Cougars Host UCLA in Final Home Series of 2007

May 17, 2007

PULLMAN, Wash. -

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Washington State (25-24, 8-13) vs. UCLA 928-22, 12-6)
Friday-Sunday, May 18-20
3:30 p.m., 2 p.m., Noon
Bailey-Brayton Field • Pullman, Wash.
Radio: KCLX Radio (1450 AM)
TV: FSN Northwest (Friday)

Series Record:
UCLA leads 31-13

Last Meeting:
UCLA captured two of three during the 2006 series,p>

Last Cougar Home Win over UCLA: May 21, 2005 (10-7)
Last UCLA Road Win at WSU: May 22, 2005 (4-1)

Washington State University and FOX Sports Net recently announced that the May 18 baseball game between the Cougars and the UCLA Bruins will be broadcast live from Bailey-Brayton Field on FSN Northwest at 3:30 p.m. The game was originally scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. start but was moved ahead two hours to accommodate the broadcast. Friday's contest marks the second broadcast of a Cougar game in as many weeks after the network televised the series opener between Washington State and Stanford, May 5. Prior to that, the last time a game from Bailey-Brayton Field was broadcast live was May 12, 2002, when FSN Northwest aired the Washington State-Lewis-Clark State contest.

The Cougars snapped a seven-game losing skid to the Beavers with a 5-4 win Friday night victory then capped the series with a 5-3 victory Sunday. The series win was the first against Oregon State since the 2003 season when the Cougars took two of three in Corvallis. WSU hit .324 as a team against the Beavers, with over one third of their hits (12 of 35) begin the extra-base variety. Third baseman Paul Gran hit .462 (6-13) with a pair of home runs while Simi Reynolds was an identical 6-of-13 with two doubles, a triple and two RBIs. On the mound Jayson Miller worked eight innings of one-run ball in the series-clincher as the Cougars won its third conference series of the season.

Junior Jayson Miller has been named the Pacific-10 Conference Pitcher of the Week following his performance last Sunday at No. 15 Oregon State, it was announced by Commissioner Tom Hansen. Miller, a left-handed pitcher out of Richland, Wash., picked up his fourth win of the season in a series-clinching victory against the defending national champion Beavers. Miller went eight innings, allowing one run on four hits with five strikeouts, before exiting at the start of the ninth inning. The Beavers hit .154 (4-26) against him and only twice had runners past second base and at one point, he retired 11 of 12 Beavers. For the season Miller is 4-2 with a 3.26 ERA. Over his last two games, he won against Stanford May 7, Miller is 2-0 with a 1.76 ERA in 15 1/3 innings pitched. He has recorded nine strikeouts against three walks while allowing just 10 hits in that span. Miller becomes the third Cougar pitcher to earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors this season, joining freshman Connor Lambert and sophomore Ross Humes.

No player in the Cougar lineup has been hotter at the plate than third baseman Paul Gran. Following the second game of the Arizona State series the junior was hitting .255 with no extra-base hits in his previous eight games. Since that time, Gran has seen his season average rise to .328 while discovering a power surge that has seen him hit four home runs in his last six games. Over the last 16 games Gran is hitting .448 (30-67) with five home runs, 17 RBIs and 17 runs scored, to go with a .701 slugging percentage. Gran has hit safely in 14 of the 16 games with nine multi-hit games, including a season-high 5-for-5 outing in an 8-6 win over Stanford (5/6). The hot streak also coincides with Gran's move from short to third base, which occurred following the Arizona State series.

Following the weekend series against UCLA, the Cougars hit the road for the final time as they end the season with a three-game nonconference series at UC Davis, May 25-27. Gametimes for the series are 2:30 p.m. Friday, with both Saturday and Sunday's games beginning at 1 p.m.

All Washington State University baseball games can be heard live on KCLX Radio (1450 AM). Steve Grubbs begins his second season calling all the baseball action. In addition, all games can also be heard online at and all home games and selected road contest can be followed on-line via Gametracker, also at

The Bruins enter the weekend series with a 28-22 overall record, 12-6 in Pac-10 play. Last week UCLA dropped all three games at Arizona State to fall out of the conference lead after winning each of its first five conference series. The sweep also dropped UCLA out of the national rankings according to Baseball America, though Collegiate Baseball still has them ranked No. 12. The Bruins are hitting .294 as a team, led by sophomore infielder Jermaine Curtis' .362 average. Sophomore short stop Brandon Crawford is close behind at .356, to fo with six home runs and team-bests of 16 doubles and 50 RBIs. On the mound the Bruins boast a team ERA of 5.00 as sophomore Tyson Brummett leads the way at 9-4 with a 3.40 ERA. Sophomore Tim Murphy, Saturday's scheduled starter, is 4-2 but has recorded 80 strikeouts in 56.2 innings pitched. Junior Brant Rustich leads the staff with six saves on the season.

With two saves during the Stanford series, sophomore Ross Humes became WSU's all-time single-season saves leader with 11. Humes passed former Cougar Reed Rainey (1984) after working one inning of scoreless relief in Monday's 4-2 win over the Cardinal. Humes had tied the mark in Sunday's victory as he went 1 2/3 innings, allowing one hit with one strikeout. For the season the lefthander from Federal Way, Wash., has converted 12 of 13 save opportunities, working a total of 19 innings in that stretch, allowing 10 hits, four runs, four walks with 20 strikeouts and an ERA of 1.89. Of the 10 hits only one has been for extra bases. His 13 career saves are tied for second on WSU's all-time list.

The 2007 Cougar home schedule comes to a close this weekend with the three-game series against UCLA. WSU has found playing at home rewarding this season with a 14-8 record, including a 5-2 mark over the past seven games. No one has enjoyed the friendly confines of Bailey-Brayton field more than junior Simi Reynolds, who is hitting .408 (20-49) at home. On the mound Sunday's scheduled starter Jayson Miller is 3-0 with a 1.60 ERA in eight appearances at Bailey-Brayton this season.

Junior third baseman Paul Gran had a career day in Sunday's 8-6 victory over Stanford. Gran connected for a career-high five hits, four singles and a home run, to go with three RBIs and two runs scored. After singling in the first, Gran drove home the Cougars first run with an RBI single in the third. He then led off the fifth inning with a solo home run, his third long ball of the season, before singling home a run in the sixth, giving WSU its first lead of the day at 6-5. Gran concluded his afternoon with a single through the left side in the eighth.

Coming in to the 2007 season, WSU head coach Donnie Marbut made finishing series a point of emphasis. Through the first 13 series of the season, the point has been received. WSU is 10-3 in series-ending games in 2007 following last Sunday's 5-3 win over No. 15 Oregon State. Equally impressive is the fact that all of the wins, excluding Texas and California, clinched series wins for WSU. Last season WSU was 5-7 in series-ending games.

The Cougars won their third conference series of the season by taking two of three at No. 15 Oregon State...WSU has tied or outhit its opponent in 11 of the last 15 games...WSU is 4-2 in its last two series against ranked team, taking 2 of 3 against No. 12 Arizona and winning the series at No. 15 OSU...senior Zach Borba had his 13th multi-hit game of the season in Saturday's contest at Oregon State, going Sunday's game, Borba was caught stealing for the first time in 14 attempts this season...senior Nick Cebula continued his string of impressive performances this past weekend...Cebula worked 1.2 innings of hitless relief in Friday's win at OSU and added an inning of scoreless relief at Portland...over his last six appearances, 5.0 innings, he has not allowed a run and surrendered just two hits . .sophomore designated hitter Travis Coulter has hit safely in six of his last seven games, going 13-for-31 (.419) in that span...senior Wayne Daman Jr. moved into ninth place on the all-time strikeouts list with 195 for his career...senior Mike Gilbert, in his first start behind the plate since March 25, went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a home run in a 5-3 win at Oregon State...junior Paul Gran has hit safely in 14 of his last 16 games, batting .448 (30-67) in that stretch...Gran had a career-high five hits in Game Two of the Stanford series...junior reliever Steve Kost has allowed just one earned run over his last 11 appearances, a total of 7.2 innings...sophomore catcher Greg Lagreid continues to flex his muscle as he connected for his sixth home run of the season at Gonzaga (4/17) after hitting just one home run last season...senior Jeff Miller continues to lead the team with seven home runs and 32 RBIS on the season...sophomore Jared Prince went 4-7 (.571) during the Oregon State series, collecting two hits in each of the two games he played...junior Simi Reynolds has hit in 12 of his last 14 games, going 21-48 (.438) in that span...Reynolds had back-to-back three-hit games to open the series at Oregon State.

Last Tuesday night's baseball game between Washington State University and Lewis-Clark State College at Bailey-Brayton Field was canceled due to LCSC's travel schedule for its postseason schedule. The game was a makeup of the previous week's contest that was canceled due to lightning. At the time of the lightning delay Lewis-Clark State held a 6-1 lead in the bottom of the fifth inning, though the Cougars had runners at first and second with Cody Bartlett at the plate. The first sight of lightning occurred at 7:12 p.m. and the game was delayed at that point. The game was officially canceled at 8:41 p.m. as lightning continued in the Pullman area.

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 80-81 record in two-plus years, while his 57-60 mark in his first two seasons are the most wins by any Cougar coach in his first two years. 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.
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