WSU Breaks For Finals, Then Hosts Sacramento State

May 4, 2004

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FINALS AND SACRAMENTO STATE AWAIT WSU: The Washington State Cougars, 23-19 overall and 5-10 in Pacific-10 Conference action, face final exams this week, then the Sacramento State Hornets in a three-game non-conference baseball series beginning Saturday at Bailey-Brayton Field.

WSU's graduation ceremonies will be held Saturday morning and afternoon, with the first pitch in the series opener set for 7 p.m., Sunday's starting time is 2 p.m., with the third game Monday at 11 a.m.

WSU is coming off a sweep at the hands of the nation's number one team Stanford and a loss to Gonzaga. The Cardinal took the three games from WSU by scores of 8-3, 13-11 and 17-3, while the Zags prevailed 10-9 in a mid-week game at WSU.

Nine WSU seniors will be honored before Saturday's game. They are Garrett Alwert, Brett Beetham, Jeremy Farrar, Justin Hart, Collin Henderson, Brandon Hundt, Aaron MacKenzie, Brandon Reddinger and Aaron Trolia.

Jason Freeman, hitting .348, holds a slim lead over Jay Miller in the race for the WSU batting title. Miller is hitting .346.

Next among the regulars is Kaeo Rubin at .331, followed by Farrar and Grant Richardson at .321, Hart at .319 and Zach McAngus at .305.

WSU's top seven regulars are hitting a collective .329, but the next three sport a .245 average.While Cougar hitters were productive last week with 26 runs in four games, opponents were even more productive, scoring 48 runs while hitting 14 home runs and 11 doubles.

Hart had the hot bat last week with a .462 batting average, collecting six hits in 13 at-bats. Four other regulars hit over .300 and as a team WSU hit .278. McAngus hit .333, while Miller, Freeman and Richadson all hit .313 (all were an identical 5-for-16). Brett Beetham worked 1.1 innings without allowing a run and Dane Renkert, in two mound appearances, threw 4.1 innings and allowed just one run.

FREEMAN HAS HOT BAT: Junior second baseman Jason Freeman is now WSU's leading hitter, carrying a .348 batting average into this week's action...he is even hotter in Pac-10 games, hitting .4441 in 15 league games...Freeman has hit safely in 21 of his last 23 games...during that span he is hitting .432 (38-of-88), has 14 multiple-hit games and seven multiple-RBI games...eight of his 10 doubles have come in that span.

STREAKING COUGARS: Three Cougars have had hitting streaks of 11 games or longer, topped by Jason Freeman's 14-game streak that was snapped by USC...Kaeo Rubin had a 12-game streak earlier in the season and Jeremy Farrar had an 11-game streak...Zach McAngus has the longest current streak at four games.

COUGARS WITH A GOOD WEEKEND: Despite being swept last weekend by No. 1 Stanford, five Coug regulars hit above .300 and two relief pitchers held the Cardinal scoreless...Justin Hart hit .625 and led WSU regulars, going 5-for-8, including a doubles...Zach McAngus and Jay Miller both went 4-for-12, with McAngus driving in three runs, and Miller one...Miller and Freeman each hit two doubles...Jason Freeman hit .308...Dane Renkert, who threw relief Friday, pitched three scoreless innings, allowing only two hits, while striking out two batters..

ALWERT STEPS UP: Senior left-handed pitcher Garrett Alwert was WSU's savior on the mound for 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...Alwert's efforts came right after starter Bryce Chamberlin was lost when he suffered a broken jaw.

MULTIPLE HITS: Kaeo Rubin, Grant Richardson, James Freeman and Jay Miller all have had two or more hits in 17 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 12 multiple-hit games, went 5-for-5 against Birmingham-Southern April 5.

RICHARDSON TOPS IN RBI: Grant Richardson leads WSU batters with 13 multiple-RBI games...Jay Miller has 10, while Kaeo Rubin has nine and Jason Freeman eight...Collin Henderson drove home a team-best seven runs against Texas Pan-American Feb. 28.

CAREER NOTES: Jay Miller is hitting .343 in his first two seasons, with 129 hits, 30 doubles, 71 RBI and 75 runs scored in 376 at-bats...Grant Richardson's career average is .310 with 26 home runs, while Justin Hart's is .348...Aaron MacKenzie is now 10-10 with 168.0 innings pitched, 149 strikeouts and a 5.62 ERA.

MISC. COUGAR NOTES: Grant Richardson, Jay Miller, and Kaeo Rubin have started all 42 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.

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 11...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 Field 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, Sports Weekly/ESPN (baseball coaches) and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association...the Stanford Cardinal, who swept WSU last week, is currently ranked number one in all polls...ASU, Washington and Oral Roberts, WSU opponents early in the season, are ranked in all four polls as well...UC-Irvine, UCLA, 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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