WSU To Host Washington On New Playing Surface

March 17, 2004

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New FieldTurf Ready For Opener: The Washington State Cougars, 12-5 overall, return home this weekend for one of their earliest Bailey-Brayton Field appearances ever, hosting the Washington Huskies in three non-conference baseball games.

Gametime at the renovated Cougar stadium is 1:00 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

WSU will be making history in collegiate circles this weekend. Bailey-Brayton Field is the only NCAA Division I baseball field using the synthetic playing surface FieldTurf. WSU's football stadium and football practice fields also feature FieldTurf.

Installation of the new surface was completed last weekend. The only dirt on the field is around the pitcher's mound and home plate. The base paths and normal dirt infield area feature a reddish brown playing surface, while the rest of the field is a bright green. The reddish brown turf also trims the field along the outfield walls, down the left and right field lines and in front of the backstopThe renovation project also includes new home and visitor dugouts.

Sophomore outfielder Jay Miller continues to pace WSU at the plate with a .393 average, while Richardson is now hitting .343 and Justin Hart .333.

Aaron MacKenzie, 3-1 with 35.2 innings of work, will start Friday, while Aaron Trolia, 3-1 with 26.2 innings of action will start Saturday. Bryce Chamberlin gets the start Sunday and he is 4-0 and has thrown 27.1 innings.

The Huskies enter weekend play with a 10-4-1 record after taking all three games from Loyola-Marymount last weekend.

Early in the season when Washington was 6-1, they cracked the Top 20 poll, but then suffered three straight losses to fall out of the polls.

WSU is coming off its toughest weekend test of the young season at the Yellow Book Classic in Malibu, Calif. WSU downed host Pepperdine 9-8 in the final game of the tournament after suffering losses to YBC winner Oral Roberts 6-4 and No. 18 ranked California-Irvine 12-4.

Grant Richardson led WSU offensively last weekend with six hits in 12 at-bats. Jason Freeman hit .333 while starting all three games and made the game-saving throw from left field Monday that cut down the tying run with two outs in the ninth against the Waves.

WSU ON THE RADIO AND WEB: All Cougar baseball games for the remainder of the season will be broadcast on KCLX Radio in Colfax...the games are also carried on the official WSU web site at

WSU AT YELLOW BOOK CLASSIC: Grant Richardson carried the hot bat last week at the Yellow Book Classic, hosted by Pepperdine...Richardson hit .500, with a double, home run and four singles in 12 at-bats...Jason Freeman also hit well, .333, and drove home a team-leading three runs...on the mound, Bradley Selenger saw his first action with one inning of work and two strikeouts...Dane Renkert made two trips to the mound, threw 4.0 innings and allowed just one run while striking out three...the Cougars struggled at the plate, hitting .291, while the pitchers posted a 6.92 ERA...WSU lost to tourney winner Oral Roberts 6-4 and No. 18 California-Irvine 12-4, then bounced back to beat Pepperdine 9-8.

WSU VERSUS OPPONENTS: In the first 17 games of the season, WSU has outscored opponents 137-74...WSU has outscored opponents in all innings except the eighth (tied 5-5) and extra innings (0-1)...WSU's run production is its highest in the middle innings...the Cougars produce the most runs in the seventh inning, 24, with 20 runs in the fifth and 19 in the sixth.

MISSED SUB: During a mass substitution of players in the eight inning of WSU's win at Pepperdine, one sub not recorded was the moving of junior Jason Freeman from second, where he started, to left field...and that became a key in the bottom of the ninth...Pepperdine had the tying run at second when a single was hit to left field...Freeman picked up the hit and fired a one-bounce strike to catcher Brandon Reddinger, who made the tag on the runner to end the game...unfortunately newspaper accounts credited starting left fielder Justin Hart with the throw because Freeman's move to left wasn't recorded...Freeman has made all 13 of his starts at second this year and had not been used in the outfield until the Pepperdine game...his natural position before arriving on the WSU campus last fall had been in the outfield, but during the fall he was converted to an infielder.

STREAKING COUGARS: Jeremy Farrar and Jay Miller hold the longest hitting streaks of the season at six games, while Kaeo Rubin had a five-game streak earlier this season...Justin McClure, Justin Hart and Grant Richardson all have had four-game hitting streaks...Hart has the longest current hitting streak at four.

MULTIPLE HITS/RBI: Grant Richardson and Jay Miller lead the Cougars with eight multiple-hit games, while Kaeo Rubin has four games with two or more hits...Miller's best was five hits in the second game against Texas-Pan American, while Richardson had four hits against Oral Roberts...Richardson also leads WSU with six multiple-RBI games, including four against Saint Mary's...Collin Henderson drove home a team-leading seven runs against Texas-Pan American.

OFFENSIVE PRODUCTIVITY: With runners in scoring position WSU is hitting .292...the Cougs are scoring runners from third with less than two outs at a .492 rate and batting .313 with two outs...WSU is advancing runners at a rate of .549...WSU leadoff batters are hitting .423...WSU is hitting .289 against left handed pitchers and .280 against right handed pitchers...WSU has won all five games when Bryce Chamberlin has started and he has recorded four of those wins...WSU is 10-3 with Jason Miller starting at second base...freshman Justin McClure has started all 17 games at shortstop and has made just four errors...last year through 17 games WSU had nine errors at shortstop.

COMPARING WSU vs. WASHINGTON: The following are statistical comparisons between WSU and this week's Cougar opponent, the Washington Huskies (as of March 16:

WIN STREAK HITS SIX: Earlier this season WSU won six straight games, the final two contests at Texas-Pan American, and all four games at the Banana Belt tournament...the last time WSU won six straight games was in mid-March, 1999...the last time WSU won eight straight was in late April, 1997.

STEALING BASES: In the fifth inning against Utah Valley State, WSU stole a school record eight bases, which also tied the NCAA Div. 1 record set in 1991 and equaled in 1993...WSU's record in a game is 11, set in 1917 against Montana...WSU has attempted to steal 37 bases this season and has been successful 24 times...freshman Justin McClure and junior Jason Freeman leads the Cougs in stolen bases with five each...neither player has been thrown out this year.

TWO TOURNAMENT TITLES: The Cougars have won two tournament championships in 2004, the first time in school history the feat has been February, WSU won the River City Tournament, sweeping games against Santa Clara, Saint Mary's and host Sacramento State...the Cougs also won the Banana Belt Tournament in Lewiston, Idaho, for the 19th time...the Cougars swept the four-team tournament with victories over Portland, Utah Valley State, Gonzaga and LCSC.

AN ALL NEW PLAYING FIELD: When WSU begins play in Bailey-Brayton Stadium March 19, it will become the first NCAA Division I team to have FieldTurf as it's playing surface...WSU joins the Tampa Bay Devil Rays as part of the exclusive group of baseball teams to use FieldTurf as their playing field. The Cougar baseball diamond is ringed with a brownish red warning track and base paths of the same color...the only dirt on WSU's baseball field will be the pitching mound and around home plate...included in the renovation project are new dugouts for both teams.

COUGAR BASEBALL RANKS SEVENTH IN ALL-TIME NCAA VICTORIES: Washington State University ranked seventh in all-time NCAA Division I baseball victories with 2,302 at the end of the 2003 season...a list of the Top seven baseball programs appears below with their respective records and number of seasons played through 2003:

2004 CAPTAINS: Four seniors have been named as the captains for the 2004 Cougar squad...they are Garrett Alwert, Collin Henderson, Aaron MacKenzie, and Brandon Reddinger.

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