Cougars Open Homestand Tuesday Against No. 11 Gonzaga
NO. 11 GONZAGA (25-11, 13-5 WCC) at WASHINGTON STATE (16-22, 7-14 Pac-12)
Bailey-Brayton Field | Pullman, Wash.
April 26, 2022 | Tuesday, 6:05 p.m.
COUGARS OPEN HOMESTAND TUESDAY AGAINST NO. 11 GONZAGA
Washington State opens a seven-game homestand Tuesday against No. 11 Gonzaga. First pitch is set for 6:05 p.m.
Links to live stats, webstreams and radio streams will be available on wsucougars.com.
WSU resumes Pac-12 Conference play hosting USC for a weekend series beginning Friday at 6:05 p.m.
ABOUT WASHINGTON STATE
Washington State enters the week with a 16-22 overall record and 7-14 in Pac-12 Conference play after taking two of three at No. 10 Oregon last weekend. Jack Smith enters the week fourth in the Pac-12 with a .368 batting average along with team-highs in hits (50), doubles (11) and RBI (27) while Jacob McKeon leads the team with 14 extra-base hits. Brian Green owns a 209-174-1 career mark in his eighth season including a 50-52 record in his third season at WSU. The win over Texas A&M March 3 at the Frisco Classic was career win No. 200.
COUGAR QUICK HITS
• WSU took 2 of 3 at No. 10 Oregon last weekend, its 1st sereis win in Eugene 2012
• WSU owns road series wins over Top-10 teams (No. 9 Arizona, No. 10 Oregon), the 1st time in program history with two road series wins over Top-10 teams in a season
• WSU's series win at No. 9 Arizona was their 1st road series win over a Top-10 teams 2012 at No. 6/8 Oregon
• WSU's walkoff 9-8 win over No. 4 Oregon State March 13 was WSU's 1st win over a Top-5 team since 2014
• WSU set a program record for home-opening series attendance March 11-13 against No. 4 Oregon State (3,609)
• WSU's 11-6 win over Texas A&M at the Frisco Classic March 4 was its 1st win over an SEC team since 2012
• WSU posted a program-best 3.14 team GPA in the 2021 fall semester, WSU has set records last 3 semesters
• Jack Smith enters the weekend 4th in the Pac-12 with a .368 batting average, owns 22-game on-base streak
Gonzaga enters the week with a 25-11 overall record after taking two of three at Saint Mary's over the weekend. The Bulldogs are ranked as high as No. 11 in the latest Baseball America Top-25 poll. WSU leads the all-time series with Gonzaga 200-110-1 but the Bulldogs have won the last four meetings including a 12-0 win Spokane earlier this season.
JACOB MCKEON NAMED PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jacob McKeon was named the Pac-12 Conference Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday. McKeon helped the Cougars to a 3-1 road trip last week after beating Seattle U Wednesday and weekend series win at No. 10 Oregon. The Phoenix, native hit .529 (9-17) with three multiple-hit games, five extra-base-hits, two doubles, three home runs, four runs scored, 10 RBI and a 1.176 slugging percentage. McKeon drove in four runs in the win at Seattle U and homered in all three games of the series win at Oregon, WSU's first series win in Eugene 2012 and their second road series win over a Top-10 team in the last three weeks after taking two of three at No. 9 Arizona two weekends ago. It's the first time in program history with two road series wins over Top-10 teams.
RV TAILGATE PROGRAM ADDED TO BAILEY-BRAYTON FIELD FOR 2022
WSU 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 Indoor Practice Facility along the first base side. Washington State is 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.
JACK SMITH NAMED SENIOR CLASS AWARD CANDIDATE
Senior Jack Smith was one of 30 NCAA baseball student-athletes named candidates for the 2022 Senior CLASS Award. To be eligible for the award, a student-athlete must be classified as an NCAA Division I senior or graduate student and have notable achievements in four areas of excellence: community, classroom, character and competition. The complete list of candidates follows this release. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School®, the Senior CLASS Award focuses on the total student-athlete and encourages students to use their platform in athletics to make a positive impact as leaders in their communities. Smith is in his fifth season at WSU and is a three-time Pac-12 Conference Academic Honor Roll selection, earned his bachelor's degree in finance last spring and currently working on his master's in business administration. The Mercer Island, Wash. native was selected to the team's leadership council the past two years, has served on WSU's Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) and helped the Cougar Baseball program work with the Whitman County Special Olympics and WSU ROAR program. The 30 candidates will be narrowed to 10 finalists later in the season, and those 10 names will be placed on the official ballot. Ballots will be distributed through a nationwide voting system to media, coaches, and fans, who will select one candidate who best exemplifies excellence in the four C's of community, classroom, character, and competition.
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. "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."
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.
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
200th - Green recorded his 200th career win in WSU's 11-6 win over Texas A&M at the Frisco Classic
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
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.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS - 2021
437 - WSU's pitching staff tallied 437 strikeouts in 2021, the second-most in program history (2009 - 453)
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)
.454 - WSU's .454 slugging pct. was the ninth-best in program history, best since 1999
.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 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 swept a 4-game series at Dixie State week 2, its 1st 4-game road series sweep since 1993 (Hawaii-Hilo)
THREE COUGARS SELECTED IN MLB DRAFT
Washington State saw three 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.
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.