Road Trip Continues With Series Against LIU in Arizona
LIU (2-2, 0-0 Northeast) vs. WASHINGTON STATE (2-2, 0-0 Pac-12)
Peoria, Ariz. | Peoria Sports Complex | Feb. 24-26, 2022
Thursday, Noon (PT) | Friday, DH, 1 p.m. (PT) | Saturday, Noon (PT)
TICKETS | $2 Tickets (General Admission), Free (13U or Peoria Residents)
ROAD TRIP CONTINUES WITH SERIES AGAINST LIU IN ARIZONA
Washington State continues its season-opening eight-game road trip by hosting a four-game series with Long Island University (LIU) at the Peoria Sports Complex, the spring training home of the Seattle Mariners. All four games will be played at the main stadium. Thursday's opener is set for Noon (PT), Friday's doubleheader will start at 1 p.m. (PT) and Saturday's finale is scheduled for a Noon (PT) start.
WSU continues its road stretch with four games in the state of Texas next week. The Cougars head to Tarleton State for a Wednesday matchup before heading to the Frisco College Baseball Classic in Frisco, Texas to face Texas A&M, Wichita State and Iowa.
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 at the baseball schedule page on wsucougars.com.
ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE
Washington State enters week two with a 2-2 record after splitting a four-game series at Hawaii last weekend. Bryce Matthews leads the team with a .417 batting average to go along with two doubles and one home run while Kodie Kolden and Collin Montez share the Pac-12 Conference lead with six walks. The Cougars returned seven starters from a lineup that finished the 2021 season second in the league in hitting (.302), third in scoring (7.2 r/g) and led the Pac-12 with 74 doubles during conference play. Third-year head coach Brian Green guided the Cougars to a 26-23 overall record last season, their first winning season since 2015, after recording conference series wins at Utah, at California, No. 8 Oregon and Washington to post a 13-17 mark in Pac-12 play, the most conference wins since 2014. Washington State signed its second-straight nationally-ranked recruiting class including the top-ranked junior college class in the country according to JBB. Green owns a 195-154-1 career mark in seven-plus seasons including a 37-32 record in his third season at WSU.
Long Island (LIU) enters the week with a 2-2 mark after opening the season with four games in North Carolina, beating Northeastern opening day, split a doubleheader with Penn State Saturday and dropped a contest to Monmouth Sunday. LIU went 20-15 last season including an 18-11 mark in Northeast Conference play. This will be the first meeting between the two programs.
2021 RECRUITING CLASS RANKED AMONG NATION'S BEST
For the second straight year, WSU Baseball saw its incoming signing class ranked among the nation's best recruiting classes after Collegiate Baseball rated WSU's incoming 2021 class No. 40 in the country. The class, which begins his first season on the field, was the seventh-best class in the Pac-12 Conference ahead of Arizona State (42), Washington (43), California and Utah and also ahead of notable schools Michigan (41), UC Santa Barbara (48), Nebraska, Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine and Gonzaga. The 2021 Cougar class also features the top-rated junior college class according to JBB Baseball.
WSU, BRIAN GREEN AGREE TO CONTRACT EXTENSION THROUGH 2026
WSU Director of Athletics Pat Chun announced in September that Brian Green has signed a contract extension through the 2026 season. Green's initial contract was a five-year contract signed in 2019. In just his second year leading the Cougars, 2021 saw Green guide WSU to its first winning season (26-23) since 2015, tie for the most road wins (16) by any Power-5 Conference team and record the most Pac-12 Conference wins (13) since 2014. In the classroom, Green saw his team post a program-record 3.09 GPA in the 2020 fall semester as 30 players recorded a GPA of 3.0 or higher and 17 players earned Pac-12 Spring Academic Honor Roll honors. Green also signed his second-straight nationally ranked recruiting class for the 2022 season, including the best junior college class in the country according to JBB baseball. Also in 2021, Green served as the West Region representative on the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) All-American Committee. "We respect the history and tradition of our Cougar Baseball program and the responsibility we have to uphold it," said Chun. "Over the past two years, Coach Brian Green has rekindled the passion and pride Cougs have for our baseball program. We are fortunate to have Coach Green and look forward to having him lead our program for many years to come."
INSIDE THE NUMBERS
10,000,000 - A $10 million baseball clubhouse facility is complete, Project: BTO (Back To Omaha)
437 - WSU's pitching staff tallied 437 strikeouts in 2021, the second-most in program history (2009 - 453)
101 - WSU was 3rd in the Pac-12 with 101 extra bases hits in conference play (22 HR, 74 2B, 5 3B)
115 - WSU was 3rd in the Pac-12 with 115 doubles, No. 21 in the country and most by a WSU club since 2010
74 - WSU led the Pac-12 with 74 doubles in conference play
43 - WSU's 43 home runs in 49 games were the most since 2010
17 - WSU had 17 selections to the 2021 Pac-12 Spring Academic Honor Roll (3.3 GPA or higher)
14 - WSU's 14 games scoring 10+ runs is the most by a Cougar team since 2010 (14)
7.2 - WSU averaged 7.2 runs-per-game, 3rd in the Pac-12 and No. 29 in the country
.454 - WSU's .454 slugging pct. was the ninth-best in program history, best since 1999
.386 - WSU's .386 on-base pct. was the best team on-base pct. since 2006
.302 - WSU's team batting average (.302) was 2nd in the Pac-12, No. 19 in the country and best since 2008
COUGS NOTCH NOTABLE WINS IN 2021
• WSU took 2 of 3 from Washington in Pullman to close the season and notch 1st Apple Cup series win since 2017
• WSU took 2 of 3 from No. 8 Oregon in Pullman to post 1st series win over Top-10 team since 2016 (No. 10 OSU)
• WSU took 2 of 3 at Cal in late April 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
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, WSU posted its highest semester team GPA (3.14) in program history after 31 players posted a 3.0 GPA or better in the semester. WSU has set program records for team GPA in three straight fall semesters. The 3.14 mark broke the 3.09 record set in the 2020 fall semester with broke the record of 3.05 set in the fall of 2019.
- WSU does 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.
- In January of 2020, WSU gathered at a local elementary school and helped the Whitman County Special Olympics with basketball practice.
- This past summer, WSU partnered with WSU ROAR to host a Lentil Cookoff. WSU ROAR is a two-year postsecondary education program for students with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
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.
BRIAN GREEN BY THE NUMBERS
6,000 - Green's NMSU program volunteered over 6,000 hours of community service in his 5 years
2019 - Led New Mexico State to a Western Athletic Conference Regular-Season Championship in 2019
2018 - Led New Mexico State to an NCAA Regional appearance in 2018
2014 - Green recruited and coached 2014 Golden Spikes Award Winner AJ Reed at Kentucky, John Olerud Award
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
17 - Named the 17th baseball coach in Washington State history June 3, 2019
11 - Has coached 11 All-Americans including two-time selection Kyle Manzardo the last two seasons
4 - Coached 4 seasons at UCLA (2005-08), coached San Francisco Giant SS Brandon Crawford at UCLA
1st - WSU beat CSU Bakersfield 5-2 in the 2020 season-opener for Brian Green's 1st career win as a Coug
.356 - In 2019, NMSU led the country in batting avg, runs, runs/g, hits, triples, on-base pct and slugging
RV TAILGATE PROGRAM ADDED TO BAILEY-BRAYTON FIELD FOR 2022
Cougar Baseball announced the addition of a Cougar Baseball RV Tailgate program for 2022. RV Parking and Tailgating will highlight the gameday experience at Bailey-Brayton Field and will be located behind the right field fence next to the Outdoor Tennis Center. Washington State is now accepting deposits for new season tickets for the 2022 baseball season. For the 2022 season, we will be offering general admission down the 1st and 3rd baseline as well as reserved seating behind home plate. Current season ticket holders do not need to place a deposit and will have first right to the reserved seating locations. Please contact the WSU Athletic Ticket Office at 1-800-GO-COUGS for season ticket information and/or to secure an RV pass for the season, or select series.
THREE COUGARS SELECTED IN MLB DRAFT
Washington State saw threee players selected in the 2021 Major League Baseball Draft in July. Two-time All-American first baseman Kyle Manzardo was selected in the second round by the Tampa Bay Rays, pitcher Zane Mills was selected in the fourth round by the St. Louis Cardinals and pitcher Brandon White was selected in the 12th round by the Miami Marlins. Manzardo, taken as the No. 63 overall pick, is the highest draft pick for the Cougars since Scott Hatteberg was selected in the first round compensation round and No. 43 overall in 1991. Mills, taken as the No. 120 overall pick, is the highest Cougar pitcher drafted since Adam Conley was taken in the second round and No. 72 overall by the Florida Marlins in 2011. Manzardo and Mills are the first set of Cougar teammates drafted in the first four rounds of the same draft since Aaron Sele and Scott Hatteberg were both taken in the first round of the 1991 draft. White, taken as the No. 359 overall pick, marked the first time WSU has had three players drafted in the first 12 rounds since 1977. All three players signed professional contracts.
MANZARDO EARNENED ALL-AMERICA, ALL-Region HONORs
First baseman Kyle Manzardo was named to the 2021 All-America First Team by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and to the All-America Third Team by the American Baseball Coaches Association and Perfect Game. Manzardo was also named to the ABCA/Rawlings ABCA All-West Region First Team. Manzardo, who also earned All-Pac-12 honors, was WSU's first All-American first-team selection since pitcher Aaron Sele in 1990 and was the first position player to earn All-American first-team honors since John Olerud in 1988. Manzardo is just the second Cougar to be a two-time All-American, joining Phil Westerndorf (1975, 1977), after earning third-team honors in 2020. Manzardo finished the regular season fourth in the Pac-12 Conference in hitting (.365), third in slugging (.640), second in RBI (60), tied for third in doubles (19), tied for ninth in home runs (11) and fourth in total bases (126). The junior from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho became the first Coug to record 60 RBI since Jim Murphy had 61 in 2008.
THREE COUGS RECEIVE ALL-PAC-12 ACCOLADES
First baseman Kyle Manzardo, designated hitter Tristan Peterson and catcher Jake Meyer each earned All-Pac-12 Conference honors. Manzardo and Peterson were both named to the All-Pac-12 team while Meyer earned honorable mention. Manzardo and Peterson were the first set of teammates to earn All-Pac-12 honors in the same season since pitchers Ian Hamilton and Joe Pistorese in 2015 while Meyer was the first Cougar catcher to earn all-league honors since Collin Slaybaugh also earned honorable mention in 2013.
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. Olerud went 26-4 overall with a 3.17 ERA over 241.1 innings during his three seasons, hitting .434. 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.