2-5 Cougars In Search of First Series Victory Against Cowboys

Feb. 14, 2001

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Friday, February 16 - WSU at Oklahoma State, 12:00 p.m. PT, Reynolds Stadium, Stillwater, Okla.
Saturday, February 17 - WSU at Oklahoma State, 12:00 p.m. PT, Reynolds Stadium, Stillwater, Okla.
Sunday, February 18 - WSU at Oklahoma State, 11:00 a.m. PT, Reynolds Stadium, Stillwater, Okla.

Friday, February 23 - WSU at Nevada, 2:00 p.m. PT, Peccole Park, Reno, Nev.
Saturday, February 24 - WSU at Nevada, 1:00 p.m. PT, Peccole Park, Reno, Nev.
Sunday, February 25 - WSU at Nevada, 1:00 p.m. PT, Peccole Park, Reno, Nev.

Friday, February 9 - WSU vs. Gonzaga cancelled by weather, Posse Stadium, Pasco, Wash.
Saturday, February 10 - WSU vs. Gonzaga cancelled by weather, Posse Stadium, Pasco, Wash.
Sunday, February 11 - WSU vs. Gonzaga cancelled by weather, Posse Stadium, Pasco, Wash.


LINEUPS: Four Cougars have started all seven WSU games and one has started all but one contest...the only player to start all seven at the same position is centerfielder Evan Hecker...he is the only Cougar to start the seven games at the same position in the batting order - leadoff...Bookie Gates, Brent Robertson and Stefan Bailie have also started all seven games...Gates has six starts at shortstop and one at second (third game at UNLV)...Robertson has six starts at third and one at second...Bailie, who opened the season at third, has been at first for the last six games...Tyson Boston has started all but one game, with three starts in right and three in left field.

BAILEY HOTTER THAN HOT: Stefan Bailie started the 2001 season hitting .438 in a four-game series at Cal State-Northridge...tough act to follow, but Bailie showed there was room for improvement last weekend in three games at UNLV...he came home from Las Vegas with a lofty .462 batting average after going .500 against UNLV, collecting five hits in 10 at-bats...Bailie now leads WSU with nine runs scored, 12 hits, three home runs and 12 RBIs...he also boasts an .885 slugging percentage and has handled 49 defensive chances without an error.

HECKER FINDS HIS STROKE: Centerfielder and leadoff hitter Evan Hecker, who struggled in the opening series of the season, found his hitting stroke at UNLV last week, collecting seven hits in 13 at-bats for a .538 average...through seven games Hecker is now hitting .345...he hit just .188 in the four-game series at CSUN to open the season...his on-base percentage improved to .457 through seven games.

HITTING IMPROVES: WSU's batters did much better in three games at UNLV than in the opening series at CSUN...after coming home with a .263 batting average in four games at CS-Northridge, WSU broke out the bats at Las Vegas, hitting .295 in three games...the leaders against the Rebels were Evan Hecker at .538 and Stefan Bailie at .500...both started all three games...two others hit over .400, including Mike Knight at .462. He also started three games...Scott Stockwell, who had one start, hit .500, and Richard Hall, with one start and two appearances, hit .429...WSU had six batters hit .333 or better...still, the other nine Cougars who saw duty at the plate hit a collective .145, going 9-for-62.

COUGS KEEP IT CLOSE: The Cougars won one game in four contests at Cal State Northridge to open the season and one of three games at UNLV last weekend...in the seven games, only two have been determined by more than two runs...WSU is 1-2 in one-run games and 0-2 in two-run games...the other outcomes have been a 7-2 loss at CSUN and an 11-4 win against the Matadors...against the Rebels WSU lost by two runs and then one run, then won by one run.

PITCHING SLIPS IN SECOND SERIES: WSU pitchers posted a 4.64 ERA in the season-opening four-game series at CSUN, allowing 21 runs, 17 of them earned, in 33 innings...last weekend in three games at UNLV, the Cougars allowed 25 runs, 17 earned, a 6.12 ERA.

DEFENSE ALSO SUFFERS AT UNLV: The Cougar defense, after committing just four errors in four games at CSUN, mishandled the ball seven times in three games at UNLV last weekend...the seven errors resulted in eight unearned runs by the Rebels...five of those unearned runs came in a 10-9 UNLV win, the other three in the final game of the series, which WSU won 7-6...for the season the Cougars have scored 43 runs, all but five earned...the WSU opponents, however, have scored 46 runs, including 12 unearned.

TOP HALF OF ORDER HITS WELL: The top five hitters in WSU's batting order are getting the job done, but the bottom five slots are struggling...through seven games, WSU leadoff batters are hitting .345, while the #2 batters are at .333, the #3 batters .321, the cleanup batters .308 and the #5 batters .296...WSU's #6 hitters are batting .241, the #7 batters .233, the #8 batters .185 and the #9 batters .231.


CANCELLED GU GAMES: 'The more we can get out and play, the better we are this time of year. It didn't help, but we have been able to practice in place of the games, so that helped. It is important this weekend to get in the Oklahoma State games.'

OKLAHOMA STATE: 'They are ranked 12 in one poll and 19 in another (actually 18 and 20 in two other polls). That is exciting, to take on a ranked team. It is a challenge and we are going to try and win the series. I hope our team mentality is we will play our best baseball every time we take the field, not just against ranked teams. We should not be playing against the opponent, but play baseball the best we can. I would like our team to play at the best level they can every game.'

STARTING PITCHERS: 'If we can get three starters to emerge, that's what we need. Tyson Thompson is still the guy. I think he is going to put together a complete game and when he does, it may be a break through for him. Jamin Svendsen is our steady Eddie. He is not going to beat himself. He throws strikes. We don't know who that third starter is yet, but we need someone to emerge.

RELIEF PITCHERS: 'Donny Davis did a nice job at UNLV so we are going to move him into a short reliever role, along with Lanakila Niles. The middle relief roles right now are a question mark. If Zach Fisher can control the game better, throw more strikes, he could be the third starter.

DEFENSE: 'I think the eight position players have done an outstanding job. Getting Richard Hall on the field really helped. That allowed us to move Bookie Gates to second. Gates did a nice job at second and I think that is his best position. Hall did a nice job at short and Brent Robertson is settling in at third. Bailie also appears to be more comfortable at first base now. In the outfield we are still going with who is hot at the plate.

OUTFIELD: 'Hecker (Evan) is always going to scrap. He is a baseball player. He is down and dirty and finds a way to play the game. Michael Knight is also finding his way on base. Tyson Boston has been a little inconsistent and Justin Williams has been inconsistent. One of those guys needs to be our designated hitter if he's not in the outfield.'

DH: 'It is real important for someone to emerge as a designated hitter. We need that position or someone else to step in behind Stefan Bailie and protect him. Otherwise he isn't going to see good pitches. They'll work around him.'

# # #

GONZAGA RESCHEDULED: WSU's Feb. 9-11 games with Gonzaga have been rescheduled. The two teams will return to Pasco, site of the original three games, for one game Feb. 27 at 1:00 p.m. The Cougs and Zags will now play a doubleheader in Pullman March 3 at noon, rather than a single game. The third game will be April 10 at 2:00 p.m. in Pullman.

THE ASSISTANTS: Tim Mooney's new WSU staff includes Gary Picone, a 1976 graduate of LCSC, and Bobby Lee, who finished up at WSU in 1991 after three years at Eastern Washington. Picone handles the pitchers, while Lee coaches the outfielders and catchers.

105 YEARS OF COUGAR BASEBALL: Baseball, the first sport played at Washington State University in 1892, completed its 105th season of diamond action in 2000...during its first 105 seasons, WSU baseball teams won 64.9% of their games, posting a 2,246-1,237 record...the Cougars did not field baseball teams in 1893-94-95-97.

WSU ON TV: WSU and California will square off March 24 in a regionally televised Pac-10 baseball game from Berkeley. FOX Sports Net will air the game...FOX Sports Net Northwest has not announced their spring schedule.

WSU ON THE RADIO/INTERNET: The majority of Washington State's baseball games will be broadcast by KCLX (1450 AM) in Colfax, Wash., during the 2001 season...WSU radio broadcasts are handled by Cougar Sports Properties, a sub-division of Learfield Communications...airtime is 20 minutes before the start of the game...Alex Webster or Troy Hirsch will call most of the Cougar games...games broadcast on radio can also be heard on the internet at the WSU web site, www.wsucougars.com.

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