Cougar Baseball Opens Season Hosting Creighton
Feb. 18, 2008
FIRST PITCH: The Washington State University baseball team seeks its fifth-straight win in a Pullman opener when it takes on Creighton, Friday, Feb. 22 at 3:30 p.m...Cougars defeated Washington (11-5), Northern Colorado (13-3), Chicago State (16-0) and Utah Valley State (17-7) in their last four Bailey-Brayton Field openers.
EARLY START IN THE PALOUSE: The Feb. 22 season-opener against Creighton marks the earliest date in school history the Cougar baseball team will play at Bailey-Brayton Field...here is a look at some other early games in Pullman.
YEAR DATE OPPONENT RESULT1995 March 1 Lewis-Clark State W, 7-32007 March 1 Utah Valley State W, 17-72006 March 2 Chicago State W, 16-02005 March 11 Northern Colorado W, 13-32004 March 19 Washington W, 11-51974 March 20 Central Washington L, 6-4/W, 7-01998 March 21 Oregon State W, 13-32000 March 21 Lewis-Clark State W, 11-71972 March 22 Central Washington W, 3-0/W, 8-61973 March 22 Portland State W, 4-31997 March 22 Lewis-Clark State L, 14-92002 March 22 California L, 5-1
WASHINGTON STATE IN FEBRUARY: The Cougars are 20-12 when playing in February under Donnie Marbut...Washington State highlights include a 7-6 victory at No. 13 Texas in 2007 and 9-3 win over No. 10 Missouri in the championship game of the Buccaneer Classic hosted by Charleston Southern in 2006...Cougars were 10-2 in 2006 and also captured the River City Classic hosted by Sacramento State and UC Davis.
CONSECUTIVE WINNING SEASONS: In 2008, Washington State seeks its third-straight winning season, something the Cougars have not accomplished since 1994 when a 35-26 record capped a run of 37-consecutive campaigns with a mark above .500.
ABOUT CREIGHTON: The Bluejays were 45-16 last season...won Missouri Valley Conference Tournament...went 1-2 at NCAA regional in Fayetteville, Ark...receiving votes in Collegiate Baseball and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) preseason polls...picked to finish second in MVC preseason coaches poll...Bluejays boast a pair of preseason All-Americans in senior pitchers Pat Venditte and Ben Mancuso...Venditte, who is ambidextrous, was named first team by Ping! Baseball and Rivals.com and second team by Collegiate Baseball and the NCBWA...Mancuso, a southpaw, was named third team by the NCBWA and Ping! Baseball.
COUGARS AGAINST THE MISSOURI VALLEY: While Washington State has never met Creighton on the diamond, the Cougars are 1-4 all-time against current members of the Missouri Valley Conference...WSU is 0-1 against Bradley, defeated Southern Illinois in the only meeting between the schools and lost all three outings to Wichita State (play in Wichita, Kan., March 12).
HOME SWEET HOME: Washington State has won its last 13 nonconference series in Pullman, including all eight under current head coach Donnie Marbut...Cougars have won 28 of 39 games during those series, including a 17-7 mark with Marbut at the helm...last nonconference series loss was March 25-26, 2002 with a two-game sweep at the hands of Washington...last series lost to a nonconference opponent was May 12-14, 2000 when Cal State Northridge won two of three meetings...this season, the Cougars host 2007 NCAA regional participant Creighton (Feb. 22-24), Wright State (Feb. 29-March 2) and San Jose State (April 25-27) in three-game series as well as 2007 NCAA regional partcipant Kent State (March 7-9) and UC Davis (April 4-6) in four-game sets.
PROTECTING LEADS: In the Donnie Marbut era, a late lead for the Cougars is likely to lead to a victory...Cougars are 72-8 (.800 winning percentage) when holding an advantage after six innings during Marbut's tenure (2005-present)...WSU is 76-5 (.938) when leading after seven innings and 79-3 (.963) when needing three outs in the ninth inning for a win...over the last 10 seasons, the Cougars are 192-26 (.880) leading after six innings, 195-20 (.907) leading after seven innings, and 198-10 (.952) taking a lead into the ninth inning.
MARBUT VICTORIES: Washington State Head Coach Donnie Marbut has recorded 85 wins on the Palouse, the most by a Cougar mentor during his first three seasons in Pullman...Aberdeen native needs 22 victories this season to surpass Bobo Brayton's school-record total of 106 by a Cougar coach in his first four seasons at WSU.
COUGAR DRAFT PICKS: The 2008 Washington State team features three student-athletes who have been selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft...senior infielder Paul Gran was taken in the 30th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers out of Bothell High School in 2004...Gran turned down the Dodgers' offer and attended Edmonds Community College for one season before transferring to WSU...Southridge High School (Kennewick) product Chad Arnold, a redshirt-freshman right-handed pitcher, was a 36th-round pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2006 and freshman utility player Eric Maupin, the 2007 Nevada State Co-Player of the Year at Reno's Galena High School, was a 48th-round selection by the Seattle Mariners last summer...both Arnold and Maupin chose WSU over a professional contract.
WSU ON THE INTERNET: For the latest information about Cougar baseball, log onto the official site of Washington State University Athletics, www.wsucougars.com...live stats are provided for all Cougar home games as well as the majority of WSU road games...beginning Feb. 29 (Wright State, 3:30 p.m.), all Cougar games in Pullman will be available via live video streaming for Cougar All-Access subscribers.
COUGARS ON THE RADIO: The final 45 games of the 2008 Washington State baseball season will be broadcast on KQQQ 1150 AM beginning with the March 9 home outing against Kent State at noon...longtime broadcaster Steve Grubbs provides the play-by-play for the fourth season.
SEASON PROMOTIONS: In 2008, Cougar fans will have the opportunity to enjoy season-long promotions at Bailey-Brayton Field...during the first game of a home series, local youth baseball teams can join the Cougar student-athletes on the field for the national anthem...register your team by calling 509-335-4325...first 100 fans in attendance at the second game of a home series or doubleheader will receive WSU baseball cards...fans can collect the set throughout the season...after the final game of a Cougar home series, kids can run the bases with the WSU mascot Butch and the Cougar team will take part in an autograph session...at every Friday home game, Washington State faculty and staff are admitted free with a staff identification card...new this season is a promotion that admits fans for $1 to any home game if the temperature drops below 35 degrees.