Cougars Host No. 8 Oregon For Weekend Series
No. 8 OREGON at WASHINGTON STATE
Pullman, Wash. | Bailey-Brayton Field | April 30 - May 2, 2021
Friday, 6:05 p.m. | Saturday, 2:05 p.m. | Sunday, 12:05 p.m.
Robert Ahlstrom | Jr. | LHP | 3-3, 2.70 ERA, 47 K, 50.0 IP vs. Brandon White | Jr. | RHP | 5-2, 4.84 ERA, 47 K, 48.1 IP
Cullen Kafka | Jr. | RHP | 4-1, 2.55 ERA, 63 K, 49.1 IP vs. Zane Mills | Jr. | RHP | 4-3, 3.81 ERA, 65 K, 59.0 IP
Brett Walker | Jr. | RHP | 4-1, 3.67 ERA, 39 K, 49.0 IP vs. TBA
COUGARS HOST NO. 8 OREGON FOR WEEKEND SERIES
Washington State (19-16, 7-11 Pac-12) welcomes No. 8 Oregon (26-9, 10-5 Pac-12) to Bailey-Brayton Field for a weekend series beginning Friday.
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, webstreams and radio streams will be available on the baseball schedule page at wsucougars.com.
The Cougars continue their eight-game homestand with a Wednesday matchup against Seattle U.
LIMITED GUESTS ALLOWED AT BAILEY-BRAYTON
In accordance with Whitman County's change to Phase 2 of the State of Washington guidelines, Washington State Athletics home events will be without fans until further notice. A limited number of player/coach guests will be permitted in certain venues.
ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE (Player Notes Pages 7-17)
Washington State enters the weekend with a 19-16 overall record after dropping a 7-5 contest at No. 21 Gonzaga Tuesday and a 7-11 mark in Pac-12 Conference play after taking two of three at California last weekend. The Cougars have won their last two conference road series, at Utah and Cal, for the first time since 2015. WSU enter is second in the league in hitting (.296) and doubles (82), and are led by preseason All-American junior first baseman Kyle Manzardo who owns a .355 batting average, is tied for third with 14 doubles and third with 39 RBI. Two-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week Zane Mills leads the league with 59.0 innings and is third with 65 strikeouts. Head coach Brian Green owns a 28-23 record in his second season at WSU and owns a 186-145 career record (7 years).
COUGAR QUICK HITS
• WSU enters the week 2nd in the Pac-12 in hitting (.296) and doubles (82), 4th in scoring (7.1)
• WSU's 4-3 win last Sunday in Berkeley gave the Cougars their first series win over Cal since 2015
• WSU posted a series win at Utah, its first Pac-12 road series win since 2017
• 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 at WSU (26-21) 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)
• Manzardo enters the weekend 3rd in the Pac-12 in RBI (39), 8th in HR (8), tied for 3rd in doubles (14)
• RHP Zane Mills earned his 2nd Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week after his CG win at Cal last Saturday (10 K)
• OF Collin Montez enters the weekend tied for 5th in the Pac-12 in runs (36), tied for 12th in Extra-Base Hits (15)
• SS Kodie Kolden was named to the Brooks Wallace Award Watch List, given to top collegiate shortstop
Oregon enters the weekend ranked as high as No. 8 in the USA Today Coaches Top-25 Poll with a 26-9 overall record after sweeping a two-game set at home against San Jose State Tuesday and Wednesday and own a 10-5 Pac-12 Conference mark after taking two of three from UCLA in Eugene last weekend. WSU leads the all-time series with Oregon 154-131-1 but have dropped the last two series with the Ducks. Washington State is looking for its first series win against Oregon since 2017 in Pullman. The Cougars own an 86-59 mark against Oregon in Pullman with the Ducks taking two of three in the 2019 series played in Pullman.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
10,000,000 - A $10 million baseball clubhouse facility is complete, Project: BTO (Back To Omaha)
117 - WSU enters the weekend 3rd in the Pac-12 with 117 extra bases hits (26 HR, 82 2B, 9 3B)
82 - WSU enters the weekend 2nd in the Pac-12 with 82 doubles, No. 11 in the country
47 - WSU enters the weekend leading the Pac-12 wiht 47 doubles in conference play
43 - Kyle Manzardo had his WSU record 43-game on-base streak snapped in the series opener against Stanford
39 - Manzardo enters the week 3rd in the Pac-12 with a team-high 39 RBI, No. 39 in the country
29 - WSU's 2020 recruiting class was rated No. 29 in the country according to Collegiate Baseball, 6th-best in the Pac-12 Conference, ahead of Oregon State, Oregon, California and Washington
27 - Manzardo had his 27-game hitting streak snapped March 7 against Seattle U, 2nd-longest in WSU history
17 - Brandon White retired the 17 batters he faced in the win at No. 18 Oregon State March 19, 7 IP, 7 K, 1 ER, W
9.6 - WSU's pitching staff enters the weekend 3rd in the Pac-12 with 9.6 strikeouts/9 IP (OSU, UCLA)
7.1 - WSU enters the weekend averaging 7.1 runs-per-game, 3rd in the Pac-12 and No. 42 in the country
COUGS POST NOTABLE WINS IN 2021
• WSU took 2 of 3 at Cal last weekend to post its 1st series win against the Golden Bears since 2015
• WSU took 2 of 3 at Utah to post its 1st Pac-12 road series win since 2017
• WSU beat No. 24 Stanford with 10-9 walkoff HBP in 10 innings (4/2), WSU's 1st win in the series since 2016
• WSU recorded its 1st win against Oregon State (3/19) since 2016 and 1st win in Corvallis since 2013
• WSU's 5-2 win at No. 18 Oregon State (3/19) gave WSU an 11-2 record for the 1st time since 2006
• WSU won its conference opener (5-2 at Oregon State) for 1st time since 2013
• 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 swept a 4-game series at Dixie State week 2, its 1st 4-game road series sweep since 1993 (Hawaii-Hilo)
• WSU opened 2021 by taking 3 of 4 at UC Davis, the Cougars 1st series win on opening weekend since 2011
ZANE MILLS EARNS SECOND PAC-12 PITCHER OF THE WEEK HONOR
Following his complete-game victory at California over the weekend, starting pitcher Zane Mills was named the Pac-12 Conference Pitcher of the Week. Mills picked up his second conference weekly accolade of the season after his complete-game win at California last Saturday, helping the Cougars to their first series-win in Berkeley since 2015. The junior righthander struck out 10 and allowed just two eighth-inning runs to earn the win and record WSU's first complete game effort since 2018. Mills retired the first eight hitters he faced before Cal reached on a fielding error in the third inning but Mills ended the frame with a ground ball comebacker. With one out in the fifth, Mills allowed the first hit of the afternoon but his next pitch was a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning. Mills was at his best in the ninth inning, opening the frame with a strikeout, allowed a one-out walk but struck out the next two hitters to seal up the win. Mills also earned Pac-12 honors following his 13-strikeout performance against Seattle U in March and is the first Cougar to earn multiple Pac-12 Player/Pitcher of the Week honors since Joe Pistorese was named Pitcher of the Week twice in 2015.
INSIDE THE 21-2 WIN OVER NO. 13 ARIZONA
Washington State posted a 21-2 win over No. 13 Arizona in the April 16 series-opener in Pullman.
• WSU's 21 runs tied for 9th-most in school history, and were most against a Pac-12 opponent since scoring 21 against Oregon State (5/5/02)
• WSU's 23 hits tied for the 6th-most in school history, was the most since recording 23 against Seattle (2/21/10)
• Jack Smith tied a career-high with 4 hits
Jacob McKeon, Justin Van De Brake, Jake Meyer, and Kyle Russell each added 3 hits
• WSU's 8 doubles tied for 2nd-most in school history and most against a conference opponent
• WSU's 10-run 2nd inning was the most scored in an inning since its 12-run 1st inning vs. Niagara last season
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. All costs were all covered through donor support.
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 and led the team with nine multiple-hit games.
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. 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
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, the 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
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.