WSU Looks To Take Third Win In Gonzaga Series Tuesday

April 12, 2005

THIS WEEK: Tuesday, April 12 - WSU vs. Gonzaga, 3 p.m., Avista Stadium, Spokane
WSU will NOT play a weekend series

NEXT WEEK: Tuesday, April 19 - WSU vs. Gonzaga, 6 p.m., Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman
*Friday, April 22 - WSU vs. No. 11 Oregon State, 5 p.m., Gross Stadium at Coleman Field, Corvallis
*Saturday, April 23 - WSU vs. No. 11 Oregon State, 1 p.m., Gross Stadium at Coleman Field, Corvallis
*Sunday, April 24 - WSU vs. No. 11 Oregon State, 1 p.m., Gross Stadium at Coleman Field, Corvallis

LAST WEEK: Tuesday, April 5 - WSU 7, Gonzaga 3, Avista Stadium, Spokane
*Friday, April 8 - No. 6 Arizona 13, WSU 0, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman
*Saturday, April 9 - No. 6 Arizona 7, WSU 4, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman
*Sunday, April 10 - No. 6 Arizona 13, WSU 10, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman *Denotes Pacific-10 Conference Game

UPCOMING WSU OPPONENTS:
Gonzaga: playing fifth game of series at WSU April 19.
No. 11 Oregon State: playing at No. 6 Arizona this weekend
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 SUMMARY
The Washington State Cougars travel to Spokane Tuesday to play the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Avista Stadium at 3 p.m. It will be the fourth meeting between the two teams this season After playing 37 games the Cougars will then get a rest, taking a bye-week to prepare for Gonzaga and No. 11 Oregon State the following weekend.

The Cougars (16-20, 0-9 Pac-10) are 2-1 this season against the Bulldogs (20-12, 7-4 WCC). WSU won its last meeting against GU 7-3 in Spokane last Tuesday, avenging its 14-12 home loss to the Bulldogs March 29 that went 10-innings. The Cougs defeated Gonzaga 9-0 March 3 in the Banana Belt Tournament, which WSU won for the 20th time in school history.

Last weekend, No. 6 Arizona swept the Cougars in a three-game Pacific-10 Conference series in Pullman, handing WSU its first shutout of the season Friday with a 13-0 victory. The Wildcats had to come back from behind to clinch both Saturday's 7-4 and Sunday's 13-10 wins.

Freshman Jim Murphy remains at the top of the Cougars hitting list, batting .383 overall, followed by Jay Miller (.350), Zach McAngus (.319), Kaeo Rubin (.315) and Brady Everett (.313). Murphy was the only Pac-10 freshman named to Baseball America's Midseason All-Freshman Team announced April 8.

Jeff Miller, Jay's younger brother, accounted for seven of the 14 runs WSU scored against Arizona, driving home five and scoring two. Jeff, who will start Tuesday, is 5-for-11 against Gonzaga this season with four runs batted in and one run scored.

After starting Sunday's game at third base, regular backup catcher Zach Franklin went 2-for-4 Sunday, scoring a run and plating another. Though he won't be starting at the hot corner Tuesday, he is hitting .500 against the Zags, recording four hits, including a double, four runs and one run batted in.

Tuesday's starting pitcher, Jayson Miller, is 1-0 against Gonzaga, holding the Bulldogs hitless in two appearances against the area rival this season. The freshman is third on the team with 42.0 innings of work, posting a 5.79 overall ERA in 14 appearances.

COACH MARBUT TALKS ABOUT THE COUGS: 'We have another tough game Tuesday against Gonzaga that we need to play well in to win.

'We're looking forward to having an off weekend. The boys need a little rest to give them time to recover a bit and prepare for the rest of the season, so we can pick things up and play well in our remaining games.'

NOTEWORTHY COUGARS
Jim Murphy: The first baseman was named to Baseball America's College Midseason All-Freshman Team April 8...the Kirkland, Wash. native is the only Pac-10 representative named to the team...leads Cougar regulars in batting for the third consecutive week with a .383 average, ranking sixth among conference leaders...ranked in six Pac-10 categories including batting average, slugging percentage (7th, .638), on base percentage (8th, .468), home runs (t-8th, 6), chances (9th, 253) and putouts (8th, 235)...hitting .342 in conference play with a team-leading 13 hits...had three hits in series against Arizona, driving in two runs...against Gonzaga April 5 went 2-for-4 scoring once and driving home one run...second on the team with six long balls and tied for fourth with six doubles...has 19 RBI for a team-leading .687 slugging percentage...leads team with 212 putouts.

Jay Miller: Despite hitting .200 in the Arizona series, still second on the team with a .350 overall batting average...second-best hitter during conference play, batting .323...leads team and is ranked tenth among Pac-10 batters with 49 hits, including eight doubles, one triple and two bombs......first on team with 14 multiple hit games...driven home 23 runners for a .464 slugging percentage, while scoring 26 runs...started 140 of 145 games in career and every game this season...batting .350 for career, leads all current players with 194 career hits, just 16 away from making the WSU all-time top-10 career hits list.

Jeff Miller: Accounted for seven of WSU's 14 runs scored in Arizona series, scoring two and driving home five for a .700 slugging percentage...had three hits, including a two-run double and a two-run long ball in series...hit both run-scoring shots with a dislocated finger suffered in Saturday's game...second on the team with 31 RBI...has five doubles, one triple and two long balls this season...hitting .310 in conference action, .279 overall.

Brady Everett: Leads team and is ranked on several Pac-10 categories including RBI (5th, 40), runs scored (t-8th, 34), home runs (t-4th, 8) and hit by pitch (2nd, 13)...had team-best 18-game hitting streak snapped against Gonzaga last week...first on team with 12 multiple RBI games...scored runners on third with two outs 13 of 17 chances and is successful advancing runner 54.9% of the time.

Jason Freeman: Found hot bat when conference play started last season, on pace to do the same this year...fourth among Cougar regulars with a .306 batting average during Pac-10 games... recorded two hits and scored three runs against Arizona...leads team and is tied for third in Pac-10 in both stolen bases (12) and sacrifice bunts (8) categories.

Jimmy Freeman: Leads team and Pac-10 with 11 starts...among Pac-10 hurlers is ranked seventh with 59.0 innings pitched, eighth with 52 strike outs, and tied for second with six wins...allowed five earned runs against Arizona, while striking out four batters over eight innings...second on team with 4.27 ERA.

Jayson Miller: Is 1-3 this season, making four starts in 14 appearances, finishing third among Cougar hurlers with 42 innings of work...Tuesday's freshman starter is 1-0 against Zags, holding Bulldogs hitless over three innings.

Zach Kosturos: Leads team with 14 extra base hits...among Pac-10 hitters is tied for tenth with 10 doubles and tied for fourth with three triples.

AGAINST THE ZAGS: WSU is 2-1 against Gonzaga this season...Jimmy Freeman and Dustin Willis combined to shutout the Bulldogs, 9-0 March 3 in the first game of the Banana Belt Tournament...WSU fell to the Zags 14-12 Tuesday, March 29 in 10-innings at Bailey-Brayton Field...the Cougs avenged their home loss by downing GU 7-3 in Spokane April 5 of the following week...the Cougars lead the all-time series against Gonzaga 170-83-1...several of WSU's team game highs this season have come against GU...March 29 the Cougs recorded 29 total bases, three home runs and 30 putouts, which are team game highs...WSU tied a game high for walks (6) April 5, and recorded a team high with four sacrifice hits March 3...the series between the two teams dates back to 1911...the Zags and Cougs tied the 2004 series 2-2...WSU and Gonzaga will face off once more this season when the Cougs host the Bulldogs in the series finale at Bailey-Brayton Field April 19...Gonzaga currently has a record of 20-12 and 5-4 when playing at Avista Stadium.

PAC-10 TEAMS RANK AMONG BEST: WSU's 2005 baseball schedule features eight teams, seven from the Pac-10 Conference, 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 Arizona Wildcats, who WSU hosted April 8-10, is currently ranked number six in all polls...next on the polls is Oregon State, the Cougars' next Pac-10 opponent, followed by Stanford, that played in Pullman April 1-3...Arizona State, California, Washington and Hawai'i have all received votes in at least one of the polls...WSU's schedule this year includes 25 games against the eight teams...here are the rankings as of April 11:

RELIEVERS HOLDING ON: This season, there has been a total of 76 runners on base when Cougar relief pitchers have entered a game...the bullpen has allowed 35 of those runners to score... Jayson Miller has been the most effective reliever with runners on base...Miller's only allowed two of 10 inherited runners to score...Steve Kost has allowed three of 10 inherited runners to cross home plate, while Dane Renkert has allowed two of eight runners to score...Dustin Willis has allowed five of 10 inherited runners on base to score and Eric Dingwall's given up one run with four runners already on base.

MOM'S WEEKEND WITH THE COUGS: April 8-10 marked the annual WSU Mom's Weekend...Saturday April 9, 2,142 baseball fans came to Bailey-Brayton Field to watch the Cougars take on No. 6 Arizona...the 2005 home attendance high ranks as the 11th largest crowd at Bailey-Brayton Field since 1989...April 17, 2004, the Saturday game of Mom's Weekend, the WSU-USC game drew 3,153 fans...the attendance was the largest Cougar home crowd since 1989...WSU's largest crowd was 4,666 in 1990 for a doubleheader against Washington.

BRUISED BATTERS: WSU leads the Pac-10 with 65 batters hit by pitches...cross state rival Washington is ranked second with 55 hit batters...in the conference individual hit by pitch category, there are five Cougars on the top-10 list...Brady Everett is second, being hit 13 times, Kaeo Rubin is third with 12 HBP's and Jay Miller is fourth, being hit 10 times...Zach McAngus has been hit nine times and Zach Kosturos is tied for ninth on the list, being hit in seven at-bats...11-of-15 Cougs have been hit by a pitch at least once this year...ouch!

FREEMAN IN GOOD COMPANY: Prior to earning his first lost in the series opener against California, Jimmy Freeman started the season 6-0...five WSU pitchers have started the season with a 6-0 record since 1988, including John Olerud, Aaron Sele, Bryce Chamberlin, Ed Gustafson, and David Wainhouse...last year Chamberlin started 6-0, finishing 8-3 overall...Sele started 7-0 in 1990 and finished 12-3...Gustafson went 8-0 in 1989, recording a 8-2 overall record...Olerud went 15-0 in 1998, while Wainhouse finished 7-0 the same year.

BATTLE FOR THE BATTING TITLE: The Cougar regular with the best overall batting average the Monday after a weekend series has changed five times this season...Jim Murphy leads the team for the third consecutive week in batting average, hitting .383 overall...prior to Murphy, Zach McAngus and Jay Miller battled back and forth for the lead...McAngus is edging out Miller, leading the team for four weeks to Miller's three...Miller led WSU after its first weekend of play, boasting his highest average of the year, .429...McAngus took the lead the following weekend hitting .500, which is the highest batting average of any regular this spring...when McAngus has led he's hit .415 (2/21/05) and .364 (3/07/05 and 3/14/05)...Miller led with .404 (2/28/05) and .376 (3/21/05) averages...Miller is currently second among Coug regulars with a .350 batting average...McAngus is third hitting .319, Kaeo Rubin's fourth (.315) and Brady Everett is fifth (.313).

GOING THE DISTANCE: Brady Everett leads the Cougars with eight home runs...freshman Jim Murphy is second on the team with six...Everett hit his eighth homer of the season during WSU's loss to Gonzaga March 29...Everett's three-run shot was his sixth multiple-run home run this season...nine Cougars have gone yard this season, including Jay and Jeff Miller, who both have two home runs...Zach Franklin, Kaeo Rubin, Zach McAngus, Matt Thomas and Zach Kosturos each have each gone yard once this year.

PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Bellevue, Wash. native, Jay Miller was named the Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Week for the week of March 15-21 for his .688 hitting performance against Utah Valley State...went 11-for-16 against the Wolverines, including three doubles, a triple and a homer...scored six runs, while driving home as many and stole base three times...with his performance he improved his overall batting average from .318 to .376, which led the team last week...he is the first Cougar to receive the weekly honor this season.

STREAKING EVERETT: Senior catcher Brady Everett ended his 18-game hit streak last week against Gonzaga April 5...the transfer from Clemson began his hit streak with a pair of hits March 3 against Gonzaga at the Banana Belt Tournament...during the streak Everett maintained a .377 batting average (23-for-61) with an on-base percentage of .500...Everett now holds the record for consecutives games with a hit by a catcher...prior to Everett, catcher Jon Baeder had a 11 game streak in 2001...the school record for most consecutive hits in a game belongs to Shawn Stevenson...Stevenson ended the 1997 season with hits in his last 18 games, then hit safely in the first 10 games of the 1998 season...prior to Stevenson, John Olerud held the record with a mark of 22 games during the 1988 season, in which he was voted Baseball America's player of the year...there have only been four games this season Everett has been hitless; Feb. 11 at Southeastern Louisiana, Feb. 27 at Hawai'I, April 5 at Gonzaga and April 8 against Arizona...in the first game of a doubleheader Feb. 19, Everett played but did not have an official at-bat.

RUBIN SETS AND TIES WSU RECORDS: During the course of the Banana Belt Tournament and the following series against Northern Colorado Rubin 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 March 11, tying a school record for hits in a game set in 1907...Rubin used hits over three-game span to set and tie school records...had two hits sandwiched around a walk March 6...hit in first two plate appearances, going 3-for-4 March 12 against Northern Colorado...had 11 hits with three doubles and five RBI in the three-game span.

WSU ALL-TIME BANANA BELT CHAMPS: Since the Banana Belt Tournament started in 1950 WSU has won the title 20 times, including the last two...host LCSC has captured the tournament title 19 times...the last time WSU 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 won titles 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 played 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 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.

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.

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, the Minnesota Twins and most recently the Toronto Blue Jays 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.

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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