WSU Hosts Utah Valley State For Second Meeting

March 16, 2005

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The Washington State baseball team returns to Bailey-Brayton Field for the second straight week when they host Utah Valley State in a four-game series beginning Friday. The series opener begins at 3 p.m., with Saturday's doubleheader to start at 1 p.m., and the Sunday finale to begin at noon.

WSU's (12-9) only loss on the way to its 2005 Banana Belt Tournament Championship two weeks ago came at the hands of the Wolverines (5-13), a 6-4 setback March 3.

Last week the Cougars took the first series at their home field 2-1, beating Northern Colorado Friday and Saturday, 13-3 and 8-0, respectively. The Cougars fell to the Bears 4-3 in the final game of the series Sunday.

Leading WSU's offensive attack last week was Kaeo Rubin, who raised his overall batting average from .278 to .349 with his performance against UNC. The Spanaway native now leads WSU batters with 30 hits after going 10-for-14 in the series, including a 6-for-6 performance Friday.

Rubin's six hits tied a school record, as did his hits in 10 consecutive at bats originally set in 1992 by current Cleveland Indian Mike Kinkade.

Grant Alexander is slotted to start at third base for the Cougars after posting a .400 batting average against UNC, recording four hits. He had only started three games prior to the UNC series.

After hitting .444 the last two weeks, Jim Murphy is on pace to lead Cougar regulars. He has a .351 batting average with 13 hits in 13 games.

WSU starting pitchers Jimmy Freeman and Wayne Daman Jr. are ranked seventh and eighth, respectively, among Pacific-10 hurlers with 2.13 and 2.14 earned run averages. WSU is 6-0 when Freeman, Friday's starter, is on the mound.

Both Saturday starting pitchers, Daman Jr. and Matt Oye, held UNC scoreless last week. Daman Jr. pitched 6.0 innings and Oye had 3.2 inning of work.

COACH MARBUT TALKS ABOUT COUGS: 'Last weekend we got off to a good start, but didn't really show up to play Sunday,.

'It is important to respect your opponent and I don't know if we did that heading into the final game.

'Against Utah Valley State we are hoping to put a complete weekend together, including good performances both at the plate and on the mound. Hopefully this will help get the momentum rolling before Pac-10 play starts next week.'

WSU VS. UTAH VALLEY STATE: The following is a statistical comparison of how Washington State matches up against this weeks' opponent Utah Valley State:

NOTEWORTHY COUGARS
Kaeo Rubin: Named to the College Baseball Foundation's National Honor Roll after going 10-for-14 last weekend, hitting .714 on the series...set a WSU record with hits in nine consecutive trips to plate...tied school record with 10 hits in consecutive at-bats, not including walks...went 6-for-6, including two doubles Friday, scoring two runs and driving home five...went 3-for-4 Saturday with another extra base hit...is on a seven-game hitting streak...leads team with 30 hits, ranking him ninth among Pac-10 hitters...tied for second on team in runs scored (20) and doubles (5) categories...in his WSU career is hitting .343 and has started every game.

Jimmy Freeman: WSU is 6-0 when the senior starts on the mound...5-0 record ranks him first in conference in the win category...has a 2.13 ERA over 38.0 innings of work, which leads Cougar pitchers...leads team with 39 strike outs, ranking him seventh among pitchers in the Pac-10...allowed only 26 hits and 11 runs, nine earned, this season...against Northern Colorado surrendered three runs, all earned, and five hits, while striking out nine batters over 6.0 innings of work.

Zach Kosturos: Led team with a 12-game hitting streak that ended in WSU's 4-3 loss Sunday...among Pac-10 batters is tied for fourth with eight doubles and tied for sixth with two triples...is third on team with 15 RBI and a .540 slugging percentage...the DH has 19 hits, including 11 extra-base hits...tied for second among Cougars in multiple RBI games with six...hitting .302 this season.

Brady Everett: Currently leads team in three categories and is second among regulars with .347 batting average...is sixth among Pac-10 hitters in RBI with 23 and tied for fifth in runs scored with 21...has five doubles and a team-leading four homers...riding a seven-game hitting streak...leads team with seven multiple RBI games and has six multiple hit games...the catcher is tied for first among conference fielders with 1.000 fielding percentage.

Wayne Daman Jr.: Allowed four hits and did not surrender a run over 6.0 innings in 8-0 shut out Saturday...is sixth among Pac-10 hurlers with a .186 opponent batting average and eighth with a 2.14 ERA...is 3-0 with one save over 33.2 innings of work...has 22 strikeouts, while allowing 22 hits and 11 runs, eight earned.

Jay Miller: Despite hitting .167 last weekend, is still third among Cougar regulars with .318 batting average...third on team with 27 hits, and fourth with 14 runs and 14 RBI...the junior is hitting .343 for his career, leading WSU hitters the last two seasons.

Jim Murphy: The freshman hit .444 over the last two weekends, recording nine hits, six runs and eight RBI...has four extra base hits in that time, two doubles and two home runs...hitting .351 with 11 starts at first base...leads team with .429 batting average with runners on base.

Grant Alexander: Recorded three of his starts for the season last weekend, hitting .400 in the es...had four hits, including a double and a triple...drove home and scored three runs in three-game series with .700 slugging percentage...hitting .333 with six hits, two doubles six RBI and five runs.

RUBIN SETS AND TIES WSU RECORDS: The senior set a school record with hits in nine consecutive trips to the plate...tied a school record set in 1992 with hits in 10 consecutive at bats, not counting walks...the record was originally set by current Cleveland Indian Mike Kinkade...went 6-for-6 Friday, tying a school record for hits in a game set in 1907...used hits over three-game span, including Friday's performance, to set and tie school records...had two hits sandwiched around a walk in WSU's final game of Banana Belt Tournament...hit in first two plate appearances, going 3-for-4 Saturday against Northern Colorado...had 11 hits with three doubles and five RBI in the three-game span.

McANGUS IS ONE TO WATCH: Junior Zach McAngus was named to the 2005 Brooks Wallace Watch list March 8 by the College Baseball Foundation...the award, started in 2004 is given annually to the most outstanding Division I player in college baseball...McAngus has started 18 games at the hot corner for the Cougs...is batting .364, with 28 hits and 20 runs scored...the Honolulu native has recorded nine multiple hit games including a five-hit performance against Southeastern Louisiana February 12...the Wallace Watch is dedicated to the memory of former Texas Tech shortstop and assistant coach Brooks Wallace...in 2004, Cal-State Fullerton catcher Kurt Suzuki was named the recipient of the inaugural award after leading the Titans to the College World Series title.

STREAKING COUGARS: Co-captain Zach Kosturos had his team-leading 12-game hitting streak snapped Sunday...Kaeo Rubin and Brady Everett are on seven-game streaks...this is Rubin's longest, while Everett's longest is eight games...Rubin hit in nine consecutive trips to the plate, setting a school record...after returning to action for the Banana Belt Tournament, Jim Murphy recorded hits in seven consecutive games, but ended his streak Sunday.

EXTRA BASE HITS: There are 13 Cougars who have recorded extra base hits this season...Zach Kosturos leads the team with 11...he's first in doubles with eight and triples with two...Brady Everett is second on the team with nine extra base hits and first in home runs with four...he and Kaeo Rubin are tied for second with five doubles...Jay Miller has four doubles and a home run...Jeff Miller and Zach McAngus each have three doubles, a triple and a homer...Nick Hall has three two-base hits...Jim Murphy has two doubles, tying him with Grant Alexander and Jason Freeman...Murphy has two long balls this season...Matt Thomas has one double, one triple and one home run.

IN THE CLUTCH: Seven Cougars are hitting .300 or better with runners on base, including Jimmy Murphy, who is hitting .429 to lead the team...Kaeo Rubin is batting .343 with runners on base...Brady Everett and Jay Miller are hitting .500, while Jeff Miller and Zach Kosturos are batting .400 with the bases loaded...Everett is 1-for-2, hitting a grand slam against Sacramento State Feb. 4...Jim Murphy is hitting at a .462 clip with runners in scoring position...Cougar hitters are scoring runners from third with two out situations 70.9 % of the time...in that position, Jeff Miller has plated runners 10 out of 11 times...with two outs Everett has plated runners eight times and Rubin five times...McAngus is perfect in that position, scoring runners five times....WSU is successful advancing runners 52.9% of the time, with Murphy leading the team with a 64% success rate.

INJURY UPDATE: Regular starting third baseman Zach McAngus is doubtful to play this weekend...he suffered a sprained thumb in the final game of the BBT, causing him to miss the UNC series...Matt Thomas is probable to return to action at short stop after recovering from a sprained ankle that has kept him out of action the past two weekends of play...Bradley Selinger is still rehabbing from surgery he had over the summer...he will throw off the mound in practice this week to determine if he is ready to pitch this weekend.

FRESHMEN CONTRIBUTIONS: Of the 13 freshman on WSU's roster, 10 have seen playing time this year...Matt Thomas started 13 games at short stop before spraining his ankle three weeks ago...he tallied 11 hits, six RBI and seven runs...Jim Murphy is hitting .351 this season with 11 starts in 13 appearances at first...he has 13 hits, including two homers and nine RBI...the first baseman has 95 putouts, committing only one error...Jayson Miller has thrown the most innings (29.1) of WSU rookie hurlers followed by Matt Oye with 14.0...Miller has a 4.30 ERA with 16 strike outs, making four starts in seven appearances...Matt Oye has a 3.86 ERA.

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 lost 7-6 to LCSC at the start of the 1975 season.

PAC-10 TEAMS RANK AMONG BEST: Three of WSU's conference opponents are ranked in the top 25 in the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball Newspaper polls...the Arizona Wildcats are ranked ninth in Baseball America and 13th in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper...Stanford is ranked 12th in Baseball America and 15th in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper...the Oregon State Beavers climbed to 22nd in the Baseball America poll and 30th in Collegiate Baseball Newspaper poll...USC fell from the rankings this week after going 2-2 in action last week...Washington also dropped out of the national standings last week, but had been ranked until losing their series to No. 8/12 Texas A&M the first weekend in March.

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.

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:

MARBUT IN GOOD COMPANY: Don Marbut is the ninth WSU head coach to win his first baseball game as a Cougar and the first since Bobo Brayton beat Gonzaga 9-4 March 22, 1962, beginning his illustrious 33-year WSU career...Marbut beat Sacramento State 8-7 to open his WSU career...the eight other WSU head coaches who won their first games are 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).

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