because of the move to the Big Sky two years from now. Nevada and Northwestern have moved their 2017 game in Evanston, IL, up two weeks to a September 2 date that had been set for a Wolf Pack-Vandal game in Mackay Stadium. A return game had been scheduled for the Kibbie Dome in 2021 or 2022, but that may be in limbo now. One other Nevada note: former coach Chris Ault, now leading the Milan Rhinos in the Italian Football League, led his team to a perfect regular season at 10-0 and a No. 1 seed in the playoffs. In case you’re wondering, Ault will be 70 years old in November.

Troy Merritt is ranked an even 100th in the PGA Tour’s FedExCup standings going into the FedEx St. Jude Classic this week in Memphis. The former Boise State star should feel pleasantly nostalgic there. Merritt missed cut last year at the St. Jude Classic, but he experienced the second-biggest week of his career in that tournament in 2014, finishing second and earning $626,400. Merritt’s looking for consistency as the tour heads into the summer—he has alternated made and missed cuts since finishing third at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March. Nampa’s Tyler Aldridge is also in the field in Memphis.

David Elliott’s much-decorated Boise State career ended last night at the NCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Eugene. Elliott finished 18th in the semifinals of the 1,500-meter run, settling for honorable mention All-America honors. With Allie Ostrander redshirting due to a winter injury, Brenna Peloquin has become the freshman phenom du jour in the Bronco track and field program. Peloquin will be the only freshman competing in the women’s 10,000-meter field in Eugene, and she’ll have one shot—the final is this evening. Another Boise State freshman, Minttu Hukka, will run in the 3,000-meter steeplechase semifinals tonight.

This Day In Sports…June 9, 1966, 50 years ago today:

The Minnesota Twins tie a major league record when Rich Rollins, Zoilo Versalles, Tony Oliva, Don Mincher, and Payette’s Harmon Killebrew all homer in the seventh inning of a 7-4 victory over the Kansas City A’s. Oliva, Mincher and Killebrew connected consecutively, all with two outs. Killebrew, the pride of Payette, was in the midst of another stellar season—on his way to 39 homers and 110 runs batted in.

(Tom Scott hosts the Scott Slant segment Sunday nights at 10:30PM on KTVB’s Sunday Sports Extra and anchors five sports segments each weekday on 93.1 The Ticket. He also served as color commentator on KTVB’s telecasts of Boise State football for 14 seasons.)