Cougars Look For First Wins At CS-Long Beach

Feb. 12, 2003

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THIS WEEK: Friday, Feb. 14 at CS-Long Beach, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 15 at CS-Long Beach, 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 16 at CS-Long Beach, 12:00 p.m.
NEXT WEEK: Friday, Feb. 21 at San Jose State, 2:30 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 22 at San Jose State, 1:00 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 23 at San Jose State, 12:00 p.m.
LAST WEEK: Friday, Feb. 7 Pacific 4, WSU 1
Saturday, Feb. 8 Pacific 8, WSU 7, 11i
Sunday, Feb. 9 Pacific 17, WSU 7


COUGARS TAKE ON 49ERS IN 3-GAME ROAD TRIP: The Washington State Cougars will be in search of their first victory this weekend when they travel to California State at Long Beach for a three-game weekend series.

Friday's series opener begins at 6:30 p.m., with Saturday's game at 1:00 p.m. and Sunday's finale at noon.

The 49ers are 3-3 after going 1-2 against #8 Arizona State and 2-1 against #3 USC last weekend.Last week WSU opened the season at Pacific, where they dropped 4-1, 8-7 and 17-7 contests to the Tigers.

Cougar head coach Tim Mooney is expected to go with left hander Tony Banaszak in Friday's game against the 49ers. Junior transfer Aaron MacKenzie has drawn the starting role for the second game, with Sunday's finale to be announced after the first two games.

Reserve infielder Robert Stahlke, who had one start at Pacific and played in two games, lead the Cougars with a .600 average while collecting two RBI, two doubles and a triple.

Another of WSU's hot players in the opening games at Pacific was first baseman Grant Richardson, who hit .500 with four hits, five RBI and a home run.

Shortstop Derek Bruce was also solid at the plate, hitting .333 with two RBI and hit his first home run of the season. Two newcomers, freshman third baseman Dustin Realini and junior centerfielder Zapper McGrath, made their Cougar debuts last weekend.

On the mound Banaszak looked sharp in his first appearance in nearly two years. Banaszak, who had 'Tommy John' elbow surgery after the 2001 season, allowed just one run in six innings of work. He received no decision in a 4-1 WSU loss.

Two starters, junior transfer Aaron MacKenzie and freshman Greg Goetz, made their first career starts last weekend. Both received no decisions.

Mooney does not plan any major starting line-up changes for this weekend's games. He will start Steve Mortimer at first, Jeff LaRue at second, Realini at third and Derek Bruce at shortstop, plus Zapper McGrath, Justin Hart and Jay Miller in the outfield. Collin Henderson may also start in the outfield, depending on whether the opponent throws a left or right hander.

WSU's middle-inning relief pitchers are expected to be Brett Beetham, Nick Kenyon and Karl Mehlholm, with Brandon Hundt or Beetham as the closer.

WSU RADIO: Cougar baseball radio broadcasts will begin Feb. 27 when WSU plays in the Banana Belt Tournament in Lewiston...the first three weekend series' will not be broadcast and will not be available on WSU's internet site.

OLE,OLE: Former WSU pitcher William 'Ole' Vigeland is now on Coach Tim Mooney's staff as a volunteer assistant coach. Vigeland spent the past few seasons in the Texas Rangers organization. Vigeland was an infielder and pitcher for WSU from 1995-1998. He was drafted in the 15th round by the Rangers in the 1998 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, despite pitching only 15 innings, all in his senior campaign, at WSU. Vigeland pitched in the Ranger organization for four seasons, before returning to Pullman this season as a coach.

FARRAR SURGERY FRIDAY: Junior outfielder Jeremy Farrar, who suffered a broken bone in his left hand the week before the season opener, will undergo corrective surgery Friday, Feb. 14, in Spokane...he is expected to be out of action four to six weeks...last year Farrar suffered a right knee injury in the opening game of the year and missed the rest of the season...Farrar transferred to WSU a year ago from Hill Junior College...he hails from Mansfield, Texas.

MISCELLANEOUS FACTS: WSU was 4-6 against ranked teams in 2002...the Cougars took two games from Cal State Northridge, one from Texas A&M and one from Arizona State...three of the losses came at the end of the season to College World Series participant Stanford...WSU has a .400 percentage when reaching base from the leadoff spot...the Cougars hit .327 with runners on and .369 with the bases loaded...the Cougars come through in the clutch as well, hitting .316 with runners in scoring position and .627 with runners on third...the Cougars also advance base runners at a .523 clip...WSU finished second in the Pac-10 in double plays turned with 66 and hit into the fewest (18).

SINGLE SEASON RECORD CHASERS: Brandon Hundt set the WSU single season record for hits allowed, 124, last year...Hundt also tied for ninth with 16 starts and tied for fifth in losses (7), third in hits allowed (116), third in runs allowed (84) and tied for fourth in earned runs allowed (67).

HEAVY METAL: Junior third baseman Jeff LaRue did a lot of damage at the plate in 2002...for the season, LaRue was WSU's second leading hitter at .367...the Laguna Niguel, Calif., native also was the team leader for total bases (119), slugging percentage (.598), multiple-hit games (24), hits (73) and at-bats (199)...the transfer from Saddleback Junior College finished second on the team in RBI (40), doubles (16), and home runs (10), and tied for second in runs scored (45).

A TEAM WITH HART: Outfielder Justin Hart provided a huge boost to the WSU offense last season...Hart gave the Cougars a solid bat, usually hitting in the #2 spot...he hit a team-best .370 and scored 37 runs, fourth-best on the team, while driving in 28 runs...his .455 slugging percentage ranked him fifth on the team among regulars, while his .442 on base percentage led the Cougars...Hart, a Woodinville, Wash. Native, also finished tied for third on the team in walks (19) and sixth in total bases (75)...Hart also led WSU in Pac-10 play with a .392 average, the sixth best average in the league.

SUPER SUBS: WSU had great offensive production from its bench in 2002...two of the key players were juniors Bruce Jacobsen and Robert Stahlke...both played multiple positions...Jacobsen hit .289 with nine starts and played at both third and first base...Stahlke was a designated hitter and second baseman and hit .318 with ten starts...he had 17 RBI and five doubles.

GATES ALL-PAC-10: Senior Bookie Gates was named the All-Pacific-10 Conference second baseman last year by the league coaches after he finished ninth in the league in hitting (.362) the end of the season he was drafted in the 25th round by Arizona.

GATES DRAFTED: For the second straight year Bookie Gates was taken in the MLB draft...he was picked by Arizona in the 25th round following the 2002 season...the previous year Minnesota picked him in the 32nd other Cougar was drafted following the 2002 season.

COUGS EARN PAC-10 HM: Four members of the 2003 Cougar team received honorable mention recognition on the 2002 All-Pac-10 team: pitcher Brandon Hundt, shortstop Derek Bruce, third baseman Jeff LaRue and outfielder Justin Hart.

ALL-PAC-10 ACADEMIC: Collin Henderson (3.60 in sports management) and Brandon Reddinger (3.90, undeclared) were named to the Pac-10 Academic first team last year and Garrett Alwert was an honorable mention pick.

DOUBLE DUTY: In 2002 outfielder Collin Henderson turned out for baseball for the first time since his high school days and ended the year hitting .297 with 24 RBI...his best series came against Arizona near the end of the year when he hit .455 and belted a game-winning, bases loaded double in the ninth inning of game three, providing WSU with a 9-7 win...Henderson was a three-year starting wide receiver for the Cougar football team...he ended his football career last fall with 62 career receptions for 566 yards...he also completed 11 of 12 career passes for 499 yards and six touchdowns.

COUGAR BASEBALL RANKS SIXTH IN ALL-TIME NCAA VICTORIES: Washington State University ranked sixth in all-time NCAA Division I baseball victories with 2,282 at the end of the 2002 season.

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