Washington waits for ailing players 

The last time the Washington baseball team played Lowell, Mike Andrick was the winning pitcher and O’Koyea Dickson hit a towering home run at SBC Park in the Eagles’ 16-4 San Francisco Section championship game victory.

Now, as the Eagles (6-6, 2-1 Academic Athletic Association) prepare for their first meeting with the Cardinals in 2007 — Thursday at 3:30 p.m. at Big Rec — both stars may be physically unable to play.

Andrick — last year’s AAA Co-Pitcher of the Year — was expected to return and lead Washington’s staff this season. But the senior was rear-ended in an auto accident on New Year’s Eve and has yet to resume playing baseball. Eagles coach Rob Fung said Andrick has three bulging disks in his back and, though he is rehabbing and attending practices and games, his status for the rest of the year is uncertain.

"Some days he feels great and some days it’s tough for him to even sit through class," Fung said. "We’re just trying to help out the best we can and, if he can’t come back this season, we’re looking for someplace he can play next year."

Dickson, who earned first-team all-league honors as a sophomore designated hitter-first baseman in 2006, is out with a strained oblique. He could be ready to play in the Lowell game, but Fung is determined not to rush him back, even though with Andrick and Dickson out, Washington is missing its projected No. 3 and No. 4 hitters.

"There’s no reason to rush it," Fung said. "We’d rather make sure he’s OK and have him healthy at the end of the year."

Diamond rivalry: The winner of this year’s Bruce-Mahoney trophy has already been decided, with St. Ignatius retaining ownership for the ninth straight season with wins in football and boys’ basketball.

But there should still be a charged atmosphere when the Wildcats meet rival Sacred Heart Cathedral (4-1) today at 3:30 p.m. at Big Rec in the West Catholic Athletic League opener for both schools. St. Ignatius (3-4) has won the last nine baseball games, and has taken the trophy 41 times compared to 18 for the Irish.

Sacramento stars: Two nationally known basketball figures were on hand for Riordan’s NorCal Division III quarterfinal loss at Sacramento High on Thursday. Tennessee women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt was sitting courtside after having watched Volunteers recruit Victoria Baugh lead the Dragons to a 73-29 win over Hercules earlier in the evening. Meanwhile, former Cal and Phoenix Suns great Kevin Johnson is the CEO and president of Sac High, and was intently watching the game from the second deck.

Coaching change: Washington football coach Rick Stevens has been let go after three seasons and a 13-17 record. Stevens, a 1983 Washington graduate who played on the school’s 1982 championship team, will move over to Balboa to be an assistant under Keith Minor.

He will be replaced by Karl Finley, who spent last year as an assistant at the College of Marin.

melliser@examiner.com

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