WSU Travels To #5 USC For Saturday-Monday Series

May 10, 2001

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WSU FACES USC IN LOS ANGELES: The Washington State Cougars, 15-32 overall and 6-12 in the Pacific-10 Conference, return to league play this week, facing the USC Trojans, ranked fifth nationally, in a three-game, three-day series beginning Saturday in Los Angeles. All three games Saturday, Sunday and Monday begin at 1 p.m. at Dedeaux Field on the USC campus.

Last week the Cougars lost all three games against non-league opponent Lewis-Clark State, 15-14 in Pullman, 12-0 in Lewiston and then 5-1 in Pullman.

WSU is expected to start Justin Cayetano (3-3), Zach Fisher (0-6) and Garrett Alwert (2-4) against the Trojans, with the order of rotation to be announced late in the week.

With seven games remaining in the 2001 season, five hitters are locked in a battle for the Cougar batting title. Mike Knight used the LCSC series to regain the lead with a .354 average, but close behind him are Adrian Thomas .351, Bookie Gates .348 and Stefan Bailie .346. Garrett Alwert is also making a move on the leaders with a .345 average, although he has only played in 26 of 47 games. Thomas is currently sidelined with a hand injury, and although he cannot play in the field over the final seven games, he may return against USC as a designated hitter. Gates tops the club with 55 RBI and 15 doubles, while Bailie leads the team with 51 runs scored and 14 home runs. Bailie, a sophomore, now has 26 home runs in two seasons to rank tied for ninth on WSU's career list...his 14 home runs this year are two short of WSU's Top 10 one-season list.

Thomas who started WSU's first 13 league games, paces the Cougars in Pac-10 hitting at .455, while Gates is hitting .434 against league foes.

Alwert, a sophomore, boasts the best ERA among Cougar pitchers at 4.56. He has made six starts and 13 mound appearances.Cayetano leads the pitchers with 12 starts and has a 3-3 record and 6.90 ERA. He also leads the team with 74.1 innings of work.

COUGS ON THE AIR: The remainder of WSU's 2001 baseball schedule will be broadcast on KCLX radio and will be available via the internet by accessing WSU's web site at Scott Galetti will call the action for all three Cougar games this weekend.

BAILIE KEEPS HOT PACE: Stefan Bailie had an outstanding freshman season last year, hitting a frosh school record 12 home runs while batting .315 and earning freshman All-America honorable mention honors...this year he has 14 home runs in 47 games and a .346 batting two seasons he has 26 home runs, ninth on WSU's Top 10 list, and a .330 batting average, going 121-366.

KNIGHT NEARLY DOUBLES AVERAGE: 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 .354 with four home runs.

COUGS KEEP IT CLOSE: In 47 games this year, nearly half, 21, have been determined by one or two runs... the outcome of 16 games have been by one run and five more by two runs... only 15 games have been determined by five or more runs...WSU is 6-10 in one-run games, 1-4 in two run games, 1-7 in three-run games, 1-2 in four-run games and 6-9 in margins of five or more runs.

TOP OF ORDER HITS: WSU's leadoff batters are hitting .342 and the number two spot hits .305, then .308 in the number three slot and .342 in cleanup...then the averages dip sharply, with the number five batters hitting .250...WSU hits .259 in the number six spot, then .247, .293 and .252 in the next three spots in the batting order...overall, the Cougs hit .324 through the top four spots in the order and .260 combined for the bottom five positions.

TO START OR NOT TO START: Figure this one out...WSU batters, when starting, are hitting .287, while the non-starters are hitting .322...the opponents are more conventional, with their starters hitting .324 and the non-starters .295...on the mound, Cougar starters have an ERA of 7.65 and the non-starting pitchers are at 6.01...for opponents, the starters have a 5.51 ERA and the relief pitchers 6.18.

HITTING STREAKS: Bookie Gates currently boasts the longest active hitting streak at eight games, while Stefan Bailie and Adrian Thomas own the season's longest hitting streaks at nine is Gates at eight games, followed by Tyson Boson, Mike Knight, and Evan Hecker, who all have had seven-game hitting streaks this year... Bailie has 19 multiple-hit games, Gates 18, Knight 14 and Hecker 14...Bailie has had 11 games with two or more RBI and Gates has 10.

WSU NEEDS TO START PLAYING EARLIER: WSU has been outscored by 58 runs this season, 22 (57-35) in the first inning alone...for the other eight regular innings WSU trails in runs by 22 runs, 313-281, with the opponents also holding a 4-0 lead in extra innings...WSU's best inning is the sixth when they outscore their opponents 40-24...WSU has outscored opponents in the fourth, sixth and ninth innings.

GATES NAMED PAC-10 POW: Junior Bookie Gates was named the Pac-10's Player of the Week April 2 for his performance against UCLA...Gates hit 10-14, had seven RBI, scored five times, hit three doubles and one home run.

ALWERT PITCHES AND HITS: Garrett Alwert has taken over as a starter for WSU and leads the mound staff with a 4.56 ERA and a 2-4 record over 47.1 innings...he has six starts and 13 trips to the addition he has settled into the designated hitter role for the Cougars, boasting a .345 ERA with one home run and two doubles, plus 13 RBI...he hit .400 against LCSC last weekend in three games.

LCSC SERIES REVIEW: The WSU Cougars lost all three games to the LCSC Warriors last weekend despite a solid series at the plate...WSU batters hit .305 for the three games, topped by Mike Davis' .429 averge...Garrett Alwert and Tanner Kahler each hit .400, with Stefan Bailie finishing at .333 and Bookie Gates .308...Gates and Justin Williams each hit home runs...the Warriors were even more successful at the plate with a .336 batting average...LSCS only had five more hits than WSU (37-32) but scored 17 more runs, thanks in part to eight doubles, a triple and three home runs...on the mound, Cougar pitchers struggled, finishing 26 innings with a 9.35 ERA...opponents had a 4.67 ERA...Donny Davis, WSU's ace closer, allowed just one hit in 1.1 innings and Tyson Thompson, in 5.0 innings of work, allowed just and one earned run.

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 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 televised two additional Cougar baseball games, April 6 when WSU hosted Arizona and April 22 when the Cougs visited OSU.

WSU ON THE RADIO/INTERNET: 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,

COUGAR BASEBALL RANKS FIFTH IN ALL-TIME NCAA VICTORIES: 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...a list of the Top 6 baseball programs appears below with their respective records and number of seasons played:

Press Conference: Head Coach Tim Mooney will hold a weekly press conference every Tuesday at 1:00...if you are interested in participating, please call the WSU Sports Information Office at (509) 335-2684.

Player Interviews: If you wish to talk with any Cougar baseball players, please contact Chris Gregg or Rod Commons.

FROM TIM MOONEY . . . (5/08/01)

SERIES WITH USC: 'In USC I see a team that has very good pitching. Mark Prior may be the first pick in the first round. I have talked to scouts and they have said he is the best college pitcher they have ever seen. It is a challenge for us. As for their second guy, Rik Currier, he just might be the second pick in the draft. He has a very good slider. I have seen him on television and he used the slider very effectively. They also have Fraser Dizard coming out of the bullpen. He does not have a lot of innings, but he is very talented. It is a very capable pitching staff. Their team is pitching and defense. That is who they are and that is what wins. I have said all along that's where we need to be. They're going to manufacture runs. They are great bunting the ball and they have great team speed. We are preparing a plan to defend those types of things which they do well.'

USING USC TO GAUGE THE PROGRESS OF THE TEAM DURING THE SEASON: 'I have not thought about using USC to gauge our progress, but we're trying to get better and better and at this time of the year you should be the best you can be. We are playing our best baseball and it gives us some kind of ruler to say this is where we are. We're performing against the best, not only the best team in the conference, but also one of the best in the country.'

TEAM MINDSET: 'They certainly were not happy being swept by LCSC and you would not expect them to be happy. More importantly, I don't think they were happy with some of their individual performances or performances as a team. I do think the term 'Finals Week' kind of says we are winding down and ending the year. Academically, yes, we are winding down. We can't carry the end of academics into baseball. This is not an ending point in baseball. We have two big series left and we have an opportunity to get the most Pac-10 wins since they have combined the north and the south into one Pac-10 league. This is a stretch time for us, not an ending point.'

MORE ON THE TEAM: 'I am trying to figure out what their pulse is right now. I think they were down last week. I don't know if it was finals, but I did sense the team was a little more down. On the other side, Tyson Thompson had his best outing of the year in a lot of ways. I thought he controlled the game and pitched to a game plan. He used that start (against LCSC), did a really good job, and put us in a position to win. We just needed to score some runs.'

PLAYING USC AND STANFORD AT THE END OF THE SEASON: 'If I had my druthers, I would rather not face fire! But they are on our schedule, and we have to play them. That's the way it is. As for a guide or a marker, I want to play these guys. Bring it on, let's go! This is a game, this is baseball. I am looking forward to playing them.'

ON USING A WIN OVER USC OR STANFORD AS A 'FEATHER IN THE CAP': 'Isn't that why we're here, why I am here, and why the players are here? We are at Washington State, in the Pac-10 conference, and we're trying to play the best. That is a lot of why I came here. We are trying to be the best. This is why we are here. If we didn't want to play them, let's be at a different school and in a different conference. Let's tee it up against these guys.'

*Saturday, May 12 - WSU at USC, 1:00 p.m. PT, Dedeaux Field, Los Angeles
*Sunday, May 13 - WSU at USC, 1:00 p.m. PT, Dedeaux Field, Los Angeles
*Monday, May 14 - WSU at USC, 1:00 p.m. PT, Dedeaux Field, Los Angeles

Wednesday, May 16 - WSU at LCSC, 6:30 p.m. PT, Harris Field, Lewiston
*Friday, May 18 - WSU vs. Stanford, 6:00 p.m. PT, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullmanbr
*Saturday, May 19 - WSU vs. Stanford, 1:00 p.m. PT, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman
*Sunday, May 20 - WSU vs. Stanford, 1:00 p.m. PT, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman

Wednesday, May 2 - WSU 19, Prairie Baseball Academy 0, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman (Ex)
Friday, May 4 - Lewis-Clark State 15, WSU 14, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman
Saturday, May 5 - Lewis-Clark State12, WSU 0, Harris Field, LewistonSunday, May 6 - Lewis-Clark State 5, WSU 1, Bailey-Brayton Field, Pullman

* = Pacific-10 Conference game

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