March 6, 2008
THIS WEEKEND: Washington State (7-1) hosts Mid-American Conference member Kent State (2-5) in a four-game series Friday, March 7-Sunday, March 9 at Bailey-Brayton Field...a doubleheader is scheduled to begin at noon Friday with single games Saturday and Sunday at noon...all four games will have live stats free of charge on www.wsucougars.com and will be available via video streaming for Cougar All-Access subscribers.
SERIES AGAINST THE GOLDEN FLASHES: Washington State defeated Kent State 7-3, March 3, 2002 at the Troy State Wireless Classic in the only meeting between the schools...Brandon Hundt picked up the win for the Cougars with six innings of two-run ball while striking out 11...Garrett Alwert earned the save working the final three frames...shortstop Derek Bruce was 4-for-4 with four runs scored and outfielder Evan Hecker added three hits.
ABOUT KENT STATE: The Golden Flashes are 2-5...Greg Rohan leads the team in batting average (.400), home runs (two), RBI (fi ve, tied with Brad Winter), slugging percentage (.867) and on-base percentage (.471)...Brad Stillings, Saturday's scheduled starter, has a 0.75 ERA in two starts this season.
WSU AGAINST THE MAC: The Cougars are 1-1 against the Mid-American Conference...defeated Kent State 7-3 in Troy, Ala., during the 2002 season and lost to Miami (Ohio) 9-7 in Fresno, Calif., during the 2006 campaign.
HOT START: At 7-1, Washington State is off to its best start since 1993 (7-1)...Cougars seek their best record through nine games in a season since 1988 (9-0)...WSU is on a seven-game winning streak...has not won eight straight since April 20-29, 1997...last time Cougars won nine in a row was March 15-31, 1993.
HIT PARADE: The Cougars are batting .363 as a team, best among Pac-10 schools...WSU leads the conference in hits (109), on-base percentage (.444), runs (72), RBI (68),total bases (167) and triples (nine).
COUGAR BULLPEN: The Washington State bullpen is 4-0 with two saves and a 1.89 earned run average this season...logged 23-consecutive innings (Feb. 23-March 1) without giving up an earned run...Seth Harvey, Ross Humes and Steve Kost share the Pacific-10 Conference lead with fi ve appearances each...Michael Ratigan has two victories in three appearances...Humes (two saves), Kost (1-0), and Ratigan all have a 0.00 ERA.
HOME SWEET HOME: WSU has won its last 15 nonconference series in Pullman, including all 10 under Donnie Marbut...Cougars have won 33 of 45 games during those series, including a 22-8 mark with Marbut at the helm...last nonconference series loss was March 25-26, 2002 when Washington swept two games...last series lost to a nonconference opponent was May 12-14, 2000 when Cal State Northridge won two of three...this season, the Cougars went 2-1 against 2007 NCAA regional participant Creighton and swept a three-game series against Wright State (Feb. 29-March 2)...host San Jose State (April 25-27) in three-game series as well as 2007 NCAA regional partcipant Kent State (March 7-9) and UC Davis (April 4-6) in four-game sets.
PROTECTING LEADS: In the Donnie Marbut era, a late lead for the Cougars is likely safe...Cougars are 79-8 (.908 winning percentage) when holding an advantage after six innings during Marbut's tenure (2005-present)...Washington State is 82-5 (.943) when leading after seven innings and 86-3 (.966) when holding an advantage after eight innings... over the last 10 seasons, the Cougars are 199-26 (.884) leading after six innings, 201-20 (.910) leading after seven innings, and 205-10 (.953) taking an advantage into the ninth inning.
COUGARS RECEIVING VOTES: Washington State is among the schools receiving votes in the USA Today/ESPN top 25 poll released March 3...the Pac-10 is well represented with No. 1 Arizona State, No. 3 Arizona, No. 12 UCLA, No. 20 Oregon State and No. 25 Stanford ranked and California and USC joining the Cougars in the receiving votes section. CONSECUTIVE WINNING SEASONS: In 2008, Washington State seeks its third-straight winning season, something the Cougars have not accomplished since 1994 when a 35-26 record capped a run of 37-consecutive campaigns with a mark above .500.
MARBUT VICTORIES: Entering 2008, Washington State Head Coach Donnie Marbut recorded 85 wins on the Palouse, the most by a Cougar mentor during his first three seasons in Pullman...Aberdeen native currently has 92 victories and needs 15 more in 2008 to surpass Bobo Brayton's school-record total of 106 by a Cougar coach in his fi rst four seasons at WSU.
COUGAR DRAFT PICKS: The 2008 Washington State team features three student-athletes who have been selected in the Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft...senior infielder Paul Gran was taken in the 30th round by the Los Angeles Dodgers out of Bothell High School in 2004...Gran turned down the Dodgers' offer and attended Edmonds Community College for one season before transferring to WSU...Southridge High School (Kennewick) product Chad Arnold, a redshirt-freshman right-handed pitcher, was a 36th-round pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2006 and freshman utility player Eric Maupin, the 2007 Nevada State Co-Player of the Year at Reno's Galena High School, was a 48th-round selection by the Seattle Mariners last summer...both Arnold and Maupin chose WSU over a professional contract.
WSU ON THE INTERNET: For the latest information about Cougar baseball, log onto the offi cial site of Washington State University Athletics, www.wsucougars.com...live stats are provided for all Cougar home games as well as the majority of WSU road games...all Cougar games in Pullman will be available via live video streaming for Cougar All-Access subscribers.
COUGARS ON THE RADIO: The fi nal 45 games of the 2008 Washington State baseball season will be broadcast on KQQQ 1150 AM beginning with the March 9 home outing against Kent State at noon...longtime broadcaster Steve Grubbs provides the play-by-play for the fourth season.
SEASON PROMOTIONS: In 2008, Cougar fans will have the opportunity to enjoy season-long promotions at Bailey-Brayton Field...during the fi rst game of a home series, fans can play baseball bingo...fi rst 100 fans in attendance at the second game of a home series or doubleheader will receive WSU baseball cards...fans can collect the set throughout the season...after the fi nal game of a Cougar home series, kids can run the bases with WSU mascot Butch and the Cougar team will take part in an autograph session...at every Friday home game, Washington State faculty and staff are admitted free with a staff identification card...new this season is a promotion that admits fans for $1 to any home game if the temperature drops below 35 degrees.