Cougars Prepare For Home Opener Against Northern Colorado Bears

March 8, 2005

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UPCOMING WSU OPPONENTS:
Northern Colorado - 1-11 prior to two games against Air Force
Utah Valley State - 5-9 after going 1-3 at the Banana Belt tourney
California - 11-6 after splitting a doubleheader at Stanford Sunday
Gonzaga - 8-5 after going 2-2 in the Banana Belt tourney

THE RADIO AND WEB: All remaining WSU baseball games will be broadcast live on KCLX Radio (1450 AM), Colfax, and at www.wsucougars.com.

COUGAR DIAMOND SUMMARYThe Washington State Cougars, 10-8, after polishing off three of four teams at the annual Banana Belt Tournament at Lewiston, make their official Bailey-Brayton Field home opener in a three-game series beginning Friday.

The Cougars' opponent will be Northern Colorado. Game times are set for 3 p.m. Friday, 1 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday. The Bears enter the week 1-11 and play the Air Force Academy in a doubleheader Tuesday.Last weekend WSU downed Gonzaga (9-0), Portland (15-8) and host Lewis-Clark State (9-7) to capture its 20th Banana Belt Tournament and second consecutive title. The only blemish on WSU's mark was a 6-4 loss to Utah Valley State. The Cougars finished 3-1, followed by Gonzaga, Portland and host LCSC at 2-2, then Utah Valley 1-3.

The Cougars used a .317 batting average that included 15 extra base hits and solid pitching to capture the BBT title.

Jimmy Freeman turned in a near-perfect seven innings of shutout ball, helping WSU pitchers post a 4.25 ERA in the BBT. As good as Freeman was, Jayson Miller was even better. The freshman left hander made two relief appearances, threw six innings, struck out nine, and did not allow a hit or a run.

Freeman won his start, while Dane Renkert and Eric Dingwall each picked up victories in relief.At the plate, Brady Everett started all four games behind the dish last weekend and hit .500 while driving home four runs. His 6-for-12 performance included his fourth home run of the season.

Other starters who hit over .300 at the BBT were Jim Murphy .444, Zach Kosturos .417, Jason Freeman .389, Kaeo Rubin .333 and Zach McAngus .313.

McAngus leads WSU batters with a .364 average, while Jay Miller slipped to .342. Everett has improved his average to .328, while Kosturos is hitting .315 and Jason Freeman .303. McAngus tops the club in hits, 28, and runs scored, 20, while Everett has driven in a team-leading 22 runs.

Jimmy Freeman leads WSU pitchers with 32 innings of work and also has the top ERA, 1.69. He also leads the team with a perfect 4-0 record. Dingwall, in four relief efforts, has thrown 8.0 innings and owns a 1.12 ERA.

COACH MARBUT TALKS ABOUT COUGS: 'We're excited to be playing at home, that's for sure.

'Slowly but surely we are playing better. We still haven't played as well as we could, but we are progressing.

'We are hoping to capitalize on last weekend's Banana Belt Tournament championship and carry it with us into the weekend against Northern Colorado.'

WSU VS. NORTHERN COLORADO: The following is a statistical comparison of how Washington State matches up against this weeks' opponent Northern Colorado:

NOTEWORTHY COUARS
Jimmy Freeman: WSU is 5-0 when the senior starts on the mound...he is posting a 1.69 ERA, ranking him fourth among Pac-10 pitchers...he is tied for first in the conference with a 4-0 record...leads the team with 32.0 innings pitched and 30 strikeouts, placing him eighth among conference hurlers...allowed only 21 hits...ranked eighth in Pac-10 in both runs allowed (eight) and earned runs allowed (six)...holding opposition to .186 batting average, facing 113 hitters.

Zach McAngus: Leads WSU regulars with .364 batting average...first on team with 28 hits, placing him in a tie for fifth among Pac-10 batters...has 77 plate appearances...ranked third in conference with 20 runs scored...currently on six-game hitting streak...leads Cougs with nine multiple hit games and is fifth with three multiple RBI games.

Zach Kosturos: Currently riding a 10-game hitting streak, batting .315 this season...leads team with 10 extra base hits, seven doubles, two triples and a single long ball...tied for third among Pac-10 hitters in doubles and fourth in triples...tied for third on team with 13 RBI and is second in slugging percentage, .574...tied for second on team with five multiple RBI games.

Brady Everett: Currently leads team with 22 RBI, four home runs, 37 total bases and a .578 slugging percentage...ranked third among Pac-10 batters in RBI...in conference tied for seventh in runs scored (17) and tied for fifth in home runs...hitting .328 this season...hit .500 last weekend in Banana Belt Tournament...drove home four runs and scored five to help WSU win the championship...successful in advancing runners 56% of the time...defensively leads team with 139 chances and 121 putouts...tied for first among conference opponents with perfect fielding percentage...is No. 8 in chances and putout categories among Pac-10 players.

Jayson Miller: Miller threw six innings of perfect ball in two appearances during Banana Belt Tournament...struck out nine in 4.2 innings against Utah Valley State...earned a save against Lewis-Clark State to help clinch the championship...has a 3.65 ERA this season over 24.2 innings...allowed 26 hits, while striking out 15 batters.

Jay Miller: Miller is second among Cougar regulars with a .342 batting average... tied for third on team in runs scored (12) and RBI (13)...recorded 25 hits, tying him for ninth among Pac-10 batters...three doubles and one home run...has .425 slugging percentage and .455 on base percentage...led WSU past two years at the plate, boasting .347 career batting average.

Jimmy Murphy: The freshman hit .444 in Banana Belt Tournament, going long twice...he tallied five RBI with four hits, including a two-run homer Friday against Portland...hitting .321 this season with nine hits, four runs scored and six RBI...has 65 putouts and a .986 fielding percentage.

Jeff Miller: Second on team in RBI with 16, adding seven during Banana Belt Tournament play...hit three-run home run and a two-run double Friday against Portland...hitting .254 this season with 17 hits, including three doubles...has scored runners on third with two outs eight of nine opportunities...Miller has at least one hit in 10 of his 17 games and in six of those he has had two or more hits

WSU ALL-TIME BANANA BELT CHAMPIONS: Since the conception of the Banana Belt Tournament, WSU has won the tournament 20 times, including the last two titles...host Lewis-Clark State has captured the tournament title 19 times...the last time that the Cougars won the Banana Belt Tournament in consecutive years was 1979 and 1980...the longest WSU streak for consecutive Banana Belt titles is four years, 1963 through 1966...WSU has placed second 11 times and finished third twice...the Cougars captured the tournament title in 1950, 1951, 1961, 1963-66, 1969-71, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1979-80, 1982, 1988, 1990, 2004 and 2005.

WSU'S HITTING IN THE BANANA BELT: Nine members of the WSU squad hit over .300 in the 2005 Banana Belt Tournament...catcher Brady Everett led the Cougars with a .500 average...Everett went 6-for-12 including a home run in Friday afternoon's loss to Utah Valley State...Nick Hall also hit .500 going 1-for-2 at the plate...freshman Jim Murphy hit at a clip of .444, going 4-for-9...Murphy's four hits included his first two home runs as a Cougar...Zach Kosturos hit .417, recording five hits on the series...Kosturos' hits extended his hit streak to a team-high 10 games...as a team the Cougars hit .317 during the tournament...in 2004 the Cougars had seven team members hit over .300 and as a team, hit at a clip of .306.

STREAKING COUGARS: Co-captain Zach Kosturos looks to continue his hitting streak when the Cougars begin play at home this weekend...the senior has recorded a hit in his last 10 games...the 10-game streak is the longest of the season for any Coug...Zach McAngus and Jason Freeman each have six-game hitting streaks...Jim Murphy is leading WSU freshmen with a five-game hit streak...three Cougars will look to extend their four-game hitting streaks this weekend at Bailey-Brayton Field, Brady Everett, Matthew Thomas and Kaeo Rubin...Everett's longest streak of the season stands at eight games.

EXTRA BASE HITS: There are 12 Cougars who have recorded extra base hits this season...Zach Kosturos leads the team with 10 extra-base hits...he's first in doubles with seven and triples with two...Brady Everett is second on the team with eight extra base hits and first in home runs with four...he has four doubles...Jeff and Jay Miller, Nick Hall and Zach McAngus each have three doubles and one homer this season...McAngus also has one triple, along with Matt Thomas...Kaeo Rubin and Jason Freeman have two doubles apiece, while Zach Franklin, Thomas and Grant Alexander have one...Thomas, and Kosturos each have one long ball this season.

IN THE CLUTCH: Six Cougars are hitting .300 or better with runners on base, including Jimmy Murphy, who is hitting .438 to lead the team...Jay Miller is batting .395 with runners on...Brady Everett and Jay and Jeff Miller are hitting .500 with the bases loaded...Everett is 1-for-2, hitting a grand slam against Sacramento State Feb. 4...Jay Miller is hitting at a .480 clip and Murphy is batting .500 with runners in scoring position...Cougar hitters are scoring runners from third with two outs 72.4 % of the time...in that position, Jeff Miller has plated runners eight out of nine times and Everett's done it seven of eight opportunities...McAngus is perfect in that position, scoring runners five times.

FRESHMEN CONTRIBUTIONS: The freshmen class has been making an impact this season with 10 newcomers seeing playing time...six rookies have played on the field and four have seen mound time...the starting first base position is occupied by freshmen...Jim Murphy and Nick Hall both made starts at first base...Matt Thomas has started 13 games at shortstop...Scott Suttmeier has made starts at short and second base...freshmen have tallied 32 of WSU's 190 hits...they've scored 22 of the Cougars' 131 runs and have driven home 20...four newcomers have pitched for the Cougars, working 49.2 out of 159.2 innings...Steve Kost is third on the team with a 2.57 ERA in four appearances...Jayson Miller is sixth with a 3.65 ERA and leading freshmen pitchers with 24.2 innings pitched....last weekend, Miller threw six innings of perfect ball in relief...Matt Oye has a 5.23 ERA and 10 strike outs...Dustin Willis is 1-0 with seven punch outs this...there are 13 freshmen on the WSU roster and all hail from Washington.

EXTRA INNINGS FIRST SINCE 1975: The 10-inning opening game of the 2005 WSU baseball season against Sacramento State Friday, February 4, was the first time since 1975 a Cougar team has played extra innings in its first outing of the season...the Cougars took Lewis-Clark State into the 10th inning before losing 7-6 March 2, 1975.

PAC-10 TEAMS RANK AMONG BEST: Four of WSU's conference opponents are ranked in the top 25 in either the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper polls...Stanford is ranked 11th in Baseball America and 15th in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper...Arizona is ranked 12th in Baseball America and 16th in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper...USC is 22nd in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and 25th in Baseball America...Oregon State entered the national rankings, placing 23rd in the Baseball America poll...Washington dropped out of the national standings, but was ranked until losing their series to No. 7 Texas A&M the first weekend in March.

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 Sacramento, Calif., going 1-2 against Sac State...WSU then went 2-1 against Southeastern Louisiana in Hammond...played in Pasco, splitting the series 2-2 against Portland...then traveled to Hawai'i splitting the four-game series...finished its road-trip series in Lewiston, Idaho, taking the Banana Belt Tournament championship with a 3-1 record...in the first five weeks the Cougars traveled roughly 16,000 miles round trip.

IMPROVEMENT EARNS NATIONAL RANKING: Between the 2003 and 2004 seasons, the Cougars were the 15th most improved team in the nation...in 2003 WSU finished the season with an 19-37 overall record...in 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.

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 Series.

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 Donnie Marbut.

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

THE EDMONDS CC 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.

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 this season has returned to his natural position in the outfield.

AN ALL NEW PLAYING FIELD: WSU is one of the few colleges in the nation to play on an artificial surface baseball field...in 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.

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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