2003 Season Review: Hart, MacKenzie, Miller, Richardson lead WSU

May 29, 2003

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FOUR COUGARS HONORED: Four members of Washington State's 2003 baseball team were honored by Pacific-10 Conference coaches with honorable mention recognition on the All-Pac-10 team. They were outfielder's Jay Miller and Justin Hart, first baseman Grant Richardson and pitcher Aaron MacKenzie. All four are underclassmen.

WSU finished the season 19-37 overall and 7-17 in Pac-10 play. The Cougar's seven wins in league play was the most since the conference began round-robin play in 1999. WSU also tied for eighth place, the first time the Cougars have not finished ninth since 1999.

Miller, a freshman, captured the WSU batting title with a .341 average and also led the team with 73 hits and 21 doubles and was second with 214 at-bats, 40 runs scored and 36 RBI. His double total stands tied for eighth on the Cougar single-season list.

Two other Cougars finished the year hitting above the .300 mark. Richardson, only a sophomore, paced WSU with 50 RBI while hitting .318. He also led the team with 13 home runs, 340 putouts and a fielding percentage of .995.

Hart, a junior, battled for the batting title, finishing at .338. He was second with two triples and tied for second with six stolen bases.

On the mound, Aaron MacKenzie, also a junior, beat UCLA in his last outing with a complete game to finish 5-5 and a team-leading 5.56 ERA. He also led the mound staff with 81 strikeouts in his 92.1 innings and with a .265 batting average by opposing hitters.

Senior Tony Banaszak, who missed much of the final month of the season with a sore back, led WSU with 15 starts and three complete games, along with 94.0 innings pitched. He posted a 6.13 ERA and had a 2-9 record.

Nick Kenyon, a senior, made a team-high 25 trips to the mound and also led the team with three saves. His appearances ranks tied for sixth on the WSU list. Sophomore Bryce Chamberlin finished the year with 14 starts, had one complete game, and had 48 strikeouts in 80.0 innings.

Banaszak's nine losses are the most by a Cougar pitcher in a single season (tied with two others). He also ranks tied for ninth with 15 games started, fourth with 119 hits allowed, tied for seventh with 76 runs allowed and eighth with 64 earned runs allowed.

Chamberlin's 2003 totals rank him tied for seventh with 76 runs allowed and fourth with 68 earned runs allowed.

The only player to start all 56 Cougar games was shortstop Derek Bruce, who posted a .294 batting average and led the team with 221 at-bats, 43 runs scored and four triples. He did strike out 44 times, placing him tied for ninth on the WSU single-season list.

Kenyon and Garrett Alwert moved into top 10 positions in Cougar career pitching lists. Kenyon finished his career tied for tenth with 61 games pitched and is tied for eighth with 13 losses. He also allowed 123 earned runs, tieing him for tenth on the list. Alwert's 14 career losses ties him for fourth.

The Cougars struggled out of the gate in 2003, dropping the first seven games and nine of the first 10. WSU finished 16-23 over the last 39 games, including five extra-inning games, 14-20 over the last 34 games (including three-game series with nationally ranked Stanford and ASU) and 10-15 in their last 25 games.

Extra inning games were not kind to WSU. There were six games that went longer than nine innings and WSU lost all six, running its streak of consecutive losses in extra inning games to 11. WSU's last extra inning win was in 2000.

Washington State pulled off a rare feat in beating Washington 6-2 May 4. In the sixth inning and leading 3-0, WSU's Jeremy Farrar sent his fourth home run of the year over the left centerfield fence. Grant Richardson followed Farrar and did the same on the first pitch, sending his 11th home run over the right centerfield fence. Then Wes Falkenborg came to the plate and on the first pitch, went yard in right centerfield. Three pitches, three home runs. The last time WSU hit three straight home runs was the 1994 opener.

The Cougars turned a school-record tying five double plays in a 5-3, 10-inning loss at Arizona State April 26. That feat matches a record set on four other occasions, most recently a 2000 contest against Lewis-Clark State.

PAC-10 PLAY: WSU had three starters hitting over .300 in Pacific-10 Conference games...Jay Miller topped the team in league play at .363, followed by Justin Hart at .338 and Wes Falkenborg at .308...Grant Richardson is next among the every-day players at .293.

COUGS HIT SAC STATE: WSU batters had their best series of the season against Sacramento State, hitting .417 as a team...Jay Miller and Derek Bruce each hit .600 (9-for-15), followed by Grant Richardson .545, Steve Mortimer .429, Wes Falkenborg .400, Bruce Jacobsen .385, Jon Baeder .375 and Justin Hart .364...Miller led WSU with six runs scored, seven RBI and three doubles.

COUGS RED HOT FOR 5 GAMES: In a five-game stretch through WSU's first game at USC, the Cougars had 13 or more hits in games against Sacramento State (3), LCSC (1) and USC (1), going 78-for-200, a .390 average...among those who played in all five games, Jay Miller and Derek Bruce each hit .500, Wes Falkenborg .467, Grant Richardson .450 and Jon Baeder .357.

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.

2003 WSU LINEUP (19-37 OVERALL, 7-17 PAC-10)

1B Grant Richardson, So. (.318, 35/R, 62/H, 50/RBI, 13/HR)
Steve Mortimer, Sr. (.260, 14/R, 27/H, 13/RBI, 6/2B)
2B Jonathan Fender, Jr. (.280, 18/R, 21/H, 6/RBI, 4/2B)
Jeff LaRue, Sr. (.205, 12/R, 25/H, 13/RBI, 1/HR, 5/2B)
SS Derek Bruce, So. (.294, 43/R, 65/H, 29/RBI, 6/HR, 14/2B)
Jamin Svendsen, Jr. (.200, 0/R, 1/H, 0/RBI, 0/HR)
3B Dustin Realini, Fr. (.185, 4/R, 12/H, 6/RBI, 3/2B)
Bruce Jacobsen, Sr. (.252, 19/R, 31/H, 16/RBI, 7/2B)
LF Justin Hart, Jr. (.338, 19/R, 47/H, 12/RBI, 2/HR, 5/2B)
Jay Miller, Fr. (.341, 40/R, 73/H, 36/RBI, 2/HR, 21/2B)
CF Jeremy Farrar, Jr. (.279, 32/R, 43/H, 27/RBI, 8/HR)
Zapper McGrath, Jr. (.174, 10/R, 12/H, 4/RBI, 1/2B)
RF Jay Miller, Fr. (.341, 40/R, 73/H, 36/RBI, 2/HR, 21/2B)
Collin Henderson, Jr. (.213, 12/R, 19/H, 5/RBI, 2/2B)
C Jon Baeder, Sr. (.228, 18/R, 28/H, 16/RBI, 8/2B)
Brandon Reddinger, Jr. (.208, 6/R, 10/H, 6/RBI, 1/2B)
DH Wes Falkenborg, Sr. (.282, 12/R, 33/H, 17/RBI, 4/HR)
Grant Richardson, So. (318, 35/R, 62/H, 50/RBI, 13/HR)
S-1 Aaron MacKenzie, RHP, Jr. (5.56, 5-5, 87-13/G-GS, 92.1/IP)
S-2 Bryce Chamberlin, RHP, So. (7.65, 4-6, 16-14/G-GS, 80.0/IP)
S-3 Tony Banaszak, LHP, Sr. (6.13, 2-9, 15-15/G-GS, 94.0/IP)
MR Nick Kenyon, RHP, Sr. (6.84, 1-4, 25-2/G-GS, 3/SV, 51.1/IP)
MR Garrett Alwert, LHP, Jr. (6.58, 3-5, 14-2/G-GS, 39.2/IP)
SR Brett Beetham, RHP, Jr. (7.24, 2-1, 17-0/G-GS, 27.1/IP)
SR James Freeman, LHP, So. (9.82, 0-1, 13-3/G-GS, 22.0/IP)
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