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WSU Cougar Baseball Experiences Youth Movement in 1997
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 06/21/1999
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May 26, 1999

Scott Randall, the junior infielder from Bellingham, may indeed have felt like the grandfather of Washington State's youthful baseball team during the 13-42 campaign of 1997.

Playing on a team that boasted just two seniors, both of whom had never played for WSU previously, Randall stepped forward to earn All-Pacific-10 Conference first team honors while hitting .337 for the season and handling chores around second base like the veteran he really wasn't.

Randall's experience for WSU was limited to 13 at-bats and no hits in 21 games before the 1997 season got underway. Having played one year at Lower Columbia College in 1994 for Steve Farrington, Randall transferred to the Cougar program with Farrington in time for the 1995 season. After very limited playing time as a sophomore, he redshirted last year.

WSU's Casey Kelley tied for the lead in the Pac-10 North with his 12 home runs and also finished fourth in slugging percentage as WSU finished third in the league standings at 7-17.

Other Cougars who finished in the top 10 of Pac-10 North statistics include: Shawn Stevenson 7th/hits, 9th/stolen bases; Scott Randall 8th/runs, 7th/triples, 2nd/stolen bases; Steve Gleason 4th/triples, 6th/stolen bases; Steve Curran 9th/walks, 9th/hitting; Jason Hairston 6th/home runs, 9th/slugging percentage.

On the mound, WSU players in the top 10 included: Dave Wheeler 8th/ERA, 5th/innings pitched, 3rd/appearances, tie-1st/complete games, 6th/hits/9i, 10th/strikeouts/9i; Todd Meldahl 9th/ERA, 7th/appearances, 10th/hits/9i, 6th strikeouts/9i, 8th/strikeouts, 9th/walks/9i; Wade Parrish 10th/ERA, 9th strikeouts/9i,l8th/walks/9i; Todd Belitz 9th/innings pitched, 3rd/strikeouts/9i, 4th/strikeouts, 10th/walks/9i; Marcus Glaze 4th/appearances;

Yielding a productive bat, Randall took advantage of his first full season with the Cougars, hitting a team-leading .400 in 24 league games. He finished eighth in the league in runs scored, seventh in triples and second in stolen bases, testimonies to his versatility.

Seven Cougars hit over .300 during the 1997 campaign, four freshman, two sophomores and a pair of juniors. Steve Curran, Shawn Stevenson and Ray Hattenburg, all freshman, were the top three hitters on a club that hit .298 as a team after struggling at the plate for the first three weeks of the year.

Curran led the club at the plate with a .350 average, while Stevenson hit .345 and Hattenburg .339. Randall was next, followed by freshman Brad Philley (.333), sophomore Casey Kelley (.331) and Greg Mitchell (.300).

WSU's biggest problems during the past season came on the mound, where the team endured a 9.49 earned run average, 476 walks in 451 innings, plus 92 hit batters and 72 wild pitches.

Still, of WSU's top seven pitchers, only sophomores Dave Wheeler and Marcus Glaze had any Cougar experience before the year began. Wheeler, who led the league and WSU with three complete games, topped the Cougar squad with a 7.66 ERA and a 3-7 record with 69.1 innings of action, also tops among the WSU hurlers.

Transfer Mike Schneider, who fashioned a 3-0 record coming out of the bullpen to pitch 23.1 innings, had a 8.10 ERA. Freshman Todd Meldahl, 8.36, Glaze, 8.39, and freshman Wade Parrish, 9.00, saw plenty of mound duty for WSU, as did two other junior transfers, Burdette Greeny (9.00) and Shane Rice (10.13).

FOOTBALLERS ON THE DIAMOND?: Three members of WSU's baseball team, all outfielders, were also members of the Cougar football team during the 1997 season...they were Duane Stewart, Steve Gleason and Brad Philley...Stewart was with the diamond squad all season and did not participate in spring football drills, while Gleason and Philley split time between the two sports.

EXTRA BASE HITS: While WSU was out-hit 705-574 during the season, the Cougars did a good job rapping out extra base hits...despite 131 fewer hits than the opponents, WSU had just 24 fewer extra base hits...both WSU and the opponents hit 59 home runs, while WSU had five more triples than the opponents...WSU trailed in doubles by 29 over the 55-game season.

KELLEY GOES DEEP: Casey Kelley, who was hitting .268 late in the season, went on a tear over the final four weeks while raising his average to .331...the sophomore outfielder hit home runs in six straight games and closed out the year with 10 in the last 19 games.

HOT FINISHES: Steve Curran, 17 games into the season, was struggling at the plate with a .281 average and just nine hits...a 5-for-5 day against the LCSC Warriors got him on tracked and over the final 34 games of the 1997 season he hit .366 (48-131) to close at .350...Jason Hairston was going no where at the plate through WSU's first 25 games, hitting .182...in the last 20 games, however, he was on fire, hitting .373 (28-75) to finish at .276...in those last 20 games he had seven of his 10 home runs, six of his eight doubles and two of his three triples...Ray Hattenburg was WSU's most consistent hitter all season ...only once over the final 37 games did he go hitless in two straight games... Casey Kelley was hitting .268 through the first 32 games of the season...then, against LCSC April 16, he began a 14-game hitting streak and over the final 19 games of the year hit .385 to raise his average to .331 at the end of the year...Greg Mitchell raised his batting average from .172 24 games into the season to .300 by the end of the year...over the last 16 games, Mitchell hit .442 (23-42) and had hits in 14 of those contests...second baseman Scott Randall was especially hot over the last 19 games of the season, hitting .397 overall (29-73)... only one in those last 19 games did he not get a hit...Shawn Stevenson had just three errors and fielded at .970 over his final 19 games...he also hit .425 (34-80) during the final four weeks of the season.

STEVENSON DESERVED MORE: Shawn Stevenson, WSU's 133-pound freshman shortstop was a one-man wrecking crew over the final month of the 1997 season and probably deserved recognition on the All-Pac-10 team...he had a hit in each of his last 18 games and had 14 multiple-hit games during the last month...he hit .425 in the last 18 games (34-80) and committed just three errors, boasting a fielding percentage of .970 with 99 chances in those 18 games...the Coug infielder also yielded a strong bat in the closing weeks, collecting home runs against the top two teams in the league, Washington and OSU...all nine of his doubles and both of his triples also came in the final 18 games.

HITTING STREAKS: Freshman Shawn Stevenson closed out the year with WSU's best hitting streak, an 18-game stint broken only by a pinch running role that did not include an at-bat and thus did not break his streak... Casey Kelley held WSU's next longest hitting streak at 14 games, while Scott Randall had an 11-game string near the end of the year and also closed out the season with at least one hit in each of his last seven games.

WIN STREAK: WSU's eight-game win streak that was snapped by LCSC April 30 was the longest since the 1993 season when the Cougars won nine straight early in the year...twice during the 1994 season WSU won seven straight, while in both 1995 and 1996 the Cougars had five-game win streaks.

1997 WSU BASEBALL RESULTS
2/6 $   San Diego State     L   4-13
2/7 $   San Diego State     L   3-10
2/8 $   San Diego State     L   11-12
2/9 $   San Diego State     L   7-14
2/14    at  Pacific         L   0-4
2/15    at  Pacific         L   6-13
2/16    at  Pacific         W   9-7
2/17    at  CS-Sacramento   L   5-17
2/21    at  Texas A&M       L   2-13
2/22    at  Texas A&M       L   9-11
2/23    at  Texas A&M       L   1-3
2/24    at  Texas Christian L   8-9
2/27    #   NBI Canada      Exhib.  11-6
2/28    #   Oregon State    L   3-17
3/1 #   LCSC                L   2-7
3/1 #   Portland            L   6-8
3/2 #   Gonzaga             W  21-3
3/17    at  California (10i)L   6-7
3/18    at  Fresno State    L   2-10
3/9 at  Fresno State        L   4-9
3/21    at  LCSC            L   1-17
3/22        LCSC            L   9-14
3/23        LCSC            L   9-18
3/25        Gonzaga at PascoL  12-19
3/26        GONZAGA         [Rain Out
3/29        WSU ALUMNI      Exhib.  17-11
4/1     LCSC                L   4-5
4/2 at  Gonzaga             L   10-15
4/4 at  Oregon State        L   6-9
4/5 at  Oregon State        L   2-7
4/5 at  Oregon State        L  6-18
4/6 at  Oregon State        W   6-4
4/7     HAWAII-HILO         W   5-4
4/8     HAWAII-HILO         W   6-3
4/11        WASHINGTON      L   4-7
4/12        WASHINGTON      L  6-15
4/12        WASHINGTON      L   4-9
4/13        WASHINGTON      L  6-30
4/16        LCSC            L  1-19
4/18    at  PSU             L  9-13
4/19    at  PSU (DH)       Rain Out
4/20    at  PSU             L   2-4
4/20    at  PSU             W  13-5
4/22        WHITWORTH       W   8-5
4/25        PSU             W   15-6
4/25        PSU             W   9-5
4/26        PSU             W   9-2
4/26        PSU             W   12-10
4/27        PSU (11i)       W   13-12
4/29        GONZAGA         W   19-13
4/30    at  LCSC            L   4-16
5/2 at  Washington          L   4-14
5/3 at  Washington          L   10-14
5/3 at  Washington (7I)     L   3-11
5/4 at  Washington          L   6-16
5/9     OREGON STATE        L   8-18
5/10        OREGON STATE    L   4-20
5/10        OREGON STATE    L   1-6
5/11        OREGON STATE    L   12-14

5/15-17 Pac-10 Playoffs 5/22-25 NCAA Regionals 5/30-6/6 College World Series $ = Game played at Yuma, Ariz. # = Banana Belt Tournament, Lewiston, Idaho All Game Times Pacific Standard Time

WSU ON TV 8 TIMES: The WSU baseball team was on television eight times during the 1997 season, including two appearances as the Pac-10 game of the week...WSU tangled with Washington in Seattle in the Cougar's first Pac-10 Game of the Week appearance, then hosted Oregon State at the end of the season in the second live TV engagement...the other six TV appearances were on Fox Sports Northwest:
4/4  - WSU at OSU
4/13 - Wash. at WSU
4/25 - PSU at WSU
4/27 - PSU at WSU
5/3  - WSU at Washington
5/4  - WSU at Wash.
5/9  - OSU at WSU 
5/11 - OSU at WSU
COUGS STEAL BASES: The Cougs stole 65 bases in 1997, topped by Scott Randall's 17 in 22 attempts and Steve Gleason's 12 in 18 attempts... Shawn Stevenson has eight stolen bases and Ray Hattenburg six.

FROM THE BULLPEN: Marcus Glaze and Mike Schneider had two of WSU's four top ERA's, both in closing roles...Schneider, in 23.1 innings, allowed 26 runs, 21 of them earned, while posting an 8.10 ERA...Schneider, 3-0, picked up two of his wins against PSU...Glaze had an 8.39 ERA, throwing 24.2 innings....he gave up 33 runs, but 10 were unearned.

COUGS ON MLB ROSTERS: Five former WSU players are now toiling for Major League teams...they are (P) Aaron Sele (WSU '91) and (C) Scott Hatteberg ('91) with Boston, (1B) John Olerud ('89) with the New York Mets, (P) David Wainhouse with Pittsburgh and (P) Tom McGraw, recently called up by St. Louis from Louisville.

COUGS IN THE MINORS: Several Cougars are currently playing minor league ball, including the following: (Class AA) -- OF-Mike Kinkade, El Paso (Texas); (Class A-Advanced) -- P-Robert Ramsay, Sarasota (Boston); P-Chad Miles, Brevard County (Florida); SS-Jason Goligoski, High Desert (Arizona); (Class A) -- OF Rob Ryan, South Bend (Arizona); P-Kyle Kawabata, Piedmont (Philadelphia); OF Ken Cameron, Peoria (St. Louis); OF Jim Horner, Wisconsin (Seattle).

FOOTBALLERS ON THE TEAM: Three members of WSU's baseball team, all outfielders, were also members of the Cougar football team during the 1997 season...they were Duane Stewart, Steve Gleason and Brad Philley...Stewart was with the diamond squad all season and did not participate in spring football drills, while Gleason and Philley split time between the two sports...injuries hampered the play of all three late in the season...Philley was sidelined with a broken finger on his left hand...Gleason was slowed by a sore back and shoulder that forced him to the bench for a couple of weeks during spring football and drills and then late in the year...Stewart also had a sore back and missed playing time late in the year.

EXTRA BASE HITS: While WSU was out-hit 705-574 during the season, the Cougars did a good job rapping out extra base hits...despite 131 fewer hits than the opponents, WSU had just 24 fewer extra base hits...both WSU and the opponents hit 59 home runs, while WSU had five more triples than the opponents...WSU trailed in doubles by 29 over the 55-game season.

        HITS 2B  3B  HR
WSU     574 100  18  59
OPP     705 129  13  59

1997 PAC-10 NORTH STANDINGS PAC-10 OVERALL FINAL W L T W L T 1. Wash. 20 4 0 43 18 0 2. OSU 18 6 0 38 12 1 3. WSU 7 17 0 13 42 0 4. PSU 3 21 0 10 43 0

KELLEY GOES DEEP: Casey Kelley, who was hitting .268 late in the season, went on a tear over the final four weeks while raising his average to .331...the sophomore outfielder hit home runs in six straight games and closed out the year with 10 in the last 19 games... Kelley had seven of his 11 doubles, 10 of his 12 home runs and 24 of his 36 RBIs in the last 19 games while hitting .385 (30-78) during those 19 contests.

HOT FINISHES: Steve Curran, 17 games into the season, was struggling at the plate with a .281 average and just nine hits...a 5-for-5 day against the LCSC Warriors got him on tracked and over the final 34 games of the 1997 season he hit .366 (48-131) to close at .350...Steve Gleason, prior to the start of football drills in late March, hit .356 (26-73) in WSU's first 23 games...during football drills he hurt his back and missed several games, then injured a shoulder diving into first base...in his last 16 games after the start of football drills Gleason hit .154 and did not steal a base...all 12 of his stolen bases came in the first 23 games of the year...Jason Hairston was going no where at the plate through WSU's first 25 games, hitting .182...in the last 20 games, however, he was on fire, hitting .373 (28-75) to finish at .276...in those last 20 games he had seven of his 10 home runs, six of his eight doubles and two of his three triples...Ray Hattenburg was WSU's most consistent hitter all season ...only once over the final 37 games did he go hitless in two straight games... Casey Kelley was hitting .268 through the first 32 games of the season...then, against LCSC April 16, he began a 14-game hitting streak and over the final 19 games of the year hit .385 to raise his average to .331 at the end of the year...in those last 19 games he hit 10 of his 12 home runs and seven of his 11 doubles...he hit home runs in six straight games and drove home 24 of his 36 RBIs in those last 19 games...Greg Mitchell raised his batting average from .172 24 games into the season to .300 by the end of the year...over the last 16 games, Mitchell hit .442 (23-42) and had hits in 14 of those contests...second baseman Scott Randall, who was named to the All-Pac-10 North team after hitting .400 in league play, was especially hot over the last 19 games of the season, hitting .397 overall (29-73)... only one in those last 19 games did he not get a hit...Shawn Stevenson had just three errors and fielded at .970 over his final 19 games...he also hit .425 (34-80) during the final four weeks of the season.

STEVENSON DESERVED MORE: Shawn Stevenson, WSU's 133-pound freshman shortstop was a one-man wrecking crew over the final month of the 1997 season and probably deserved recognition on the All-Pac-10 team...he had a hit in each of his last 18 games and had 14 multiple-hit games during the last month (Stevenson, seven games into his hitting streak, had one pinch running call, but no plate appearances and thus his streak was not affected)...he hit .425 in the last 18 games (34-80) and committed just three errors, boasting a fielding percentage of .970 with 99 chances in those 18 games...the Coug infielder also yielded a strong bat in the closing weeks, collecting home runs against the top two teams in the league, Washington and OSU...all nine of his doubles and both of his triples also came in the final 18 games...struggling at below the .300 level through the first 35 games of the season, Stevenson ended the season as WSU's number two hitter at .345.

HITTING STREAKS: Freshman Shawn Stevenson closed out the year with WSU's best hitting streak, an 18-game stint broken only by a pinch running role that did not include an at-bat and thus did not break his streak... Casey Kelley held WSU's next longest hitting streak at 14 games, while Scott Randall had an 11-game string near the end of the year and also closed out the season with at least one hit in each of his last seven games.

BATS COME ALIVE: After 14 games in 1997 the Cougars were struggling at the plate, hitting just .239...slowly WSU's team batting average crept up into the .250's, then into the .260's and lower .270's...36 games into the schedule the team average had moved up to .274, an improvement of 35 percentage points...in the last 19 games of the year, beginning with the April 18 series with PSU, WSU's team average jumped to .298 at the end of the year...in the last 19 games WSU hit .341 to close out the season at .298...included were 21 and 20-hit performances against PSU and 18 against Gonzaga...in WSU's last 19 games, the Cougs had 10 or more hits 14 times.

WSU IN PAC-10: Scott Randall hit .400 in Pac-10 play to lead the Cougars, who as a team hit .321 in 24 league contests...a total of nine players who saw action in at least half of WSU's Pac-10 games hit over .300, including seven regulars...they included Randall, Casey Kelley (.387), Shawn Stevenson (.371), Steve Curran (.337), Curtis Robinson (.313), Ray Hattenburg (.307) and Jason Hairston (.307)...Greg Mitchell (.380 in 15 games) and Ole Vigeland (.304 in 18 games) also hit over .300...WSU regular lineup during Pac-10 play hit .344 (243-706) in those 24 games.

WIN STREAK: WSU's eight-game win streak that was snapped by LCSC April 30 was the longest since the 1993 season when the Cougars won nine straight early in the year...twice during the 1994 season WSU won seven straight, while in both 1995 and 1996 the Cougars had five-game win streaks.

ERRORS HURT: While Cougar pitchers struggled on the mound, WSU's defense didn't help matters with 136 errors in 55 games that led to opponents scoring 101 unearned runs...WSU, meanwhile scored 66 runs off 91 opponent errors.

HITTING STREAKS: Here's a look at batting streaks among Cougar regulars:

PLAYER          CURRENT BEST    L-4
Steve Curran        1   4 (3)   4-16
Steve Gleason       0   9       1-10
Jason Hairston      1   8       6-15
Ray Hattenburg      1   7       3-15
Jesse Hoorelbeke    0   7 (2)   3-9
Casey Kelley        1   14     7-16
Justin Mentink      1   5       1-7
Greg Mitchell       1   9       5-13
Brad Philley        2   2 (3)   2-6
Scott Randall       7   11      4-14
Curtis Robinson     1   6       4-16
Ryan Smith          0   2 (3)   1-7
Shawn Stevenson     18  18     7-18
Duane Stewart       2   4       5-7
Ole Vigeland        3   3       3-7
L-4 = Hits-At-Bats in last four games
( ) = Number of times that that streak

COUGAR RECORD KEEPING

Individual - Single Game:
    Todd Belitz - Set records for runs allowed (17 vs. Washington), earned runs allowed (17 vs. Washington); tied record for hits allowed (16 vs. Washington).
    Ray Hattenburg - Equalled record for walks (4 vs. Portland State).
    Casey Kelley - Equalled record for strikeouts (4 vs. Fresno State).
    Jason Hairston - Equalled record for strikeouts (4 vs. San Diego State).

Individual - Single Season Todd Belitz - Set records for runs allowed (94) and earned runs allowed (85). Casey Kelley - Second in strikeouts (53). Jason Hairston - Tenth in strikeouts (41).

Individual - Career: Jason Hairston - Third in strikeouts (116). Todd Belitz - Second in losses (15), second in earned runs allowed (167), third in runs allowed (191), eighth in walks allowed (120). Kyle Poffenroth - Tenth in losses (10).

Team - Single Game: Set record for runs allowed (30 vs. Washington). Set record for earned runs allowed (26 vs. Washington). Equalled record for errors in a game (9 vs. Texas A&M).

Team - Single Season: Set record for losses (42). Set record for neutral site losses (7). Equalled record for consecutive losses (12). Set record for losses at home (12). Set record for largest margin of defeat (24 vs. Washington). Equalled record for doubleheader losses (4). Set record for errors (136). Set record for strikeouts (488)

Washington State Cougars Baseball
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