Cougars Open Diamond Season at Sacramento State

Feb. 8, 2005

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The Washington State baseball team will travel to Hammond, La., to take on Southeastern Louisiana in a three-game series beginning Friday at 4:30. The series, which kicks off the Lions season, continues with both Saturday and Sunday's games scheduled for 11 a.m. starts.

WSU finished its season opening series against Sacramento State 1-2, winning the first game of the series, which was suspended due to darkeness Friday and completed Saturday, 7-6. The Hornets took games two and three 9-8 and 8-6, respectively. The Cougars hit .296, tallying 32 hits, three doubles and three home runs.

Senior transfer Brady Everett is boasting a .750 slugging percentage after hitting a grand slam and a two-run homer this weekend. He hit in all-three games, recording a .250 batting average while driving home seven runs, walking twice and being hit by a pitch twice.

Jay Miller, who has led WSU batters for the past two seasons, is tied with freshman Jim Murphy for the batting lead, both hitting .429. Miller recorded three hits in two games while driving home six Cougars. Murphy recorded three hits and plated three runners.

Cougar pitchers posted a 5.06 ERA, allowing 35 hits, 24 runs and 15 walks over 26.2 innings of work. Starters James Freeman and Wayne Daman Jr., both allowed four hits, posting 1.80 and 2.25 ERA's respectively. Relievers Steve Kost and Jayson Miller both pitched two innings of scoreless baseball. Miller is one of three freshmen pitchers to see mound time. Both Dustin Willis and Matt Oye made their collegiate pitching debutes, both posting 3.86 ERA's over 2.1 innings.

WSU freshmen are contributing to the Cougars success, accounting for seven of WSU's 32 hits including two of its three doubles. On the mound freshmen have pitched 6.2 of 26.2 innings, allowing just two runs, both earned, out of 24 runs surrendered by the Cougars. The starting lineup has two freshmen on it. Murphy and Nick Hall both started at first, while Matt Thomas and Scott Suttmeier were at short.


'We received a reality check last weekend,' team co-captain Zach Franklin said. 'We were nervous and played like we were unprepared...we're excited for another shot because we definitely didn't play up to our potential. We know what to expect now and its going to be a whole different ball game. It should be a different result.'

MARBUT IN GOOD COMPANY: First-year head coach Donnie Marbut joined the ranks of great WSU coaches before him by winning his first game at the helm of the program...the last Cougar coach to win his first game as a head coach was Charles 'Bobo' Brayton...recording a 9-4 win March 22, 1962 against Gonzaga...eight other WSU head coaches won their first games including Jack Friel (1943), Arthur 'Buck' Bailey (1927), Harry Applequist (1923), Frank Barber (1921), J.R. Bender (1907), Everett Sweeley (1905) and J.N. Ashmore (1904).

EXTRA INNINGS FIRST SINCE 1975: The 10-inning opening game of the 2005 WSU baseball season was the first time since 1975 that the a Cougar team has played extra innings in their first game of the season.

WSU VS. SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE: The Cougars a 1-1 against opponents from the Southland 2000 WSU split games against University of Texas-Arlington...the Cougars won 7-3 and lost 5-4 against the Mavericks in the Arlington Morning News Invitational at Allan Saxe Stadium in Arlington, Texas...Texas-Arlington is the only Southland conference opponent WSU's faced.

COUGS HIT FIELD EARLY: In past years Washington State was limited in early-season outdoor practice time, but with WSU's new FieldTurf baseball diamond, Cougar players have been enjoying mild weather while holding intrasquad games and practices outdoors since the middle of January. 'We have been on our new field every day since January 19,' says new head coach Don Marbut.

ON THE ROAD AGAIN: During the first five weeks of the 2005 season, the Cougars will play 18 games in five different states...WSU started the season in California, taking one game in the series against Sacramento State...this week the Cougars travel to Louisiana before returning to Washington to host Portland for a home series in Pasco...WSU then travels to starting third baseman Zach McAngus' homestate of Hawaii...they will finish their road-trip series in Lewiston, Idaho for the annual Banana Belt Tournament beginning March the first five weeks the Cougars will travel roughly 16,000 miles round trip...the last time the Cougars traveled to five states in the first five weeks was in 2000 when they traveled roughly 10,000 miles.

PAC-10 TEAMS RANK AMONG BEST: Four of WSU's conference opponents are ranked in the top 25 in both the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper polls...Stanford is ranked sixth in both polls, the highest of any Pac-10 team...behind the Cardinal in the Baseball America poll is Washington (eighth) Arizona (11th) and Arizona State (12th) the Collegiate Baseball rankings, following the Cardinal are Arizona (11th), Washington (17th) and Arizona State (18th).

TOUGH SCHEDULE: The Cougars will face six teams that played in the post-season last year...five conference foes, Arizona, Arizona State, Stanford, UCLA and Washington, all made a regional appearance, with the Wildcats making it to the College World Series...Lewis-Clark State made it to the NAIA World eries.

IMPROVEMENT EARNS NATIONAL RANKING: Between the 2003 and 2004 seasons, the Cougars were the 15th most improved team in the 2003 WSU finished the season with an 19-37 overall 2004 it finished the season 29-26...the Cougars improved 10.5 games in 2004...the most improved team in the nation following the 2004 season was Prairie View, which improved its final record by 19.5 games.

THE WASHINGTON CONNECTION: The 2005 Washington State team consists of 31 Washington natives including head coach Donnie Marbut and associate coach Travis Jewett...four Cougar players hail from Bellevue...Kennewick, Woodinville and Spokane are each home to a pair of players...other Washington cities that made the Cougar geographic roster are Beaver, Bellingham, Burien, Des Moines, Enumclaw, Federal Way, Issaquah, Longview, Moses Lake, Olympia, Renton, Richland, Sammamish, Spanaway, Tacoma, Vancouver and Walla Walla...Marbut is a Aberdeen native and Jewett calls Tacoma home.

MARBUT AND THE EDMONDS CONNECTION: Four current Cougars played for WSU Head Coach Donnie Marbut during his tenure as head coach at Edmonds Community College...former Tritons new to the squad this year are Eric Dingwall and Brady Everett...Kaeo Rubin and Zach Kosturos both played under Marbut at Edmonds before coming to WSU last season...all four players won a NWAACC Championship under Marbut....Everett and Rubin were freshmen on the 2002 championship squad....Everett was named to the NWAACC All-Star team and Rubin earned NWAACC Northern Division second team and all-tournament team honors...Rubin, Kosturos and Dingwall helped set a league record 43 wins and another championship in 2003...both Kosturos and Rubin earned first team all-league honors...Rubin was named the MVP of the NWAACC Northern Division league tournament...Marbut was named NWAACC Coach of the year in both 2002 and 2003.

'All the players we have from Edmonds are impact players,' Marbut said. 'Playing at WSU is a good opportunity to showcase their talent in the Pac-10, not just because I coached them at Edmonds. They are very capable players who will play a big role in our teams' success this year.'

'It's been a good experience (playing for Marbut),' junior Zach Kosturos said. 'He's a good coach and I've learned a lot from him. He has a great coaching staff at WSU which allows him to delegate some coaching responsibilities, which is different from Edmonds.'

NO GAPS IN COUGAR OUTFIELD: Starting in the Washington State outfield are junior Jay Miller and seniors Jason Freeman and Kaeo Rubin...the three led the team in hitting last season with Miller edging out Freeman for first, .355 to .344...Rubin was third with a .341 batting average...all three earned Pac-10 honorable mention accolades...Miller also earned all-academic honorable mention kudos...Freeman played second base last season but will return to his natural position in the outfield for 2005.

COUGARS EXCELL IN SUMMER: WSU seniors Dane Renkert and Kaeo Rubin and sophomore Jeff Miller earned All-Pacific International League honors last summer...Rubin and Renkert were named to the first team of what is considered the Northwest's premier summer collegiate league...Rubin helped lead the Aloha Knights in winning the 2004 National Baseball Congress Championship and the All-American Invitational tournament where he was named MVP...Renkert posted six wins without a loss and recorded two saves for the Bellingham Bells...Miller was named to the All-PIL second team leading the Kirkland Kodiaks with 47 hits and 27 runs scored.

AN ALL NEW PLAYING FIELD: WSU is one of the few colleges in the nation to play on an artificial surface baseball 2004 the Cougars became the first NCAA Division I team to have FieldTurf as its playing surface...WSU joined 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 includes 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 completed before the 2004 season were new dugouts for both teams.

2005 CAPTAINS: The 2005 Washington State baseball captains are senior Dane Renkert and redshirt juniors Zach Kosturos and Zach Franklin.

COUGAR BASEBALL RANKS SEVENTH IN ALL-TIME NCAA VICTORIES: Washington State University is ranked seventh in all-time NCAA Division I baseball victories with 2,330 at the end of the 2004 season...a list of the top seven baseball programs appears below with their respective records and number of seasons played through 2004:

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