March 13, 2006
PULLMAN, Wash. -
A QUICK LOOK AT THE JOHNNY QUIK FIELD: The Cougars spend their spring break competing at the Johnny Quick Classic, hosted by Fresno State University at Fresno, Calif...In addition to WSU and Fresno State (13-8), other teams competing include Binghampton (1-2-1), Bucknell (3-5), Gonzaga (11-7), Lafayette (3-4) and Miami, OH (3-6)...the tournament marks the first-ever meeting against Binghampton, Bucknell, Lafayette and Miami, OH...The Cougars are 173-84-1 against Gonzaga all-time, including a 1-1 mark this season, and 9-14 against Fresno State.
CHICAGO STATE RECAP: WSU took two of three from Chicago State last week...The Cougars took the opener, 20-4, before dropping a 6-5 contest in Game 1 Thursday's doubleheader...WSU finished strong, posting a 8-0 shutout to close the series...In that final game WSU starter Mike Wagner had his best outing this season, retiring all 15 batters he faced, including 10 by strikeout...Wagner fanned the first seven batters of the game and allowed just one ball out of the infield...Jared Prince hit ..583 on the series with a team-high seven RBIs, while Jay Miller batted .429.
COUGARS PREPARE FOR PACIFIC-10 CONFERENCE PLAY: Following this week's play at the Johnny Quik Classic, WSU heads home to begin preparations for the 2006 conference schedule...WSU opens Pac-10 play at Stanford with a three-game series set for March 25-27...the Cougars were swept by the Cardinal last season...WSU opens its home conference schedule March 30 with the start of a three-game series against Arizona State.
MILLER CLIMBING CAREER HITS CHART: Following a 2005 season in which he led the Cougars with 74 hits, senior Jay Miller broke into the school's Top 10 career list with 219 hits...the senior from Bellevue has picked up right where he left off ...he currently has 255 career hits, tied for fifth on the Cougar list with Ray Hattenburg (1997-00)...the pair trail No. 4 Greg Hunter by eight hits...Miller averaged 73 hits per season in his first three years, which if he continues that pace will place him second all-time...Miller needs 55 more hits to tie all-time leader Mike Kinkade's (1992-95) mark of 304, the only Cougar to break 300 career hits.
WSU CAREER HITS LIST
1. Mike Kinkade ('92-95) 304
2. Shawn Stevenson ('97-00) 273
3. Jim Connor ('87-90) 271
4. Greg Hunter ('87-90) 263
5. Jay Miller ('03-06) 255
5. Ray Hattenburg ('97-00) 255
PRINCE CONTINUES IMPRESSIVE DEBUT: Jared Prince continues his impressive debut in a Cougar uniform...the freshman from Poulsbo, Wash., is hitting .450 (27-for-60) with eight doubles, 15 runs and 18 RBIs as the Cougar right fielder...last Tuesday he earned his second start on the mound, going 4.0 innings against Chicago State...he allowed four hits while striking out four against no walks as his record improved to 2-0 this season.
WAGNER ON THE MARK: Junior righthander Mike Wagner was at his best last Thursday in the second game against Chicago State...coming off an outing where he allowed four runs on six hits in 4.2 innings against Gonzaga, Wagner found his groove against Chicago State...he retired all 15 batters he faced before leaving after five innings...he fanned the first seven batters and finished with a Cougar season-high 10 strikeouts, allowing just one ball out of the infield.
WSU LEADS PAC-10 PITCHERS: After a one-week absence, the Cougar pitching staff is back on top of the Pac-10 ERA race...the Cougar staff ERA of 3.26 almost a quarter run better than second place Oregon State (3.49)...WSU led all Pac-10 teams in ERA in each of the first three weeks then slipped to No. 3 last week...junior Nick Ison is second in ERA (1.80) and opposing batting average (.174), while tied for the lead in fewest runs allowed (6).
COUGS AMONG CONFERENCE LEADERS: Offensively, WSU is third in the Pac-10 in hitting with a .321 average...the Cougs lead the conference in runs scored (171), doubles (49), hit by pitch (45), stolen bases (43) and attempts (55), while ranking second in slugging (.464) and on base percentage (.412)...freshman Jared Prince leads the Pac-10 in hitting (.450) while Jay Miller is third at .434...Miller also leads in doubles (15) and is second in total bases (51).
DOUBLE YOUR PLEASURE: In addition to his climbing the career hits list, senior Jay Miller is rapidly approaching the record for career doubles...entering the season 11th on the all-time WSU list, Miller has quickly moved up to 3rd on the charts as he has connected for 15 doubles in his first 36 hits...Miller now has 61 career doubles, four shy of second place Tad Thompson...below is a list of the top three doubles hitters in WSU history:
WSU CAREER DOUBLES LIST
1. Mike Kinkade ('92-95) 75
2. Tad Thompson ('89-92) 65
3. Jay Miller ('03-06) 61
NATION TAKING NOTICE: In a Baseball America notebook item by Will Kimmey recapping last weekend's action, WSU made it into the national spotlight...the item says while last year Oregon State was the nation's best feel-good story, the best team in the Northwest may be the Cougars...according to Kimmey, "Washington State hasn't taken strides after going 21-37 in coach Donnie Marbut's first year--these are more like leaps. Marbut and his staff overhauled the roster thanks to hard-working recruiting efforts, and the new faces have meshed well with the holdovers."
TOURNAMENT MADNESS: After playing in just one tournament last season, the Cougars compete in four during the 2006 schedule...WSU opened at the Charleston Southern tournament, taking 3-of-4 games, including a win over No. 10 Missouri in the championship game ...WSU made it 2-for-2 in this season, sweeping all four games at the River City Classic at Sacramento, Calif...two weeks ago WSU earned a share of the Banana Belt Tournament, going 3-1...the Cougars spend this weeks Spring Break in Fresno, Calif. at the Johnny Quik Classic, hosted by Fresno State.