WSU To Host UCLA Bruins In First Home Series

March 29, 2001

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THIS WEEK: *Friday, March 30 - WSU vs. UCLA, 3:00 p.m. PT, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman
*Saturday, March 31 - WSU vs. UCLA, 1:00 p.m. PT, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman
*Sunday, April 1 - WSU vs. UCLA, 1:00 p.m. PT, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman

NEXT WEEK: *Friday, April 6 - WSU vs. Arizona, 3:00 p.m. PT, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman
*Saturday, April 7 - WSU vs. Arizona, 1:00 p.m. PT, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman
*Sunday, April 8 - WSU vs. Arizona, 1:00 p.m. PT, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman
Tuesday, April 10 - WSU vs. Gonzaga, 2:00 p.m. PT, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman

LAST WEEK: *Friday, March 23 - WSU 8, California 6, Evans Diamond, Berkeley
*Saturday, March 24 - WSU 7, California 6, Evans Diamond, Berkeley
*Sunday, March 25 - California 10, WSU 1, Evans Diamond, Berkeley

* = Pacific-10 Conference game


The Washington State Cougars, 10-17 after taking two of three Pacific-10 Conference games against California, open home play this weekend with a three-game conference series against the UCLA Bruins. The Bruins are 17-8 overall and 1-2 in league play after a series with Arizona State nearly three weeks ago.

Friday's first game at Bailey-Brayton Field begins at 3 p.m., with single games Saturday and Sunday set to begin at 1 p.m. and 12 p.m., respectively.

Cougar head coach Tim Mooney will send Tony Banaszak (3-4) to the mound in the first game against UCLA, with Justin Cayetano (2-1) and Zach Fisher (0-4) expected to start Saturday and Sunday, respectively.

Senior Mike Knight last weekend took over the batting leadership for WSU, edging past Stefan Bailie. Knight is currently hitting .351 and Bailie .347. The two share the lead with 34 hits each, while Bailey's 34 RBI, nine home runs and 28 runs scored all pace WSU batters. Bailie and Bookie Gates also lead the team with seven doubles each.

Evan Hecker, who led WSU at the plate with a .462 average in three games against the California Bears last weekend, is now hitting .308. The Cougas beat California 8-6 and 7-6 in the first two games before suffering a 10-1 loss. WSU is now 5-4 in its last nine outings.

Tony Banaszak, a junior, is WSU's top starter on the mound with a 4.89 ERA and a 3-4 record. He leads the team in innings pitched with 42.1 and is coming off two solid outings, a four-hit, nine inning complete game win over Oral Roberts, and a win at California.

Garrett Alwert, with a 1-1 record, has WSU's best ERA at 3.71 over 17.0 innings. Lanakila Niles has thrown 17.1 innings and has a 4.15 ERA in seven mound appearances, all in relief.

The Cougars continue to lag behind their opponents in the early innings. Tim Mooney's club has been outscored 116-74 over the first five innings, but rally to hold an 86-59 advantage over the final four innings. WSU outscored the Bears 12-5 in the first five innings of games one and two, but Cal bounced back with a 10-run first inning in the third game.

The remainder of WSU's 2001 baseball schedule will be broadcast on KCLX radio and will also be available via the internet by accessing WSU's web site at Alex Webster will call the action for WSU's games this week in Pullman.

Sophomore Stefan Bailie had an outstanding freshman season last year, hitting a school record 12 home runs while batting .315 and earning freshman All-America honorable mention honors...this year he has nine home runs in 27 games and a .347 batting two seasons he has 21 home runs, just four short of WSU's Top 10 list, and a .326 batting average, going 92-282.

Senior Mike Knight, who joined WSU last year after stints at Odessa College and Laney College, has nearly doubled his batting average of a year a junior he hit .227 for the Cougs and had no home runs...this year he is batting .351 and has two home runs...he had five RBI last year and has 12 so far this season.

In 27 games this season, only 14 have been determined by more than two runs...WSU is 4-5 in one-run games, 1-3 in two-run games, 1-4 in games determined by three or four runs and 4-5 in games determined by five or more runs...last weekend WSU pulled out one-run and two-run victories at California and lost by nine runs.

WSU's leadoff batters are hitting .308 and the number two spot hits .308, but after that the averages dip...WSU hits .260 in the number three slot and .290 in cleanup, while the number five batters are hitting .240...WSU hits .219 in the number six spot, then .208, .239 and .220 in the next three spots in the batting order...overall, the Cougs hit .292 through the top four spots in the order and .225 combined for the bottom five positions.

Figure this one out...WSU batters, when starting, are hitting .250, while the non-starters are hitting .324...the opponents are more conventional, with their starters hitting .305 and the non-starters .265...on the mound, Cougar starters have an ERA of 6.91 and the non-starting pitchers are at 4.65...for opponents, the starters have a 4.22 ERA and the relief pitchers 5.65.

Tyson Boston boasts the longest current hitting streak at six games, while Stafan Bailie's nine-game streak earlier in the season is the year's longest for WSU...Evan Hecker, Bookie Gates and Mike Knight have all had seven-game hitting streaks this year... Bailie has 10 multiple-hit games and Knight nine, while Gates has nine and Hecker eight...Bailie has had two or more RBI in eight games.

WSU would be in much better shape if they opened up the offense early in the game...the Cougs have been outscored 116-74 over the first five innings, including 33-16 in the first frame...over the last four innings WSU has an 86-59 run advantage...the Cougs' best innings are the ninth with a 24-8 advantage, and the sixth at 21-12.

The Cougs hit 276 in the three games at California and won was not a long-ball series, with WSU collecting just three doubles and one triple among the 29 Cougar hits...Cal had 11 extra base hits, but just one home run...Evan Hecker's bat came alive at Cal...the Cougar centerfielder and leadoff hitter was 6-for-13 (.462) to lead the WSU regulars at the plate...Justin Williams, who had two starts, hit .400 and Tyson Boston hit .364 with three starts...Bookie Gates also made three starts and hit .308...on the mound Garrett Alwert did not allow a run in 7.1 innings of relief work, while Justin Cayetano turned in a solid 7.0 inning start, allowing just three hits and three runs, two of which were unearned.

As a team the Cougars lead the Pac-10 in double plays with 33...WSU is ninth in the Pac-10 in hitting (.256), eighth in ERA (5.79) and sixth in fielding (.963)...Stefan Bailie is ninth in runs scored (28), fifth in total bases (70), second in slugging percentage (.714), fourth in RBI (34), third in home runs (9), and seventh in HBP (6)...Donny Davis is fifth in games finished (8), while Justin Cayetano is tied for fourth in runners picked off (2), Tyson Thompson is tied for second in wild pitches (7), Tony Auckland is one of nine league pitchers who have given up only one earned run.

FROM TIM MOONEY . . . (3/27/01)

'We pitched efficiently and didn't beat ourselves in the first two games. Both Tony Banaszak and Justin Cayetano pitched within their abilities. They threw strikes and didn't walk a lot of batters. Our walks were way down and that was something we needed to do. There was no star offensively against California. It was more of a team offense, more than one player carrying us. We played good defense and pitched well, other than in the first inning of the third game.'

'Our pitchers are certainly pitching better than they were a few weeks ago. They are starting to buy in on how you win games and they are simply playing better baseball.'

'I want our crowd to be involved. It is us against them. Not just our team against UCLA, but all Cougs. That's a tough task for UCLA to look up and say, 'gosh, we have to beat all these people. That's tough.' I want good weather for our students and fans. We have to hit, pitch and throw and play catch. That's how we will beat them. Not with the weather.'

'Zach is a good competitor and he will recover. They just got hot and had seven straight hits to open the game. Zach had two good outings before that and he'll bounce back. He didn't beat himself.'

'These kids are great kids. Everything is brand new for them. They are learning a whole new offensive philosophy, a new bunt defense philosophy, and they have really worked hard. They have been in every game and they are getting better. This is a marathon and they continue to get better. I like how they represent the school and how they are going about the game. If they continue to do that, they will put themselves in position to win some games.'

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.

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.

The Cougars made their first appearance on FOX Sports Net March 24 against California and viewers witnessed an exciting 7-6 Cougar win...FOX Sports Net Northwest will televise two more Cougar baseball games, April 6 when WSU hosts Arizona and April 22 when the Cougs visit Oregon State.

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 broadcast on radio can also be heard on the internet at the WSU web site,

In a list compiled by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA), Washington State University ranks fifth in all-time NCAA Division I baseball victories with 2,246 prior to the 2001 season.

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