2004 Baseball Season Review

June 3, 2004

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The Washington State Cougars capped off their most successful baseball season since 1994 by capturing two of three games from the California Bears to finish the year 29-26 overall and 9-15 in Pacific-10 conference play.

Among the Cougar highlights -

  • WSU's 29 wins the most since winning 34 in 1994;
  • WSU's nine Pac-10 wins the most since round robin play began in 1999;
  • WSU tied for eighth in the Pac-10, equaling its best finish;
  • The second winning season since 1994 and first since 1998 when WSU finished 25-24;
  • Grant Richardson set a WSU season record with 506 putouts;
  • WSU stole eight bases in one game against Utah Valley State, a WSU record that equaled the NCAA record;
  • WSU batters were hit by 107 pitches, a team record;
  • Grant Richardson moved into a tie for eighth with 28 career home runs;
  • Jay Miller led WSU at the plate for the second straight year, finishing at .355;
  • WSU pitchers struck out 394 batters, eight short of the WSU record;
  • Six Cougars were named to the Pac-10 academic team, including three on the first team;
  • WSU team record .972 fielding percentage;

    Jay Miller boosted his two-year batting average to .348 by capturing the Cougar batting title for the second straight year. This year he posted a .355 batting average on the heels of a .341 average last year. Miller led the Cougars with walks, 37, and on-base percentage, .470.

    Newcomer Jason Freeman finished second in the batting race with a .344 average and led the team with 12 stolen bases, 14 sacrifice hits and 125 assists.

    Another first-year Cougar, junior Kaeo Rubin, hit .341 to finish third and led his teammates in seven categories: 214 at-bats, 64 runs, 73 hits, 16 doubles, three triples, 17 HBP and 41 strikeouts.Four other Cougars hit better than .300 and as a team WSU hit .298. Grant Richardson, who blasted 13 home runs and drove home 68 runs, hit .311, while Justin Hart hit .308, Zach Franklin .304 and Jeremy Farrar .303.

    On the mound, two-year Cougar Aaron MacKenzie finished the season with a 6-8 record, a 4.82 ERA and led the team in 10 pitching categories, including 16 starts, 108.1 innings pitched and 95 strikeouts. His 16 starts equals the second most by a Cougar.

    Aaron Trolia, the talented senior transfer from Clemson, led the team with a 4.25 ERA and made 13 starts. He also had the lowest opponent batting average at .248.

    Bryce Chamberlin, a junior who missed a month of the season with a broken jaw, still led WSU pitchers with eight wins and threw 62.1 innings with a 5.34 ERA.

    Wayne Daman Jr., a freshman, led the staff with 21 trips to the mound, including three starts and 18 relief appearances.

    Cougar pitchers struck out 394 opponent batters, just eight short of the team record.The Cougars also excelled in the classroom during the 2003-04 season. Collin Henderson, Brett Beetham and Brandon Reddinger were name to the league's academic first team, the most selections for any team. In addition, three Cougars received honorable mention recognition, Garrett Alwert, Zach Franklin and Jay Miller.

    Henderson also earned CoSIDA Academic All-District first team honors and was named to the organization's academic All-America third team.

    Richardson, Miller and Rubin started all 55 games and Freeman made 51 starts.While the Cougars played nine seniors, WSU many of the regulars, especially in the infield, were underclassmen. Richardson (first base) and Freeman (second base) were juniors, while McAngus (third base) was a sophomore, McClure (shortstop) a freshman and J. J. Burress (shortstop) a junior. Catcher Brandon Reddinger was the lone starting senior in the infield.

    In the outfield, Henderson, Hart and Jeremy Farrar were all seniors, while Miller was a sophomore and Rubin a junior.

    Trolia, Mackenzie, Alwert, Brandon Hundt and Beetham were all seniors. Daman Jr. was a freshman and Chamberlin a junior.

    RECORD SETTERS: Several WSU Cougars moved into the record books in single season and career lists including:

    Grant Richardson, Junior, First Base
    Career Home Runs - 28 (8th-tie)
    Career Putouts - 919 (6th)
    Season RBI - 68 (6th-tie)
    Season Putouts - 506 (WSU Record)

    Garrett Alwert, Senior, Pitcher
    Career Games Pitched - 64 (9th-tie)
    Career Losses - 17 (2nd-tie)
    Career Hits Allowed - 317 (3rd)
    Career Earned Runs -158 (4th)
    Career Runs Allowed - 188 (5th)

    Aaron MacKenzie, Senior, Pitcher
    Career Losses - 13 (9th-tie)
    Season Starts - 16 (2nd-tie)
    Season Losses - 8 (4th-tie)
    Season Innings Pitched - 108.1 (9th-tie)
    Season Hits Allowed - 109 (9th-tie)
    Season Strikeouts - 95 (6th)

    Bryce Chamberlin, Junior, Pitcher
    Career Earned Runs - 138 (6th)
    Career Runs Allowed - 163 (8th)

    Brandon Hundt, Senior, Pitcher
    Career Saves - 6 (10th-tie)

    Kaeo Rubin, Junior, Outfield
    Season Runs - 64 (9th-tie)

    Justin McClure, Freshman, Shortstop
    Game Strikeouts - 4 (1st, tie)

    WSU Team
    Game Stolen Bases One Inning - 8 (1st)
    (Also equals NCAA Record)
    Season HBP - 107 (WSU Record)
    Season Field % - .972 (WSU Record)

    HENDERSON ACADEMIC AA: Collin Henderson was named to the national CoSIDA Academic All-America third team this season, capping an illustrious Cougar career in two sports...during his three seasons with the baseball team, Henderson has been named to the Pac-10 academic team twice, to the CoSIDA All-District 8 first team twice, and now to the AA third team...during his outstanding football career he was named to the Pac-10 academic first team three times and to the CoSIDA All-District VIII first team once...a graduate student his year in athletic administration, Henderson has a 4.00 GPA in graduate school and had a 3.77 GPA as an undergraduate in sport management.

    SEVEN COUGS PAC-10 HM: Seven members of the 2004 Cougar baseball team received All-Pacific-10 Conference honorable mention recognition: Bryce Chamberlin, Jason Freeman, Aaron MacKenzie, Jay Miller, Grant Richardson, Kaeo Rubin and Aaron Trolia.

    SIX COUGS ON ACADEMIC TEAM: Six members of the WSU baseball team were named to the Pacific-10 Conference academic teams, including three to the first team, Collin Henderson, Brandon Reddinger and Brett Beetham...no other Pac-10 team had three first-team selections...earning honorable mention recognition were pitcher Garrett Alwert, catcher Zach Franklin and outfielder Jay Miller.

    MULTIPLE HITS: Kaeo Rubin led WSU with 25 multiple-hit games, while Grant Richardson was second with 23, followed by Jason Freeman and Jay Miller at 22 each...Miller and Zach McAngus had games with five or more hits...McAngus, who had 15 multiple-hit games, went 5-for-5 against Birmingham-Southern April 5.

    RICHARDSON TOPS IN RBI: Grant Richardson led WSU batters with 16 multiple-RBI games...Richardson had six games this season with four RBI and in the season finale drove home five runs...other Cougars with multiple-RBI games include Jay Miller with 12, Jason Freeman with 11 and Kaeo Rubin with nine...Collin Henderson drove home a team-best seven runs against Texas-Pan American Feb. 28.

    FREEMAN HAS HOT BAT: Junior second baseman Jason Freeman finished second on the team in hitting at .344...he was even hotter in Pac-10 games, hitting .400...Freeman hit safely in 31 of his last 36 games...during that span he hit .388 (54-of-139), had 22 multiple-hit games and 11 multiple-RBI games...11 of his 13 doubles have come in that span.

    MILLER FINISHES STRONG: Jay Miller wrapped up the WSU batting title going 3-for-4 with two RBI in the season's final game, a 13-3 win over California...Miller, whose average dipped to .335 in late April, had a great May, going 20-for-48 over the final 15 games, a .417 batting average...he had seven multiple-hit games during the month and collected six of his 13 doubles...Miller also won the batting title in 2003 at .341.

    COUGARS MAKE LATE COACHING CHANGE: WSU Athletics Director Jim Sterk accepted the resignation of four-year head baseball coach Tim Mooney following the last game of the 2004 season and immediately promoted assistant Don Marbut to the head coaching position...assistants Ryan Brust (pitchers) and Brent Fattore (volunteer) will remain with the program...Marbut joined WSU in August of 2003 (2004 season) after four years as head coach at Edmonds Community College, where he posted a 152-38 record...he is an Aberdeen High ('92) graduate, attended Edmonds CC for two years, then played two years at Portland State, graduating with a degree in social sciences in 1997.

    NCAA TOURNEY INCLUDES NINE WSU FOES: Washington State played nine teams seeded into the 2004 NCAA Baseball Championships, including five from the Pacific-10 Conference...the Cougars won 11 games and lost 13 against the NCAA field...WSU played two of the eight teams earning #1 seeds in the Regionals, Stanford (44-12 overall, WSU was 0-3 against the Cardinal) and Arizona State (40-16 overall, 1-2)...three other WSU opponents were seeded #2 in their bracket, Oral Roberts (48-9 overall, 0-1), Washington (37-18-1, 4-2) and UC Irvine (34-21-1 overall, 0-1)...three WSU opponents were seeded #3 in their brackets, Arizona (30-24-1 overall, 1-2), Birmingham-Southern (46-16 overall, 3-0) and UCLA (33-27 overall, 1-2)...Pepperdine (28-30 overall, 1-0) is a #4 seed.

    THREE COUGS EARN PAC-10 HONOR: Three Cougars have won Pacific-10 Conference Player of the Week honors this season...the latest was senior Garrett Alwert, who was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week April 19 after holding USC scoreless over eight innings in WSU's 5-1 victory April 18...he allowed Trojan batters four hits and one walk while striking out five...Aaron MacKenzie won pitching honors Feb. 17 after allowing no runs and just two hits over 7.0 innings against San Francisco...Grant Richardson won hitting honors April 6 when he hit .583 in four games against Gonzaga and Birmingham-Southern...he was 7-for-12, scored six runs and drove home 12 runs...he had four home runs in those four games.

    MOMS BRING GOOD CROWD: The WSU-USC game April 17 drew 3,153 fans, the fourth largest Cougar home crowd since 1989...WSU's largest-ever crowd was 4,666 for a Washington doubleheader in 1990.

    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.

    TWO TOURNAMENT TITLES: The Cougars 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-game, five-team tournament with victories over Portland, Utah Valley State, Gonzaga and LCSC.

    STREAKING COUGARS: Three Cougars had hitting streaks of 11 games or longer, topped by Jason Freeman's 14-game streak that was snapped by USC...Kaeo Rubin had a 12-game streak earlier in the season and Jeremy Farrar had an 11-game streak.

    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 attempted to steal 88 bases this season and was been successful 49 times...junior Jason Freeman led the Cougs in stolen bases with 12.

    AN ALL NEW PLAYING FIELD: When WSU opened play in Bailey-Brayton Field March 19, the Cougars became the first NCAA Division I team to have FieldTurf as its playing surface...WSU joined 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 is 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 2,331 at the end of the 2004 regular season.

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