WSU Hosts Gonzaga Wednesday, Then Travels To Stanford

April 27, 2004

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WSU FACES GONZAGA, STANFORD: The Washington State Cougars, 23-15 overall, will host Gonzaga Wednesday in a 6:00 p.m. non-conference baseball game at Bailey-Brayton Field, then head to the Bay Area for a three-game Pacific-10 Conference series at No. 2 Stanford.

Friday WSU, tied for seventh in the Pac-10 with a 5-7 record, will take on the league leading Cardinal, 7-2. Game times at Sunken Diamond on the Stanford campus are 6:00 p.m., Friday and 1:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. Stanford is 31-6 overall and ranked second nationally in all four major college polls.

The Cardinal hold a 23-13 series lead over WSU, having won the last 17 games between the two teams. WSU's last win over Stanford was a 6-3 victory at the 1978 Riverside Invitational.

Last week the Cougars picked up one win in three games at home against Arizona State, capturing the finale 8-4 behind the pitching of Garrett Alwert and hitting of Grant Richardson. ASU won the first two games, 17-5 and 5-2. WSU's early-week game at Gonzaga was rained out.

Junior second baseman Jason Freeman has taken over the hitting leadership for the Cougars, sporting a .352 batting average. Freeman has been on a tear since league action opened, hitting .458 (33-for-72) over WSU's last 18 games. He is currently hitting .478 in 12 Pac-10 games.

Five other Cougar regulars are hitting better than .300 overall, including Jay Miller at .349, Kaeo Rubin .340, Jeremy Farrar .330, Grant Richardson .322 and Zach McAngus .302. In limited action, Zach Franklin is hitting .351. WSU is hitting .300 as a team.

Miller leads the team in hits, 51, just one ahead of Rubin's 50. Rubin's 46 runs scored leads the Cougars, while Richardson is the home run and RBI leader with 11 and 48, respectively. Rubin is also the team leader with 13 doubles and three triples.

On the mound Wayne Damon Jr., with 32.1 innings of work, is tops with a 4.18 earned run average, while Alwert is next at 4.56 in 51.1 innings. Alwert has allowed just four earned runs in his last 15.1 innings.

FREEMAN HAS HOT BAT: Junior second baseman Jason Freeman is now WSU's leading hitter, carrying a .352 batting average into this week's action...he is even hotter in Pac-10 games, hitting .478 in 12 league games...Freeman has hit safely in 17 of his last 18 games...during that span he is hitting .458, has 12 multiple-hit games and six multiple-RBI games...six of his eight doubles have come in that span.

STREAKING COUGARS: Kaeo Rubin, who already owns a 12-game hitting streak, is on a roll again, taking a five-game hitting streak into Wednesday's game against Gonzaga...Jason Freeman, who had his team-best 14-game streak snapped against USC, had a hit in each of WSU's games against ASU and has now hit safely in 17 of his last 18 games.

ALWERT ON A ROLL: Senior left-handed pitcher Garrett Alwert has been WSU's savior the past two weeks, pitching the Cougars to wins in the third game of tough Pac-10 series, first against USC, then each case WSU had lost the first two games of the series...against USC he threw eight innings of four-hit, no-run WSU's win over ASU he threw 7.1 innings, allowed four runs and scattered 12 Sun Devil hits.

MULTIPLE HITS: Jay Miller, Jason Freeman, Kaeo Rubin and Grant Richardson all have had two or more hits in 15 games this year...both Miller and Zach McAngus have had games with five or more hits...Miller recorded five hits against Texas-Pan American Feb. 28...McAngus, who has 11 multiple-hit games, went 5-for-5 against Birmingham-Southern April 5.

RICHARDSON TOPS IN RBI: Grant Richardson leads WSU batters with 12 multiple-RBI games...Jay Miller has nine, while Kaeo Rubin and Jason Freeman are tied for third with eight...Collin Henderson drove home a team-best seven runs against Texas Pan-American Feb. 28.

CAREER NOTES: Jay Miller is hitting .344 in his first two seasons, with 124 hits, 28 doubles, 68 RBI and 73 runs scored in 360 at-bats...Grant Richardson's career average is .310 with 26 home runs, while Justin Hart's is .344...Aaron MacKenzie is now 10-9 with 163.0 innings pitched, 146 strikeouts and a 5.36 ERA.

MISC. COUGAR NOTES: Grant Richardson, Jay Miller, and Kaeo Rubin have started all 38 games this season...WSU has a young infield with Justin McClure (shortstop) a freshman, Zach McAngus (third) a sophomore and both Richardson (first) and Jason Freeman (second) the outfield, the five primary players include three seniors, Justin Hart, Collin Henderson and Jeremy Farrar, while Miller is a sophomore and Rubin a junior.

THREE HOT BATS VS. ASU: Three Cougars had hot bats against ASU last weekend...Kaeo Rubin led the way, hitting .500 (6-for-12), while Jason Freeman and Grant Richardson each hit .333 against the Sun Devils...Aaron Trolia allowed just two runs in 7.0 innings Saturday and Garrett Alwert allowed four runs in 7.1 innings Sunday.

GOING YARD: More than half of Grant Richardson's 11 home runs came during a six-game stretch March 30 - April 8 when he hit seven long balls...he hit three solo shots, a pair of two-run home runs, a three-run homer and his first-ever grand slam, the latter against Washington April 8...Richardson is now tied for tenth on WSU's career list with 26 home runs.

WSU LOSES CHAMBERLIN: Starting pitcher Bryce Chamberlin will miss the bulk of the season with an broken jaw...Chamberlin, who posted a 6-1 record, sustained the injury April 16 after being assaulted in an off-campus incident while attempting to defuse an argument between two people...prior to the loss against Washington April 9, WSU was 8-0 when Chamberlin started...all nine appearances have been as the starter.

THREE COUGS EARN PAC-10 HONOR: Three Cougars have won Pacific-10 Conference POW honors this season...the latest was senior Garrett Alwert, who was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week April 19 after holding USC scoreless over eight innings in WSU's 5-1 victory April 18...he allowed Trojan batters four hits and one walk while striking out five...Aaron MacKenzie won pitching honors Feb. 17 after allowing no runs and just two hits over 7.0 innings against San Francisco...Grant Richardson won hitting honors April 6 when he hit .583 in four games against Gonzaga and Birmingham-Southern...he was 7-for-12, scored six runs and drove home 12 runs...he had four home runs in those four games.

WIN STREAK HITS SIX: Earlier this season WSU won six straight games, the final two contests at Texas-Pan American, and all four games at the Banana Belt tournament...the last time WSU won six straight games was in mid-March, 1999...the last time WSU won eight straight was in late April, 1997.

STEALING BASES: In the fifth inning against Utah Valley State, WSU stole a school record eight bases, which also tied the NCAA Div. 1 record set in 1991 and equaled in 1993...WSU's record in a game is 11, set in 1917 against Montana...WSU has attempted to steal 63 bases this season and has been successful 36 times...junior Jason Freeman leads the Cougs in stolen bases with nine...WSU stole six bases against USC Sunday including two by Freeman...Freeman stole both second and third base in the first inning.

TWO TOURNAMENT TITLES: The Cougars have won two tournament championships in 2004, the first time in school history the feat has been February, WSU won the River City Tournament, sweeping games against Santa Clara, Saint Mary's and host Sacramento State...the Cougs also won the Banana Belt Tournament in Lewiston, Idaho, for the 19th time...the Cougars swept the four-team tournament with victories over Portland, Utah Valley State, Gonzaga and LCSC.

AN ALL NEW PLAYING FIELD: When WSU opened play in Bailey-Brayton Stadium March 19, the Cougars become the first NCAA Division I team to have FieldTurf as its playing surface...WSU joins the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Minnesota Twins as part of the exclusive group of baseball teams to use FieldTurf as their playing field...the Cougar baseball diamond is ringed with a brownish red warning track and base paths of the same color...the only dirt on WSU's baseball field is the pitching mound and around home plate...included in the renovation project are new dugouts for both teams.

MOMS BRING GOOD CROWD: The WSU-USC game April 17 drew 3,153 fans, the fourth largest Cougar home crowd since 1989...WSU's largest-ever crowd was 4,666 for a Washington doubleheader in 1990.

COUGAR BASEBALL RANKS SEVENTH IN ALL-TIME NCAA VICTORIES: Washington State University ranked seventh in all-time NCAA Division I baseball victories with 2,302 at the end of the 2003 season.

TOUGH SCHEDULE: WSU's 2004 baseball schedule features 10 teams that received votes this week in at least one of the four major college baseball polls, Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America, USA Today, and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association...the Stanford Cardinal, who WSU visits this weekend, is currently ranked number two in all polls...UC-Irvine and Oral Roberts, WSU opponents early in the season, are ranked in all four polls as well...ASU, UCLA, Washington, Oregon State, Arizona, Birmingham-Southern and USF all have received votes in at least one of the polls...WSU's schedule this year includes 27 games against the 10 teams.

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