Cougars Head To Texas For Series Against No. 13 Longhorns

Feb. 21, 2007

PULLMAN, Wash. -

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Friday Wayne Daman Jr., RHP (0-0, 4.76 ERA) vs. James Russell, LHP (1-1, 3.20 ERA)
Saturday Matt Way, LHP (0-0, 15.43 ERA) vs. Adrian Alaniz, RHP (3-1, 3.14 ERA)
Sunday Nick Ison, RHP (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs.TBA

Texas holds a 7-4 edge in the all-time series, though the teams have not met since the 1991 season when the Longhorns swept a two-game series in Austin. The last Cougar victory came during the 1987 season in Austin, a 5-2 win as John Olerud picked up the victory and Jeff Hopper had a three-run double in the first inning to power the offense. WSU earned its lone series win in 1990 when it took two of three in Austin. The teams first met at the 1950 NCAA Championships in Omaha, with the Longhorns winning the title game 3-0. Texas also captured a 12-1 victory in the game leading into the championship.

SCOUTING THE LONGHORNSTexas enters the weekend with a 7-5 record and a No. 13 ranking in the most recent Baseball America poll. Last weekend the Longhorns took two of three against Stanford, winning the first two before falling short in the finale, 10-8. It marked the first series win of the season for Texas, which has also played three-game series against San Diego and at Long Beach State. Tuesday Texas defeated Texas State, 7-1, scoring all seven runs in the first two innings. Sophomore outfielder Kyle Russell leads the team with a .421 average, including five home runs and 16 RBIs. Sophomore infielder Bradley Suttle is hitting .400 with a team-best 20 hits. On the mound junior righthander Adrian Alaniz is 3-1 with a 3.14 ERA while junior lefthander James Russell is 1-1 with a 3.20 ERA. Senior Randy Boone has both Longhorn saves.

ISON IMPRESSIVE IN 2007 DEBUTSenior righthander Nick Ison wasted no time showing the arm problems that plagued his 2006 season were a thing of the past. Ison threw 5.0 innings of no-hit ball in a 6-1 win at Cal State Northridge Sunday afternoon. Ison had missed much of 2006 following season-ending shoulder surgery in late March after being one of the top Cougars pitchers early that season. In Sunday's outing he faced 19 batters, allowing just one ball out of the infield, a short flyout to left. He recorded 14 ground ball outs with one strikeout and allowed one unearned run without the benefit of a hit before exiting the game at the end of the fifth inning.

PRINCE NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICANWashington State University sophomore outfielder/pitcher Jared Prince has been named a 2007 Second-Team Preseason All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers of America (NCBWA). Prince, a native of Poulsbo, Wash., had arguably the finest freshman campaign in WSU history in 2006. He was named a third-team All-American by the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA), a first-team Freshman All-American by Collegiate Baseball newspaper and Baseball America, and was named to the All-Pacific-10 Conference first team. Additionally, Prince was one of 35 players invited to the USA Baseball National Team Trials last summer.

Last season Washington State posted a 36-23 record, a 15-win improvement over the 2005 season. That increase marked the ninth-best improvement in all of Division I baseball. The win total also matched the most by a WSU squad since posting a 37-25 record during the 1991 season. Fellow Pac-10 member UCLA led all schools by winning 17 more games last season that it did in 2006.

The 2007 Washington State baseball captains are senior Jeff Miller and sophomore Jared Prince.

Following this weekend's series at Texas, the Cougars return to Pullman to open their 2007 home schedule by competing in the Banana Belt tournament. WSU will host Utah Valley State Thursday at 4 p.m., followed by a Friday doubleheader against Southern Utah and Air Force. The Southern Utah game begins at 4 p.m. with the Air Force contest to follow at 7 p.m. WSU closes out the tournament Saturday afternoon at Lewis-Clark State with a 1 p.m. first pitch. Thursday's game against Utah Valley State has been moved up to 4 p.m. to accommodate fans wishing to attend the WSU-UCLA basketball game at Friel Court beginning at 7:30 p.m. that evening.

Washington State University was selected eighth in the Pac-10 Conference preseason coaches poll, announced prior to the start of the 2007 campaign. In order, the conference coaches selected Arizona State, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, Arizona, USC, California, WSU and Washington in the preseason poll. Last season the Cougars were picked to finish ninth and finished the season eighth in the Pac-10, one game out of a tie for fifth, with a 10-14 record. It was a nine-game improve in conference play for WSU from the 2005 season.

By capturing two of three games last weekend at Cal State Northridge, the Cougars won a season-opening series for the second time since the 2000 season. Ironically, the other series victory also occurred at Cal State Northridge during the 2002 season. WSU has lost season-opening series at Sacramento State (2005), Pacific (2003) and Northridge (2001), while in 2006, 2004 and 2000 their seasons began in tournament play.

Washington State University is ranked seventh in all-time NCAA Division I baseball victories with 2,383 at the end of the 2006 season.

HEAD COACH Donnie Marbut
Donnie Marbut is in his third season as head coach at Washington State University and fourth overall after pending the 2004 season as an assistant on the Cougar staff. Marbut has amassed a 57-60 record in his first two years, the most wins by any Cougar coach in his first two seasons. Prior to WSU, Marbut served as head coach at Edmonds Community College from 2000-03, where he posted a 152-38 record and earned Coach of the Year honors in 2002 and 2003.

Sophomore second baseman Travis Coulter, a 2006 Freshman All-American, missed the opening series last weekend at Cal State Northridge due to a should injury suffered just prior to the opening game. During infield warmup Coulter dove for a ball and sprained his right shoulder, forcing him to miss all three games.

Following the 2006 season, the Washington State University baseball team posted a 2.84 combined grade point average, the highest yearly GPA in Cougar baseball history.

The Cougars will face seven teams that played in the postseason last year, including a three-game series at 2006 CWS Champion Oregon State. Three other conference foes, Arizona State, Stanford and UCLA, all made a regional appearance, with the Cardinal making it to the Super Regional. Texas and San Francisco also reached a regional tournament while Lewis-Clark State captured the 2006 NAIA World Series title.

Washington State University sophomore outfielder/pitcher Jared Prince was one of 148 college baseball student-athletes named to the initial watch list for the 2007 Brooks Wallace Award presented by the College Baseball Foundation. Last season Prince led the conference in hitting with a .401 average, which also ranked 24th in the nation among all Division I players, and on-base percentage (.492). Prince also ranked among the Top 10 in RBIs (58, 3rd), slugging (.618, 4th), hits (83, T-4th), runs scored (50, 9th) and total bases (128, 5th).

The 2007 schedule boasts four teams currently ranked among the nation's elite. In the most recent Baseball America poll, Oregon State (No. 9), leads the way, followed by Texas, (13), Arizona State (14) and UCLA (15).
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