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Cougar Baseball Opens Spring Practice
Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 01/27/2012
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Jan. 27, 2012

PULLMAN, Wash. - With three weeks left until first pitch of the 2012 college baseball season, Washington State opened its spring practice at Bailey-Brayton Field, Friday.

The Cougars return 19 letterwinners from last season, including sluggers Taylor Ard and Derek Jones. The duo is among seven offensive starters back from the 2011 squad.

A redshirt-junior, Ard led the Pac-10 last season with 10 home runs and tied for the conference lead with 55 RBI while batting a team-leading .337. The first baseman was second in the Pac-10 with a .577 slugging percentage and tied for second in the conference with 17 doubles. He earned All-Pac-10 First Team honors and was named Rawlings/West Region Second Team by the American Baseball Coaches Association.

Jones is a senior who batted .275 with eight home runs and 33 RBI. The outfielder collected 11 doubles, two triples and scored 39 runs. In conference play, he batted .317 with 14 extra-base hits, including a team-best five home runs while driving in 18 runs. He received 2011 All-Pac-10 honorable mention and has 32-career home runs, eight shy of the school record held by Jeff Hooper.

Ard (Boston Red Sox) and Jones (Baltimore Orioles) were among five Cougars selected in the MLB First-Year Player Draft last summer. Both elected to postpone professional baseball for another season in Pullman.

Washington State travels to Mississippi State, Feb. 17-19 for a three-game, season-opening series. The Cougars begin the home portion of their schedule with a doubleheader against Nebraska-Omaha, Feb. 24. The twinbill is the start of a four-game series.

Washington State Cougars Baseball