Cougars Ready For Series At San Jose State, Then Home Against Rider
March 7, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State Baseball
Washington State (6-4) at San Jose State (10-5), vs. Rider (1-5)
March 8-10 (San Jose State), 11-13 (Rider) Municipal Stadium (5,200) Bailey-Brayton Field (3,500)
San Jose, Calif. Pullman, Wash.
Game Times: Mar. 8 (6 p.m.) Mar. 9 (6 p.m.) Mar. 10 (1 p.m.)
Mar. 11 (5:30 p.m.) Mar. 12 (5:30 p.m.) Mar. 13 (5:30 p.m.)
PROBABLE STARTING PITCHERS
Thursday Wayne Daman Jr., RHP (1-0, 2.00 ERA) vs. Josh Amberson, RHP (1-0, 7.63 ERA)
Friday Matt Way, LHP (1-1, 5.51 ERA) vs. Loren Moneypenny, RHP (2-0, 2.53 ERA)
Saturday Nick Ison, RHP (1-2, 8.16 ERA) vs. TBD
BANANA BELT RECAP
The Cougars came away with three victories at last week's Banana Belt tournament, finishing in a tie for second with Lewis-Clark State. WSU opened with a 17-7 win over Utah Valley State then posted back-to-back shutouts over Southern Utah (13-0) and Air Force (3-0). In the Air Force game freshman Connor Lambert threw eight innings of two-hit, shutout ball while Ross Humes struck out the side in the ninth for the combined shutout. The Cougars could not pull out the tournament sweep as they fell 12-1 at Lewis-Clark State in the tournament finale.
SCOUTING SAN JOSE STATE
San Jose State enters the series with a 10-5 record, having won seven of its past nine games. Last weekend the Spartans split a two-game series with neighbor Santa Clara, taking the first 7-5 before falling 15-3 in the finale. SJSU had previously won series at Loyola Marymount and against Utah. As a team the Spartans are hitting .305, led by Donato Giovanatto's .448 average. Giovanatto is one of seven current members to have prepped in Washington. On the mound San Jose State boasts a 4.37 staff ERA. Spencer Snodgrass is 1-1 with a 2.03 ERA in three starts this season while Loren Moneypenny is 2-0 with a 2.53 ERA and a team-high 25 strikeouts in his six appearances in 2007.
The Broncs enter the series against the Cougars with a 1-5 record, having dropped their past four games. Rider was scheduled to face Delaware Mar. 7, but the game was postponed due to snow and will be made up Apr. 4. Rider's lone win came in the middle game against East Tennessee State, a 17-3 victory. The Broncs dropped a three-game set at Virginia Military Institute it their only other action. James Hayes leads the team with a .400 average, going 10-25 with a team-high eight RBIs. On the mound Mike Petrowski has the team's lone win with season totals of eight innings, three hits, all singles, with 10 strikeouts and a 0.00 ERA.
Connor Lambert NAMED PAC-10 PITCHER OF THE WEEK
Washington State University freshman Connor Lambert has been named the Pacific-10 Conference Pitcher of the Week, Commissioner Tom Hansen announced earlier this week. Lambert, a native of Olympia, Wash., made his first start as a Cougar last Friday as he led Washington State to a 3-0 victory over Air Force. He worked eight innings, allowing just two hits, while striking out a Washington State season-high 10 batters. Lambert walked just one batter and through his eight innings, retired the side in order five times and faced just one over the minimum. He combined with Ross Humes, who worked a perfect ninth, to throw the combined shutout on a night when temperatures reached the low 30's. For the season, Lambert is 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA in 10 1/3 innings worked. Lambert is the first Cougar to earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors since Wayne Daman Jr. accomplished the feat in the opening week of the 2006 season.
LAGREID OFF TO FAST START
Sophomore catcher Greg Lagreid led the Cougars with a .600 (6-10) batting average in four games at the Banana Belt Tournament last week. The sophomore catcher had two doubles, two runs scored and drove in a pair of runs. He began the tournament with a 3-4 performance against Utah Valley State with a double, two runs and two RBIs. He had a pair of hits in WSU's 3-0 victory over Air Force then went 1-3 with a double against Lewis-Clark State, one of only three hits for the Cougars in the game. For the season Lagreid is hitting .407, the highest among all regulars in the WSU lineup. He also ranks among the conference leaders in batting average (.407, t6th), slugging percentage (.630, 7th) and on base percentage (.500, 5th).
WSU begins a stretch where it plays nine games in 11 days with this Thursday's contest at San Jose State. After the San Jose State series, the Cougars return home the next day to face Rider in a three-game set. Following the Rider series is a three-game series against Illinois-Chicago at Bailey Brayton Field (Mar. 16-18).
FOLLOWING THE COUGARS
All Washington State University baseball games can be heard live on KCLX Radio (1450 AM). Steve Grubbs begins his second season calling all the baseball action. In addition, all games can also be heard online at www.wsucougars.com and all home games and selected road contest can be followed on-line via Gametracker, also at wsucougars.com.
COUGARS POST BACK-TO-BACK SHUTOUTS
During last Friday's play at the Banana Belt Tournament, the Cougars posted back-to-back shutouts over Southern Utah (13-0) and Air Force (3-0). It marked the first time WSU had registered back-to-back shutouts since the 1996 season when the Cougars defeated Hawaii-Hilo (Jan. 22), 11-0, and followed that with a 3-0 victory over Texas Christian (Jan. 23). In the Southern Utah game, sophomore Matt Way picked up the win as and freshman Michael Ratigan combined on the four-hitter. Freshman Connor Lambert and sophomore Ross Humes then held Air Force to two hits while recording 13 strikeouts in the night cap.
MURPHY RISING ON PUTOUTS LIST
Junior first baseman Jim Murphy is on pace to break the career putouts list at WSU by the end of his third season. Murphy entered the 2007 campaign fifth on the all-time list with 966 putouts, 432 shy of career leader Kevin Brunstad (1991-93). If the first three weekends are any indication, Murphy will not need the entire season to reach the top as he has registered 83 in the 10 games.
COUGARS IN HOME-OPENERS
Dating back to the 1990 season, WSU is 12-6 in home openers, including a 17-7 win over Utah Valley State last Thursday at Bailey-Brayton Field. The Cougars have won their last four openers in Pullman and this year's home opener marked the earliest the Cougs have played in Pullman since the 1995 season, when WSU posted a 7-5 win over Lewis-Clark State, March 1.
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 conference play for WSU from the 2005 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 63-64 record in two-plus years, while his 57-60 mark in his first two seasons are the most wins by any Cougar coach in his first two years. 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.