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WSU Opens Nine-Game Road Trip With Matchup at Portland

Mar 16, 2021

WSU Game Notes - at Portland | 2021 Baseball Schedule

WASHINGTON STATE at PORTLAND
Portland, Ore. | Joe Etzel Field
Wednesday, 3 p.m. | March 17, 2021

PROBABLE STARTERS
Bryce Moyle | Sr. | LHP | 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 APP, 7 K, 7.1 IP vs. Nate Packard | Sr. | RHP | 0-0, 4.50 ERA, 2 APP, 3 K, 2 IP

COUGARS OPEN ROAD TRIP WITH MATCHUP AT PORTLAND
Washington State (9-2, 0-0 Pac-12) embarks on a 12-day, nine-game road trip beginning with a nonconference contest at Portland (7-7, 0-0 WCC) set for 3 p.m., Wednesday.

ON DECK
WSU will stay in Oregon to open Pac-12 Conference play with a three-game series at No. 18 Oregon State followed by a two-game set at UNLV and will wrap up the trip with a weekend series at No. 12 Arizona State. 

FOLLOW ALONG
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 on the baseball schedule page at 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 into its new home this past January. The state-of-the-art facility features a $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 PORTLAND
Portland enters the week with a 7-7 overall record after sweeping a four-game series against Utah Valley in Portland over the weekend. The Pilots went 12-4 in a shortened 2020 season. WSU leads the all-time series 74-28-1 with Portland and will be meeting for the first time since 2015 and meeting for the first time in Portland since 2013 where the Cougars own a 29-11-1 mark.

ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE
The Cougars are off to a 9-2 start, matching its best start since 2010 and is looking to match the 2010 team with a 10-2 start. WSU opened 2021 by taking three of four at UC Davis, followed by sweeping a four-game series at Dixie State for its first four-game road series sweep since 1993 and took two of three from Seattle two weekends ago. The Cougars' road trip to Seattle last weekend was postponed after Covid-10 developments within the program last week. WSU was scheduled to face Seattle U and Washington twice and will now look to reschedule those games for a later date. The Cougars are led by senior outfielder Collin Montez' .410 batting average while preseason All-American junior first baseman Kyle Manzardo paces the club with 19 hits, five home runs and 20 RBI. Junior righthander Zane Mills paces the pitching with a 3-0 mark and 23 strikeouts. Head coach Brian Green is in his second season at WSU and owns a 176-131 career record (7 seasons) including a 18-9 mark at WSU.

COUGAR QUICK HITS
TEAM
•  WSU is 9-2, matching the program's best start since the 2010 team who started 10-2
•  WSU opened 2021 by taking 3 of 4 at UC Davis, the Cougars 1st series win on opening weekend since 2011
•  WSU swept a 4-game series at Dixie State week 2, its 1st 4-game road series sweep since 1993 (Hawaii-Hilo)
•  WSU opened with 2 straight series wins for the 1st time since 2011 and on the road for the 1st time since 1999
•  WSU took 2 of 3 from Seattle U week 3 to open the season with 3 straight series wins for 1st time since 2008 
•  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)

INDIVIDUAL
•  Brian Green is in his 2nd season (18-9 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 had 27-game hitting streak snapped March 7 against Seattle U (2nd-longest in WSU history)
•  During his 27-game hitting streak, Manzardo hit .390 (48-123) with 36 runs, 12 2B, 8 HR and 37 RBI
•  RHP Zane Mills was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week March 9 after 8 IP, 7 K, 0 ER against Seattle U
•  OF Collin Montez entered the week 2nd in Pac-12 in on-base pct. (.549), 3rd in hitting (.410), tied for 6th in HR (3)

INSIDE THE NUMBERS
10,000,000 - A $10 million baseball clubhouse facility is complete, Project: BTO (Back To Omaha)
36 - Kyle Manzardo entered the week with a 36-game on-base streak, 4th-longest in WSU history
27 - Manzardo had his 27-game hitting streak snapped in WSU's last game March 7, 2nd-longest in WSU history
20 - Manzardo's 20 RBI, entering the week leads Pac-12 hitters
12 - WSU entered the week tied for fourth in the Pac-12 with 12 home runs
10.6 - WSU's pitching staff entered the week second in the Pac-12 Conference with 10.6 strikeouts/9 IP
9.5 - WSU entered the week averaging 9.5 runs-per-game, best in the Pac-12 and No.6 in the country
3 - WSU posted 3 wins in their last at-bats last season (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)
.809 - Kyle Manzardo's .809 slugging pct, entering the week leads Pac-12 hitters
.410 - Collin Montez' .410 batting avg, entering the week is third-best among Pac-12 hitters

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 176-131 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.