Cougars Set For Season Opener At Cal State Northridge
Feb. 16, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. -
WSU-CAL STATE NORTHRIDGE: THE SERIES
Friday's opener marks the 17th meeting in the series between the two schools. The Cougars hold a 9-7 advantage all-time, taking two of three games during the 2002 season, the last time these schools met. Ironically, WSU opened the 2002 season with a three-game series at Cal State Northridge.
SCOUTING THE MATADORS
Cal State Northridge enters the weekend series with a 7-4 record, having earned a split of the two-game, midweek series at Fresno State earlier this week. The Matadors opened the season the taking two of three against UNLV then won the series at Pacific. CSUN then won its first two games at the UTPA Citrus Tournament before falling in the finale to Lamar, 6-4. Freshman outfielder C.J. Belander leads the team in hitting with a .372 average while senior infielder Todd Shelton is next at .350 with a team-leading 12 runs scored. Catcher John Parham has the team's only home run and leads the squad with 9 RBI. On the mound Jimmy Jolicoeur, Saturday's scheduled starter, is 2-0 with a 2.66 ERA in three starts and Joe Rocchio is 1-0 with two saves in his four appearances.
COUGARS IN SEASON OPENERS
Over the past 17 years starting with the 1990 season, the Cougar baseball team is 9-8 in season openers, including last year's 8-2 win over East Tennessee State in the opening round of the Buccaneer Baseball Classic, hosted by Charleston Southern. The weekend series at Cal State Northridge marks the third time in the past seven seasons WSU has opened it schedule against the Matadors, all at Northridge.
COUGARS AMONG MOST IMPROVED IN 2006
Last season Washington State posted a 36-23 record, a 15-win improvement over the 2005 season. That increase marked the ninth-best improvement in all of Division I baseball. The win total also matched the most by a WSU squad since posting a 37-25 record during the 1991 season. Fellow Pac-10 member UCLA led all schools by winning 17 more games last season that it did in 2006.
PRINCE NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN
Washington State University sophomore outfielder/pitcher Jared Prince has been named a 2007 Second-Team Preseason All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America (NCBWA). Prince, a native of Poulsbo, Wash., had arguably the finest freshman campaign in WSU history in 2006. He was named a third-team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), a first-team Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball newspaper and Baseball America, and was named to the All-Pacific-10 Conference first team. Additionally, Prince was one of 35 players invited to the USA Baseball National Team Trials last summer.
Following this weekend's three-game series at Cal State Northridge, the Cougars remain on the road as they visit No. 14 Texas for a three-game set. The Longhorns entered the weekend with a 4-4 record and were set to face Stanford in a three-game home series. Texas holds a 7-4 edge in the all-time series, though the teams have not met since the 1991 season when the Longhorns swept a two-game series in Austin.
COUGARS PICKED EIGHTH BY PAC-10 COACHES
Washington State University was selected eighth in the Pac-10 Conference preseason coaches poll, announced prior to the start of the 2007 campaign. In order, the conference coaches selected Arizona State, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, USC, California, WSU and Washington in the preseason poll. Last season the Cougars were picked to finish ninth and finished the season eighth in the Pac-10, one game out of a tie for fifth, with a 10-14 record. It was a nine-game improve in confernece play for WSU from the 2005 season.
COUGARS RANK SEVENTH IN ALL-TIME NCAA VICTORIES
Washington State University is ranked seventh in all-time NCAA Division I baseball victories with 2,383 at the end of the 2006 season.
HEAD COACH Donnie Marbut
Donnie Marbut is in his third season as head coach at Washington State University and fourth overall after pending the 2004 season as an assistant on the Cougar staff. Marbut has amassed a 57-60 record in his first two years, the most wins by any Cougar coach in his first two seasons. prior to WSU, Marbut served as head coach at Edmonds Community College from 2000-03, where he posted a 152-38 record and earned Coach of the Year honors in 2002 and 2003.
HITTING THE BOOKS
Following the 2006 season, the Washington State University baseball team posted a 2.84 combined grade point average, the highest yearly GPA in Cougar baseball history.
The Cougars will face seven teams that played in the postseason last year, including a three-game series at 2006 CWS Champion Oregon State. Three other conference foes, Arizona State, Stanford and UCLA, all made a regional appearance, with the Cardinal making it to the Super Regional. Texas and San Francisco also reached a regional tournament while Lewis-Clark State captured the 2006 NAIA World Series title.
PRINCE ON WALLACE WATCH LIST
Washington State University sophomore outfielder/pitcher Jared Prince was one of 148 college baseball student-athletes named to the initial watch list for the 2007 Brooks Wallace Award presented by the College Baseball Foundation. Last season Prince led the conference in hitting with a .401 average, which also ranked 24th in the nation among all Division I players, and on-base percentage (.492). Prince also ranked among the Top 10 in RBIs (58, 3rd), slugging (.618, 4th), hits (83, T-4th), runs scored (50, 9th) and total bases (128, 5th).
2007 SCHEDULE FEATURES FOUR RANKED TEAMS
The 2007 schedule boasts four teams currently ranked among the nation's elite. In the most recent Baseball America poll, Oregon State (No. 10), leads the way, followed by Arizona State (13), Texas (14) and UCLA (15).