Cougars Set for Season-Ending Series at UC Davis

May 24, 2007

PULLMAN, Wash. -

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Washington State(27-24) at UC Davis (22-31)
Friday-Sunday, May 25-27
2:30 p.m., 1 p.m., 1 p.m.
Dobbins Stadium • Davis, Calif.
Radio: KCLX Radio (1450 AM)

Series Record:
WSU leads 2-0

Last Meeting:
WSU captured an 8-7 at UC Davis (2/25/06)

Last Cougar Road Win over UC Davis: Feb. 25, 2006 (8-7)
Last UC Davis Home Win over WSU: N/A

The Pacific-10 Conference released its 2007 All-Conference baseball team Wednesday and nine Cougars garnered honorable mention honors. WSU players recognized on the team were sophomore designated hitter Travis Coulter, senior pitchers Wayne Daman Jr. and Nick Ison, junior third baseman Paul Gran, sophomore pitcher Ross Humes, sophomore catcher Greg Lagreid, junior pitcher Jayson Miller, senior second baseman Jeff Miller and junior outfielder Simi Reynolds. Jeff Miller is the only player with more than one all-conference honor, having been named to the honorable mention team the past three seasons.

The Cougars captured two of three against UCLA to win the season series for the first time since the 2002 campaign. WSU opened with a 5-1 win Friday night behind a complete game effort by senior Wayne Daman Jr. After allowing a first-inning run, Daman held the Bruins scoreless the rest of the way. In Saturday's Game Two, Jeff Miller and Jared Prince each hit home runs en route to a 10-5 victory. The win clinched the series, the third straight series win in conference play for WSU. In the finale, WSU led 4-2 in the eighth before the Bruins scored five runs over the final two innings to avoid the sweep. For the series Jim Murphy hit .429 with three RBIs while each of the three Cougar starting pitchers worked at least seven innings.

Junior Jayson Miller has been the hottest pitcher in the Cougar starting rotation over the past few weeks. In his last three starts, Miller, a left hander from Richland, Wash., is 3-0 with a 2.66 ERA in 23. 2/3 innings of work. He went 7 1/3 innings in a 4-2 win over Stanford (5/7), allowing two runs on six hits with four strikeouts. He followed that with an eight inning, one run, four hit outing in a 5-3 win at Oregon State. Last Saturday Miller worked 8 1/3 innings, allowing four runs on nine hits with five strikeouts in a 10-5 win over UCLA. All three victories clinched series wins for the Cougars.

Senior Wayne Daman Jr. ended his Cougar home career by throwing a complete-game in a 5-1 victory over UCLA last Friday. Daman held the Bruin bats in check as he allowed a first inning run then posted zero's the rest of the way. He retired six of the last seven batters he faced and 16 of the final 19. Daman finished his afternoon allowing one run on six hits with two strikeouts as he improved to 5-4 this season.

No player in the Cougar lineup has been hotter at the plate than third baseman Paul Gran. Following the second game of the Arizona State series the junior was hitting .255 with no extra-base hits in his previous eight games. Since that time, Gran has seen his season average rise to .319 while discovering a power surge that has seen him hit four home runs in his last nine games. Over the last 19 games Gran is hitting .407 (33-81) with five home runs, 17 RBIs and 20 runs scored, to go with a .642 slugging percentage. Gran has hit safely in 16 of the 19 games with 10 multi-hit games, including a season-high 5-for-5 outing in an 8-6 win over Stanford (5/6). The hot streak also coincides with Gran's move from short to third base, which occurred following the Arizona State series.

The Cougars conclude their 2007 schedule with the UC Davis series.

The Aggies enter the weekend series with a 22-31 mark. UC Davis dropped a 4-3, 13-inning decision at Stanford Tuesday night in its most recent outing. The Aggies are closing out a four-year transition from Division II to Division I this season and become a full member of the Big West Conference beginning in the fall of 2007. This past season they played a full Big West schedule, posting a 9-15 record. As a team UC Davis is hitting .310, led by junior Daniel Descalso's .400 average. Descalso also leads the team in hits (88), doubles (22) and RBIs (43). On the mound the Aggies have a staff ERA of 5.06, with Friday starter Brad McAtee leading the way at 4-4 with a 4.06 ERA. WSU and UC Davis have faced five similar opponents (Oregon State, Stanford, California, USF and Portland), with both teams posting a combined 5-6 record in those games.

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 and all home games and selected road contest can be followed on-line via Gametracker, also at

Over the past three weeks two Cougars games have been televised by FSN Northwest. Last Friday's game against UCLA, a 5-1 Cougar victory, and the series-opener against Stanford, a 6-4 Cardinal win, were both broadcast throughout the Northwest. Last Friday's contest marked the second broadcast of a Cougar game in as many weeks after the network televised the series opener between Washington State and Stanford, May 5. Prior to that, the last time a game from Bailey-Brayton Field was broadcast live was May 12, 2002, when FSN Northwest aired the Washington State-Lewis-Clark State contest.

With two saves during the Stanford series, sophomore Ross Humes became WSU's all-time single-season saves leader with 11. Humes passed former Cougar Reed Rainey (1984) after working one inning of scoreless relief in Monday's 4-2 win over the Cardinal. Humes had tied the mark in Sunday's victory as he went 1 2/3 innings, allowing one hit with one strikeout. For the season the lefthander from Federal Way, Wash., has converted 12 of 14 save opportunities, working a total of 20 innings in that stretch.

The 2007 Cougar home schedule concluded last weekend weekend with the three-game series against UCLA. WSU found playing at home rewarding this season with a 16-9 record, including a 7-3 mark over the final 10 games. No one has enjoyed the friendly confines of Bailey-Brayton field more than junior Simi Reynolds, who hit .373 (22-59) at home. On the mound junior Jayson Miller was 4-0 with a 2.14 ERA in nine appearances at Bailey-Brayton this season.

Junior third baseman Paul Gran had a career day in Sunday's 8-6 victory over Stanford. Gran connected for a career-high five hits, four singles and a home run, to go with three RBIs and two runs scored. After singling in the first, Gran drove home the Cougars first run with an RBI single in the third. He then led off the fifth inning with a solo home run, his third long ball of the season, before singling home a run in the sixth, giving WSU its first lead of the day at 6-5. Gran concluded his afternoon with a single through the left side in the eighth.

Coming in to the 2007 season, WSU head coach Donnie Marbut made finishing series a point of emphasis. Through the first 14 series of the season, the point has been received. WSU is 10-4 in series-ending games in 2007 following last Sunday's game against UCLA. Equally impressive is the fact that all of the wins, excluding Texas and California, clinched series wins for WSU. Last season WSU was 5-7 in series-ending games.

The Cougars won their fourth conference series of the season by taking two of three against UCLA...WSU has tied or outhit its opponent in 13 of the last 18 games...WSU is 4-2 in its last two series against ranked team, taking 2 of 3 against No. 12 Arizona and winning the series at No. 15 OSU...senior Zach Borba had his 13th multi-hit game of the season in Saturday's contest at Oregon State, going Sunday's game, Borba was caught stealing for the first time in 14 attempts this season (now 14-of-15)...sophomore designated hitter Travis Coulter has hit safely in nine of his last 10 games, going 17-for-42 (.405) in that span...Coulter has at least three hits in seven of the eight conference series...senior Wayne Daman Jr. sits in ninth place on the all-time strikeouts list with 197 for his career...Daman recorded two strikeouts last Friday against UCLA while throwing the first complete game of his career...senior Mike Gilbert, in his first start behind the plate since March 25, went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a home run in a 5-3 win at Oregon State (5/13)...junior Paul Gran has hit safely in 16 of his last 19 games, batting .408 (33-81) in that stretch...Gran had a career-high five hits in Game Two of the Stanford series...senior Nick Ison had one of his best performances of the season last Sunday when he worked seven innings, allowing two runs on seven hits with six strikeouts...sophomore catcher Greg Lagreid has flexed his muscle this season, connecting for his sixth home run of the season at Gonzaga (4/17) after hitting just one home run last season...senior Jeff Miller continues to lead the team with eight home runs and 36 RBIS on the season...Miller hit his eighth last Saturday in a 10-5 win over UCLA and is now riding a six-game hitting streak...junior Jim Murphy had three hits, three RBIs and three runs scored during the UCLA series...sophomore Jared Prince had three more hits during the UCLA series and is hit .316 during conference play this season...junior Scott Suttmeier has hit safely in each of his last eight games he has started, batting .370 (10-27) in that span.
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