WSU To Host Arizona Wildcats In Pac-10 Matchup

April 4, 2001

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*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

April 10 - WSU vs. Gonzaga, 2:00 p.m. PT, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman
April 12 - WSU at Arizona State, 7:00 p.m. MT, Packard Stadium, Tempe, Ariz.
April 13 - WSU at Arizona State, 7:00 p.m. MT, Packard Stadium, Tempe, Ariz.
April 14 - WSU at Arizona State, 1:00 p.m. MT, Packard Stadium, Tempe, Ariz.

*Friday, March 30 - WSU 12, UCLA 11, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman
*Saturday, March 31 - UCLA 13, WSU 10, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman
*Sunday, April 1 - UCLA 10, WSU 9, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman

* = Pacific-10 Conference game


The Washington State Cougars, 11-19 overall and 3-3 in the Pacific-10 Conference, continue league play this week with three home games against the Arizona Wildcats, 21-16 overall and 4-5 in the Pac-10.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. each day.Cougar head coach Tim Mooney is expected to send Tony Banaszak (3-4) to the mound in the first game against Arizona, with Justin Cayetano (2-1) and Zach Fisher (0-4) the probable starters Saturday and Sunday, respectively.The Cougars hope to have the team's leading hitter, Mike Knight back in the lineup this week. Knight (elbow bruise), who missed the UCLA series, is hitting .351. Also missing the UCLA series was Justin Williams (back strain), who is not expected to return to his left field position this week.The hottest Cougar hitter of late is second baseman Bookie Gates, who was named Player of the Week by the Pacific-10 Conference after hitting .714 against UCLA. In his last 14 games Gates is hitting .424 and has boosted his batting average from .232 nearly a month ago to .330 going into the Arizona games.Knight continues to lead WSU at the plate with his .351 average. Next is Stefan Bailie at .339, then Gates and Evan Hecker, who are each hitting .319.On the mound, Jamin Svendsen has a 2-0 record and a 4.54 ERA for 35.2 innings. He pitched eight strong innings in relief last weekend as WSU came back from a 10-0 deficit to beat UCLA 12-11. Svendsen gave up 10 hits, but just two unearned runs.Down 10-0 early, WSU won the opening game against UCLA on a Gates single that scored Hecker in the bottom of the ninth. Long-time Cougar baseball followers, including 33-year head coach Bobo Brayton, cannot remember WSU coming back from a greater deficit.

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.

Junior Bookie Gates was named the Pac-10's Player of the Week April 2 for his performance against UCLA...Gates went 10-14 against the Bruins, drove home seven runs and scored five times...he also had three doubles and one home run...In his last 14 games he is hitting .424 (25-49), in the last nine .474 (18-38) and in the last six (all Pac-10 games) he is hitting .519 (14-27).

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 10 home runs in 30 games and a .339 batting two seasons he has 22 home runs, just three short of WSU's Top 10 list, and a .324 batting average, going 95-293.

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...after missing last week's games against UCLA (bruised elbow), Knight is expected back in the lineup this week.

In 30 games this season, only 15 have been determined by more than two runs...WSU is 5-6 in one-run games, 1-3 in two-run games, 1-5 in games determined by three or four runs and 4-5 in games determined by five or more runs...last weekend WSU won by one, lost by one and lost by three runs.

WSU's leadoff batters are hitting .317 and the number two spot hits .300, then 261 in the number three slot and .339 in cleanup...then the averages dip sharply, with the number five batters hitting .232...WSU hits .246 in the number six spot, then .243, .276 and .223 in the next three spots in the batting order...overall, the Cougs hit .305 through the top four spots in the order and .196 combined for the bottom five positions.

Figure this one out...WSU batters, when starting, are hitting .265, while the non-starters are hitting .354...the opponents are more conventional, with their starters hitting .313 and the non-starters .308...on the mound, Cougar starters have an ERA of 7.65 and the non-starting pitchers are at 4.79...for opponents, the starters have a 4.96 ERA and the relief pitchers 5.73.

Evan Hecker boasts the longest current hitting streak at six games, while Stefan Bailie's nine-game streak earlier in the season is the year's longest for WSU...Hecker, Bookie Gates, Mike Knight and Tyson Boston all have had seven-game hitting streaks this year... Gates has 12 multiple-hit games, Bailie 11, Hecker 10 and Knight nine...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 106-62 over the first four innings, including 42-22 in the first frame...over the last four innings WSU has a 103-76 run advantage... opponents have a 27-26 advantage in the fifth inning...the Cougs' best innings are the sixth with a 31-13 advantage, and the ninth at 26-12.

The Cougars had their best series offensively, hitting .398 against UCLA in three games...WSU pounded out 47 hits off nine Bruin pitchers, including 36 singles, seven doubles and four home runs...Adrian Thomas started all three games and went 9-for-12 (.750), while Bookie Gates was 10-14 (.714)...other regulars over .300 were Evan Hecker .375, Tanner Kahler .364, and Jon Baeder .333...while WSU's hitting was spectacular, the pitching woes a team, the staff's ERA was 10.00 against the of the bright spots was freshman Jamin Svendsen's relief performance in the opener won by WSU 12-11 after trailing 10-0...Svendsen pitched eight innings and allowed just two unearned runs while striking out three.

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 made its 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 OSU.

WSU's baseball games are 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.

FROM TIM MOONEY . . . (4/03/01)

'In the first game against UCLA our relief pitching was effective and our starter was not. Then, in the two games Sunday we had good performances from our starters, but our relief pitching did not come through. Once we went to the bullpen, we couldn't hold them. The team played well in the series and we put ourselves in position to win all three games. We just needed someone to come in and slam the door on them.'

'I don't have a preconceived notion about how this team is going to perform. We just go into each game saying these are the things we need to do and these are the things I think we can do. I know that whoever we play is going to be good and we have to battle, handle the bat and do things we do well even better. I think we are improving. We're not chasing pitches out of the zone, our strikeouts are down and we have advanced offensively. Sometimes our pitchers have good outings and sometimes they are not so good.'

'We don't have strikeout guys. I am beginning to understand what our pitchers can and cannot do. We have guys who can go in and get a ground ball out, like Donny Davis.'

'I was sick, physically sick Monday morning. It is not a clich�, I was sick that we lost. The opportunity was there and we didn't take advantage of it. I really wanted it for the players. They worked for it, they deserved it. On the other side, we didn't get done what we needed to do.'

'I think it will be the same three, but I don't know in what order they will pitch (Banaszak, Cayetano, Fisher). I don't know if we will bump Jamin Svendsen (based on his eight innings against UCLA) to a starting spot, probably not. But he will pitch.'

'It was a great weekend for him. He has come miles defensively since the fall. It was never an effort problem, but we just wanted him to change the way he played. Everytime we said something to him he listened. He wants to do it well. He has worked hard and I am so happy for him. We asked him to stay off the breaking ball down and away. Teams got him out early in the year by throwing him breaking balls out of the zone. They never threw him a strike. He did what we asked and now, if they throw him three strikes, he is going to get a hit.'

'I think Mike Knight will be back for sure and that will help us. Justin Williams has a chronic back problem that may not go away. It may be week to week all year. Getting Knight back will make us better defensively and gives us another solid bat in the lineup. We will probably use Mike in right field and use Adrian Thomas in left. If Williams is ready to go, we will probably use him in left, but right now Adrian has a hot bat.'

'I was interested to hear his comments about being the first time he has felt relaxed. He is new to the program and has been in and out of the lineup.' (Thomas went 9-for-12 against UCLA)

'The Friday night crowd was excellent (914) early, then I think the dinner bell got them right when we were coming back. I appreciate them being there when it was cold and windy. We (coaching staff) spoke at the Greek houses Monday and told them that we want them to take ownership. When we win, they win. If they want to come out on the field after the game, fine. It's their win. We are all in this together. When Arizona looks out there and sees our nine guys and the Cougs in the stands, I want their players to think, 'we can't beat these guys and all those people up there in the stands.' I hope our fans feel they have ownership in our success. If we lose, I want them to feel as sick as I do. They are not just fans, they are Cougs.'

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