Cougars Look For Second Tourney Title Down South

Feb. 27, 2002

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Friday, March 1 - WSU vs. Troy State, 4 p.m., Wiregrass Stadium, Dothan, Ala.

Saturday, March 2 - WSU vs. Kent State, 2:30 p.m., Wiregrass Stadium, Dothan, Ala.

Sunday, March 3 - WSU vs. Kansas State, 10 am., Wiregrass Stadium, Dothan, Ala.

(all games at the Troy State Wiregrass Classic)

COUGS ON THE ROAD TO ALABAMA: Washington State continues its tournament road swing this week with three games at the Wiregrass Classic, hosted by Troy State at Dothan, Ala. For the Cougars, who are 7-5, it is an opportunity to continue its hot play in tournament competition.

Last week, at the Texas A&M Continental Express Classic, WSU went 4-2 to win the tournament title. The success in Texas was due in large part to overall team play.

'That is the strength of this club,' WSU head coach Tim Mooney said. 'We have great character and play well as a team.'

This weekend the Cougars will face two teams who have struggled of late and one who will begin their season.WSU will open the tournament Friday at 4 p.m. against host Troy State (7-6). The Cougars will wrap-up the tournament Saturday against Kent State (0-0) at 2:30 p.m. and Sunday against Kansas State (4-3).

WSU ON THE RADIO/INTERNET: WSU's baseball games will be broadcast by KCLX (1450 AM) in Colfax, Wash., during the 2002 season...WSU radio broadcasts are handled by Cougar Sports Properties, a sub-division of Learfield Communications...Alex Webster will call most of the WSU broadcast on radio also were heard on the internet at the WSU web site,

BULLPEN SLAMS DOOR: The Cougars got some much-needed help from its bullpen during the Texas tournament. In a 7-5 win against Texas A&M, senior Lanakila Niles pitched 5 1/3 innings of relief, allowing five hits and two runs to get his first win of the season...the following day, a 6-4 loss to A&M, junior closer Billy Gorrell kept the Cougars close by going 4 2/3 innings and allowing no runs and just two hits...against Kentucky on the final day of the tournament, junior Nick Kenyon pitched five innings of relief allowing seven hits, but just one run in a 9-8 win...'Those guys did a great job for us,' Mooney said. 'We just have to hope that they keep pitching consistently that way.'

HOT PLATE: Senior second basemen Bookie Gates is on a tear...Gates was named MVP of the Texas A&M Continental Express Classic for his 11-of-24 performance at the plate, including a 7-of-8 performance in a doubleheader Monday...for the season, Gates is leading the Cougars in hitting with a .438 average and also has team-highs in RBI (15) an triples (2)...third baseman Jeff LaRue, designated hitter Steve Mortimer and pitcher Brandon Hundt were also named to the All-Tournament Team at the Texas tournament.

CARDIAC COUGS: WSU had three comeback victories last a 7-5 win against Texas A&M, the Cougars erased a 5-1 deficit after four innings...the Cougars rebounded from a 7-3 hole against Kentucky to pull out a 9-8 win...WSU's 4-2 win against Pepperdine came after the Cougars spotted the Waves a 2-1 lead.

DOUBLE DUTY: Sophomore outfielder Collin Henderson joined the team in time for the Feb. 15-17 series against Gonzaga...through last weekend he is now batting .235 with five RBI...Henderson is also a starting wide receiver on the Cougar football team, catching nine passes for 83 yards and one touchdown in 12 starts for the 10-2 Sun Bowl Champions...he has been a three-year starter in football...Henderson is playing baseball for the first time since he was a senior at Puyallup High School...Henderson was a three-sport prep star, earning all-league honors in baseball, basketball and football.

COUGS LOSE FARRAR: Junior outfielder Jeremy Farrar, who collected two hits in WSU's first win over CSUN, is expected to miss the remainder of the season after suffering a torn ACL in his right knee...the injury occurred when he pulled up at third base against the Matadors...Farrar transferred to WSU from Hill JC in Texas last August and was one of the newcomers coach Tim Mooney was counting on to provide solid play both at the plate and in the outfield.

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