Cougars Set To Host Seattle U For Weekend Series
SEATTLE U at WASHINGTON STATE
Pullman, Wash. | Bailey-Brayton Field
Friday, 3:05 p.m. | Saturday, 2:05 p.m. | Sunday, 12:05 p.m.
Alex Jemal | Jr. | RHP | 1-1, 4.91 ERA, 6 K, 11.0 IP vs. Zane Mills | Jr. | RHP | 2-0, 0.68 ERA, 16 K, 13.1 IP
Nestor German | Fr. | RHP | 1-0, 3.48 ERA, 5 K, 10.1 IP vs. Brandon White | Jr. | RHP | 2-0, 0.00 ERA, 14 K, 11.0 IP
Morgan White | Jr. | RHP | 0-1, 0.93 ERA, 11 K, 9.2 IP vs. Will Sierra | RS-Jr. | RHP | 0-0, 2.45 ERA, 9 K, 7.1 IP
COUGARS SET HOST SEATTLE U FOR WEEKEND SERIES
In a series that was originally set to played in Seattle, Washington State (7-1, 0-0 Pac-12) will host a three-game weekend series against Seattle U (4-3, 0-0 WAC) at Bailey-Brayton Field. The series was moved from Seattle due to impending inclement weather forecasted for the Seattle area this weekend.
The Cougars will head over to Seattle next week for a pair of games against Seattle U and two nonconference contests against Washington. WSU will face Seattle U Thursday, play both teams Friday and play UW in a single-game Saturday. All four games will be played at Husky Ballpark.
Cougar baseball fans can follow all the season's action on the Washington State baseball official twitter page
@wsucougarbsb, instagram page @wsucougarbsb and wsucougars.com. Links to live stats and radio streams will be available at the baseball schedule page on wsucougars.com.
WSU COMPLETES PROJECT: BTO (Photos on Back Page)
Washington State broke ground on the Cougar Baseball Facility Project: BTO (Back to Omaha) in October of 2019 and officially moved in this January. The state-of-the-art facility features the $10 million clubhouse facility, a new entrance to Bailey-Brayton Field, a 1,300 square-foot locker room, a 1,500 square-foot weight room, academic area, team meeting room, areas for Cougar equipment, nutrition and athletic medicine, coaches offices as well as recognition of WSU's storied history. In addition, the facility will enhance the game day experience for players, coaches and fans, and provide improved ingress and egress along with new public restrooms and concessions. The facility renovation and enhancement costs were all covered through donor support.
ABOUT SEATTLE U
Seattle U enters the week with a 4-3 overall record after splitting a four-game series at Oregon last weekend. The Cougars lead the all-time series 16-9 and will be facing Seattle U for the first time since 2018, a 4-3 Redhawk victory in Bellevue. This will be the first meeting in Pullman since a 9-4 Cougar win in 2017 and the first series between the two since WSU took two of three in Pullman in 2012.
ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE
The Cougars are off to a 7-1 start, its best start since 2010 after opening 2021 by taking three of four at UC Davis and followed by sweeping a four-game series at Dixie State for its first four-game road series sweep since 1993. WSU is led by junior first baseman Kyle Manzardo's .457 batting average and his 16 hits which entered the week tied for most in the country. Manzardo also enters the series with a 25-game hitting streak, second longest in WSU history. Junior shortstop Kodie Kolden is coming off an amazing series at Dixie State where he hit .647 with 11 hits, 12 RBI and eight runs scored. Junior righthander Zane Mills paces the pitching with a 2-0 mark and 16 strikeouts while his 13.1 innings lead the Pac-12 Conference. Head coach Brian Green is in his second season at WSU and owns a 174-130 career record (7 seasons) including a 18-8 mark at WSU.
COUGAR QUICK HITS
• WSU is 7-1 for the first time since the 2010 team opened with nine straight wins and started the year 9-1
• WSU opened 2021 by taking 3 of 4 at UC Davis, the Cougars 1st series win on opening weekend since 2011
• WSU opened with 2 straight series wins for the 1st time since 2011 and on the road for the 1st time since 1999
• WSU recorded its 1st 4-game road series sweep since 1993 at Hawaii-Hilo
• WSU posted a program-best 3.09 team GPA in the 2020 fall semester, 30 players had a semester GPA of 3.0+
• WSU added the No. 29 rated recruiting class to the 2021 roster, No. 5 rated JUCO class
• WSU signed 4 of the Top-10 ranked 2021 High School prospects in Washington (Prep Baseball Report)
• Brian Green is in his 2nd season (16-8 record) at WSU after 5 seasons leading New Mexico State (158-122-1)
• 1B Kyle Manzardo was named to the 2021 Preseason All-America Third Team (Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA)
• Manzardo finished 2020 hitting .435, enters week with a 25-game hitting streak (2nd-longest in WSU history)
• Manzardo is hitting .446 (45-101) with 33 runs, 11 2B, 7 HR and 33 RBI during his 25-game hitting streak
• RHP Zane Mills was named among the National Players of the Week by Collegiate Baseball after matching a WSU modern-era record with 13 strikeouts in 7 innings at Dixie State last Friday
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
10,000,000 - A $10 million baseball clubhouse facility is complete, Project: BTO (Back To Omaha)
90 - WSU's 90 hits entered the week as fourth-most in the country
83 - WSU's pitching staff entered the week leading the Pac-12 Conference with 83 strikeouts
38 - 1B Kyle Manzardo was ranked the No. 38 best sophomore hitter by D1Baseball.com in 2020
26 - RHP Zane Mills was ranked the No. 26 best sophomore pitcher by D1Baseball.com in 2020
25 - Dating back to the final game of 2019, all 16 games played in 2020 and the first 8 games of 2021, Kyle Manzardo has recorded a hit in 25 straight games, 2nd-longest hitting streak in WSU history
16 - Kyle Manzardo's 16 hits, entering the week was tied for the most in the country
11 - WSU entered the week leading the Pac-12 with 11 home runs
9 - WSU entered the week ninth in the country in runs-per-game (10.4)
7 - Justin Van De Brake had 7 RBI in the series-opener over Niagara in 2020, tied for 2nd-most RBI in WSU history
3 - WSU posted 3 wins in their last at-bats (at CSU Bakersfield 2/14, at Hawaii 2/23, 3/6 NIAGARA)
2 - Justin Van De Brake hit 2 grand slams in the final two weekend series of 2020 (vs. Rutgers 2/29, NIAGARA 3/5)
KYLE MANZARDO NAMED PRESEASON ALL-AMERICAN
Junior first baseman Kyle Manzardo was named to the 2021 Preseason All-America Third Team by Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Manzardo, who earned All-American third-team honors from Collegiate Baseball last season, finished a shorted 2020 season with a .435 batting average with seven doubles, three home runs, 14 RBI, a .500 on-base percentage and a Pac-12 best 27 hits. The Coeur d'Alene, Idaho native tied for the league lead in doubles, was second in batting average and was fourth in slugging (.694) and runs scored (21). Manzardo recorded a hit in all 16 games Washington State played in 2020, finished the season with five straight multiple-hit games, led the team with nine multiple-hit games and will take a 17-game hitting streak into the 2021 season, tied for the sixth-longest hitting streak in the program history. Manzardo also earned WSU's first Pac-12 Player of the Week Award since 2016 following a monster weekend at the plate in the four-game series sweep of Niagara in Pullman. Manzardo became the first Cougar All-American since Jared Prince (OF/P) and Jay Miller (OF) each earned third team honors in 2006 and was WSU's first All-American infielder since Ray Hattenburg (UTL) earned honorable mention in 1999 and Casey Kelley (1B) was a third-team selection in 1998. Prince (2006), Derek Jones (2009) and Ian Hamilton (2014) each earned Freshman All-America honors. Hamilton was the last Cougar to receive preseason All-American recognition back prior to the 2016 season.
COUGARS WELCOME NATIONALLY RANKED RECRUITING CLASS
WSU's 2020 signing class, who will don the crimson and gray in 2021 was rated the No. 29 recruiting class in the country according to Collegiate Baseball. The class is ranked sixth-best in the Pac-12 Conference, ahead of conference foes rivals Oregon State, Oregon, California and Washington, SEC members Texas A&M and Kentucky along with Big West Conference leaders Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine and Long Beach State. Also last summer, the class was ranked among the Top-40 incoming classes in the country, according to Perfect Game while the Cougar's junior college newcomers were ranked the fifth-best junior college recruiting class according to JBB Juco Baseball. Three of the Cougar freshmen, shortstop Kyle Russell (No. 195), right-handed pitcher Duke Brotherton (No. 206) and outfielder Keith Jones (No. 423) were ranked among Perfect Game's Top-500 players nationally. Four Cougar signees were rated among the Top-11 high school prospects in Washington including Russell (No. 2), Brotherton (No. 3), infielder Cody Dreis (No. 8), right-handed pitcher Tyler Hoeft (No. 11) while Louie Albrecht is the top-rated catcher prospect in Washington. The class got a big boost over the summer as former New Mexico State All-American first baseman Tristan Peterson transferred to WSU and was ranked the sixth-best transfer in the country by Baseball America.
IN THE CLASSROOM, IN THE COMMUNITY
Head coach Brian Green emphasized winning in the classroom and the community in his introductory press conference and the Cougs backed him up in his first two years at WSU.
- This past fall, the baseball program posted its highest semester GPA (3.09) in program history after 15 players posted a 3.0 GPA or better in the semester. The 3.09 mark broke the record of 3.05 set in the fall of 2019.
- The team started a viral campaign under Green named Meet The Professor where each baseball student-athlete introduces themselves and takes a selfie with their professor in the first class of each semester.
- Last January, the team gathered at a local elementary school and helped the Whitman County Special Olympics with basketball practice.
BRIAN GREEN IN SECOND SEASON LEADING COUGAR BASEBALL
Brian Green was named the 17th baseball coach in Washington State history June 3, 2019. Brian Green came to WSU after five seasons as the head coach at his alma mater New Mexico State where he led the Aggies to a 2019 Western Athletic Conference regular-season championship and an NCAA Regional appearance in 2018.In his five years at NMSU, Green produced nine All-Americans including three first-team selections in 2019, 26 All-WAC honorees, a pair of Player of the Year selections, one Pitcher of the Year, one Freshman of the Year, and 22 WAC All-Academic selections.
BRIAN GREEN BY THE NUMBERS
6,000 - Green's NMSU program volunteered over 6,000 hours of community service in his 5 years
2014 - Green recruited and coached 2014 Golden Spikes Award Winner AJ Reed at Kentucky, John Olerud Award
174 - Green owns a 174-130 career record, now in his 7th season as a head coach
158 - Green won 158 games in his 5 seasons as the head coach at New Mexico State
40 - Green's 2018 club won 40 games and earned a trip to the NCAA Regional
34 - Green won 34 or more games in each of the last 4 seasons at NMSU
9 - Green produced 9 All-Americans at NMSU including 3 in 2019
4 - Coached 4 seasons at UCLA (2005-08), coached San Francisco Giant SS Brandon Crawford at UCLA
1st - WSU took 2 of 3 from Rutgers in Arizona in 2020, its 1st series over a Big Ten opponent in program history
1st - WSU beat CSU Bakersfield 5-2 in the 2020 season-opener for its first season-opening win since 2011
.356 - In 2019, NMSU led the country in batting avg, runs, runs/g, hits, triples, on-base pct and slugging
NCAA, PAC-12 CANCELED REMAINDER OF 2020 SEASON DUE TO COVID-19
At a meeting of the Pac-12 CEO Group and Athletic Directors March 14, 2020, the Pac-12 made the decision to cancel all Pac-12 conference and non-conference sport competitions and Pac-12 championships through the end of the academic year, including spring sports that compete beyond the academic year. WSU's season was canceled prior to hosting its Pac-12 Conference opening series against California. The Division I Council voted March 30, 2020 to allow schools to provide spring-sport student-athletes an additional season of competition and an extension of their period of eligibility.
JOHN OLERUD NAMED PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE CENTURY
The Pac-12 Conference inducted Coug legend John Olerud into the Pac-12 Hall of Honor in 2019. Olerud was named the Pac-12 Conference's Baseball Player of the Century in 2016. During his three seasons in a Cougar uniform, Olerud (1987-89) had one of the finest careers of any Cougar student-athlete, in any sport, in Washington State history, rewriting the WSU record books and becoming the only Cougar baseball athlete ever to be named College Athlete of the Year. In 1988, Olerud became the only player in NCAA history to win 15 games on the mound and hit 20 home runs in the same season, going 15-0 with 23 home runs that year. Still holding numerous WSU records, Olerud went 26-4 overall with a 3.17 ERA over 241.1 innings during his three seasons, hitting .434 for Washington State. He set two Pac-10 records and 10 Pac-10 North marks, highlighted by his sophomore season when he was named Athlete of the Year by Baseball America. In January prior to his junior year at WSU, Olerud suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage, a type of brain seizure. He missed the first 28 games of the spring season, but returned to hit .359 for WSU over the final 27 games. Prior to his senior season, Olerud signed a contract with Toronto and went directly to the Major Leagues. In 1993, he became the first Blue Jay to win a batting title, hitting .363. Olerud played for Toronto, the New York Mets and Yankees, Seattle and Boston during his 17-year career, winning back-to-back World Series titles with Toronto in 1992 and 1993. In 2001 he joined his father, John Sr., in the WSU Athletics Hall of Fame, and is a member of the College Baseball, State of Washington and Inland Northwest Sports Halls of Fame. The John Olerud Two-Way Player of the Year Award, given annually by the College Baseball Hall of Fame, was named in his honor and in 2016, he was named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Century, selected by a 36-member blue ribbon panel of experts selected by the conference.