WSU To Host Gonzaga, Then USC In Three Pac-10 Games

April 12, 2004

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WSU TO HOST GONZAGA, USC: The Washington State Cougars step out of league action Tuesday to host Gonzaga, then return to Pacific-10 Conference baseball action Friday through Sunday against the USC Trojans, with all four games to be played at Bailey-Brayton Field.

Tuesday's battle with Gonzaga is set for 5:00 p.m. WSU defeated the Bulldogs 9-3 and 13-11 in earlier games this year.

WSU, 21-10 overall, will take a 3-3 league record into the USC series. The Trojans are 16-17 overall, 3-3 in the Pac-10. Games times Friday and Saturday are 3:00 p.m., with Sunday's finale to start at noon.Second baseman, Jason Freeman is leading WSU regulars in Pac-10 play, while batting .542, starting all six conference games. In the Washington series he drove home five runs, and scored four, going 5-for-12 with two doubles.

Jay Miller, who leads the Cougars with a .373 overall batting average and is eighth among Pac-10 batters, hit .308 last weekend, going 4-for-13. He hit one double that scored two runs in the rubber game of the Husky series, won by WSU 14-8.

Aaron MacKenzie earned his fifth win of the season in WSU's 9-1 win over Washington Friday, striking out six batters and allowing one run that was earned. Among Pac-10 pitchers, MacKenzie ranks seventh in opposing batting average, .242, tied for fifth with 16 batters struck out looking, and third with 60.0 innings pitched.

Grant Richardson leads the conference in home runs with 11, adding three last week, including a grand slam in WSU's 9-1 win over the Huskies. His 41 RBI is second best in the Pac-10. His slugging percentage was .929 last week and his .645 overall slugging percentage ranks him fifth in the conference.Pinch hitter, Jeremy Farrar hit a three-run homer, scoring the eventual game-winning run in the rubber game of the Washington sereis, which the Cougs took 14-8.

OFF TO A GOOD START: WSU's 21-10 record is the best start in its first 31 games since 1994, the same year legendary Cougar baseball coach Bobo Brayton retired...Brayton recorded a 1,162-523-8 record over 33 years...Brayton's last WSU team was 24-7 at this point in the season...they finished 35-26 overall and fifth in the Pacific-10 North with a 11-19 conference record.

STREAKING COUGARS: Jason Freeman will look to continue his 11-game hitting streak this weekend...the longest hit streak of the season belongs to Kaeo Rubin...Rubin hit safely in 12 consecutive games.

MULTIPLE HITS/RBI: Grant Richardson leads the Cougars with 14 multiple-hit games...Kaeo Rubin and Jay Miller both have 13...both Miller and Zach McAngus have had games with five or more hits...Miller recorded five hits against Texas-Pan American Feb. 28...McAngus, who has eight multiple-hit games, went 5-for-5 against Birmingham-Southern April 5...Richardson leads WSU batters with 11 multiple RBI games...Miller has nine and Rubin is third with eight... Collin Henderson drove home seven runs against the Broncos Feb. 28, leading WSU in the single-game RBI category.

CAREER NOTES: Jay Miller is hitting .352 in his first two seasons, with 117 hits in 332 at-bats...Grant Richardson career average is .315 and Justin Hart's is .351...Bryce Chamberlin is now 10-9 with 170.1 innings pitched, 121 strikeouts and a 6.82 ERA.

MISC. COUGAR NOTES: Grant Richardson, Jay Miller, and Kaeo Rubin have started all 31 games this season...Greg Keim has made three starts and WSU has won each time...the Cougs are 5-0 when Collin Henderson bats second in the lineup and 5-1 when Jason Freeman bats seventh...WSU has a young infield with McClure (shortstop) a freshman, Zach McAngus (third) a sophomore and both Richardson (first) and Freeman (second) juniors...in the outfield, the five primary players include three seniors, Justin Hart, Henderson and Jeremy Farrar, while Jay Miller is a sophomore and Kaeo Rubin a junior..

GOING YARD: Grant Richardson currently leads the Pac-10 with 11 long balls... more than half of his home runs came during the week of March 29 - April 10...he hit six long balls in five games, including two games with multiple home runs...his first multiple home run game was against Gonzaga March 30 and was the first time in his WSU career he accomplished the feat...during the week, Richardson hit two solo shots, a pair of two-run home runs and a three-run homer...Richardson went yard against LCSC with a solo shot...Richardson's grand slam Friday against Washington was his first as a Cougar...Richardson's eleventh home run came on a 2-run shot Sunday... Richardson has now hit 26 home runs during his WSU career, tying him for tenth on the Cougar all-time list.

MILLER TIME: Sophomore Jay Miller is leading the Cougars with a batting average of .373...Miller has 44 hits, including five doubles and two home runs...He has scored 28 runs while driving home 29...Miller had a five-hit performance against Texas-Pan American Feb. 28...Miller has had nine multiple RBI games...including four against Washington March 21...Miller is now hitting .352 with 117 hits, 26 doubles and 68 runs scored during his Cougar career.

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 51 bases this season and has been successful 29 times...junior Jason Freeman lead the Cougs in stolen bases with six.

TWO TOURNAMENT TITLES: The Cougars have won two tournament championships in 2004, the first time in school history the feat has been accomplished...in 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 opened play in Bailey-Brayton Stadium March 19, the Cougars become the first NCAA Division I team to have FieldTurf as it's playing surface...WSU joins the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the Minnesota Twins 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.

TOUGH SCHEDULE: WSU's 2004 baseball schedule features 10 teams that received votes this week in at least one of the four major college baseball polls, Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America, USA Today, or the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. The Stanford Cardinal, who WSU visits in late April, are currently ranked number two in all polls...UC-Irvine, a WSU opponent early in the season, is ranked among the top 20 teams in all four polls...Oral Roberts is currently ranked in three of the polls, while Washington, Oregon State, Arizona, Birmingham-Southern all have received votes in at least one of the polls...WSU's schedule this year includes 24 games against the nine teams.

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