Donnie Marbut Talks Cougar Baseball

Dec. 8, 2009

WSU HEAD BASEBALL COACH Donnie Marbut ON 2009 FALL

(On WSU's 2010 Postseason Chances)
'The team feels like we have a NCAA Tournament team. I wasn't entirely impressed with the preparation in the fall if we are a postseason team. I can be a little too critical because the expectations are higher than last year given what we did and that we have a large returning group. What we have shown is that we are confident.'

(On WSU's Leadership)
'The vocal leader last year was Jared Prince. His role has been taken by Matt Fanelli. Obviously, Greg Lagreid was the on-field leader and Shea Vucinich has taken on that responsibility. Matt Way led by example last season in the way he prepared for each one of his starts. I would like to see more of our guys be self-driven.'

(On Student-Athletes Who Could See Expanded Playing Time)
'Matt Fanelli had a nice fall. I see him coming into his own as a senior. Cody Barlett has matured and is turning into the player and more importantly, the person we want him to be.'

(On Pitching)
'The pitching roles are up in the air. What we do have someone on the roster to fill each of our roles. We think we have 4-to-5 starters. We want to establish a midweek starter.'

'We expect David Stilley, Chad Arnold and Adam Conley to fill up three of the four spots. The four spots are the first three starters and and our closer. Freshman Travis Cook had a really nice fall. Kendall Mayer, A.J. Carman and Richie Ochoa are all freshmen who showed flashes. The returning guys, Seth Harvey, Connor Lambert, James Wise, Rusty Shellhorn and Spencer Jackson give us 13 arms competing for 8-to-9 solid roles.'

(On Position Players)
'We don't have a set nine for our lineup. I think Shea Vucinich will bounce back from a tough sophomore year and be our field general. Travis Coulter is going to be in the lineup somewhere. Our leader in the outfielder is Garry Kuykendall and we expect him to be our leadoff hitter. Jay Ponciano had a nice fall. We know about his bat, now we need him to improve defensively.'

'Some of our offensive success hinges on our seniors like Matt Fanelli and Michael Weber taking their games to the next level. Weber missed the fall with injury, but that might have been good for him to take some time off and get healthy. It is hard to win games if you don't have great senior leadership.'

'Travis Coulter as a redshirt-senior is a catalyst for us offensively and we know we are going to get. If his arm gets healthy defensively, then we have more flexibility. At times last year, Cody Bartlett and Shea Vucinich were dynamic up the middle defensively. They are so skilled in the middle, they have a chance to be as good of defensive combination as there is in the league.'

'Matt Argyropoulos, Ryan Peterson and Jay Ponciano are juniors who have the potential to have more prominent roles.'

'In the sophomore class, Kyle Johnson had a great fall and we think he is ready to be an impact player. Tommy Richards had an up and down fall, but we feel good about him as a utility infielder. Derek Jones did not have the fall he wanted to have, but he is really working on becoming a complete player. He doesn't have to carry a team, he just needs to help us win.'

(On WSU's Freshmen)
'The most consistent freshman hitter in the fall was Brett Jacobs. He was the mostly highly acclaimed. He made a good transition to left field. Brady Steiger, Adam Nebulowich, J.K. Dykes and Paul Clingan all showed glimpses that make us as a staff happy about the future.'

DEPTH CHART
CATCHERJay PoncianoKyle BuchananPaul ClinganTaylor HudsonDavid Cerna

FIRST BASERyan PetersonBrady Steiger

SECOND BASECody BartlettTommy Richards

THIRD BASEMatt ArgyropoulosAdam Nelubowich

SHORTSTOPShea VucinichJ.K. Dykes

UTILITY (2B/3B/OF)Travis CoulterMichael Weber

LEFT FIELDPatrick ClaussenBrett Jacobs

CENTER FIELDGarry KuykendallKyle Johnson

RIGHT FIELDDerek JonesMatt Fanelli

WEEKEND STARTING PITCHERS/CLOSERChad ArnoldDavid StilleyAdam ConleyTravis Cook

MIDWEEK STARTING PITCHERSRusty ShellhornJames Wise

LEFT-HANDED RELIEVERSParis SheweyRichie OchoaSpencer Jackson

RIGHT-HANDED RELIEVERSSeth HarveyConnor LambertMichael RatiganAnthony DrobnickA.J. CarmanKendall Mayer

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