WSU Continues Road Trip With Two Games at UNLV
WASHINGTON STATE (11-4, 1-2 Pac-12) at UNLV (7-3, 6-3 Mountain West)
Las Vegas, Nev. | Earl E. Wilson Stadium | March 23-24, 2021
Tuesday, 12:05 p.m. | Wednesday, 12:05 p.m.
Grant Taylor | So. | RHP | 3 APP, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 3 K, 3.1 IP (2020) vs. Josh Sharman | Fr. | LHP | 0-1, 2.37 ERA, 5 K, 19.0 IP
TBA vs. Noah Beal | Fr. | RHP | 0-0, 8.44 ERA, 2 K, 5.1 IP
WSU CONTINUES ROAD TRIP WITH TWO-GAME SET AT UNLV
Washington State continues its 12-day road trip with a two-game set at UNLV Tuesday and Wednesday.
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.
The Cougars will wrap up their nine-game road trip with a weekend series at No. 16 Arizona State in Tempe, Ariz.
ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE
The Cougars are off to an 11-4 start, matching their best start since 2010 after beating Portland 6-4 in Portland last Wednesday but dropped two of three at No. 18 Oregon State last weekend. Offensively, WSU is led by senior outfielder Collin Montez' .386 batting average, fifth among Pac-12 hitters, while preseason All-American junior first baseman Kyle Manzardo paces the club with 24 hits, is third in the Pac-12 with six home runs and leads the league with 22 RBI. Junior righthander Zane Mills paces the pitching with a 3-1 mark and 26 strikeouts. Head coach Brian Green is in his second season at WSU and owns a 178-133 career record (7 seasons) including a 20-11 mark at WSU.
COUGAR QUICK HITS
• WSU is 11-4 for the first time since 2010, won its conference opener (5-2 at Oregon State) for 1st time since 2013
• WSU recorded its 1st win against Oregon State since 2016 and 1st win in Corvallis since 2013
• 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 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+
• Brian Green is in his 2nd season (2011 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 enters the week 3rd in the Pac-12 in runs scored (20), 5th in hitting (.386) and 6th in HR (4)
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.
UNLV enters the week with a 7-3 overall record and had its series against San Jose State postponed last weekend following Covid-19 issues within the SJSU program. The Rebels last contest was a 10-9 victory at No. 11 Arizona State last Tuesday. UNLV has won the last two meetings against Washington State and leads the all-time series 11-9 after taking both games of a two-game set in Las Vegas in 2019. The Cougars are 7-9 all-time in Las Vegas and are looking for their first win in the series since 2012.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
10,000,000 - A $10 million baseball clubhouse facility is complete, Project: BTO (Back To Omaha)
40 - Kyle Manzardo enters the week with a 40-game on-base streak, 2nd-longest in WSU history
27 - Manzardo had his 27-game hitting streak snapped March 7 against Seattle U, 2nd-longest in WSU history
22 - Manzardo enters the week leading the Pac-12 with 22 RBI
17 - WSU enters the week tied for 4th in the Pac-12 with 17 home runs
10.6 - WSU's pitching staff enters the week leading the Pac-12 Conference with 10.6 strikeouts/9 IP
8.5 - WSU enters the week averaging 8.5 runs-per-game, 2nd in the Pac-12 and No. 14 in the country
.475 - WSU enters the week leading the Pac-12 with a.475 slugging pct
.307 - WSU enters the week leading the Pac-12 with a.307 team batting average, good for No. 13 in the country
EARLY MARCH ROAD TRIP TO SEATTLE POSTPONED
Due to COVID-19 protocol developments within the Washington State baseball program, the Cougars four-game road trip to Seattle to face Seattle U and Washington March 11-13 was postponed. WSU will work to reschedule the games for a later date.
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
178 - Green owns a 178-133 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.