Feb. 16, 2012
TEAMS AT A GLANCE
Washington State and Mississippi State have never met on a baseball diamond...Cougars were 26-28 last season under Donnie Marbut, who enters his eighth season as the head coach of the Washington State program and ninth overall in Pullman...John Cohen is in his fourth season as the mentor of the Bulldogs and guided them to a 38-25 record and within one game of Omaha last season...Mississippi State is No. 34 in the NCBWA preseason poll and receiving votes from Collegiate Baseball and the USA Today/ESPN polls.
Live stats for the series are available (free) on www.hailstate.com...all three games are available via webcast for a fee ($12.95 for a one-month subscription)...locally, NewsTalk 1150 AM and 105.3 FM will carry the games live on radio...Don Williams will provide the play-by-play...www.wsucougars.com will also carry the radio broadcasts...pregame show begins 15 minutes before first pitch each day.
BASEBALL AMERICA TABS COUGARS FOR POSTSEASON
In what is expected by many to be a very strong year for the Pac-12 Conference on the diamond, Baseball America predicted seven teams will make the NCAA Championship in 2012...Washington State is among the seven schools, and if the prediction comes to fruition, it would be the Cougars' third trip to the postseason in the last four years...in addition, three Washington State student-athletes received high ratings by Baseball America...redshirt-junior first baseman Taylor Ard is listed at the best power hitter in the conference after leading the Pac-10 with 10 home runs in 2011...Ard returned to school after being drafted by the Boston Red Sox last summer...sophomore Collin Slaybaugh's arm is ranked as the best for a catcher...Slaybaugh squelched 27 percent of stolen base attempts last season...sophomore outfielder Jason Monda is ranked No. 3 in the conference among 2013 prospects for the MLB First-Year Player Draft...Monda batted .291 with 13 extra-base hits in his first-collegiate season.
WASHINGTON STATE WEBCASTS
Beginning with the March 20 game against Gonzaga, all of Washington State's home games are scheduled to have a live webcast which can be viewed on www.wsucougars.com.
INSIDE COUGAR BASEBALL VIDEOS
Once again, Washington State baseball fans can follow Cougar Baseball throughout the season on www.wsucougars.com...a video section which can be accessed by logging onto the baseball front page and clicking the Inside Cougar Baseball button...page contains features on the program and student-athletes and a weekly Donnie Marbut press conference...during home games, postgame interviews will be posted on the page...in addition, a recap with highlights at the end of weekend series at Bailey-Brayton Field will be available.
COUGAR BASEBALL SHOW
Join Cougar Head Baseball Coach Donnie Marbut for the Cougar Baseball Show at South Fork Public House in Pullman...show is hosted by radio veteran Steve Grubbs, who also serves as the primary play-by-play man for Cougar baseball...show is scheduled for Monday at 7 p.m. can be heard on Hit Radio 104.3 FM...questions for the show can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org...show dates are Feb. 27, March 5 and 19, April 2, 9, 16 and 30 and May 21.
EXPERIENCED HITTERS AND YOUTHFUL PITCHERS
Washington State returns 73.3 percent of its starts (356 of 486) offensively, led by senior outfielder Derek Jones and redshirt-junior first baseman Taylor Ard...each started all 54 games in 2011 and both passed on professional baseball for another season in Pullman after being drafted last summer...conversely, the Cougars return 24.1 percent (13 of 54) starts on the mound...all three members of the rotation for the opening weekend will each be making their first-collegiate start...Friday's starter is sophomore J.D. Leckenby who made 18 appearances out of the bullpen for the Cougars last season...junior Kyle Swannack is a transfer from Bellevue (Wash.) College and goes to the mound, Saturday...true freshman Tanner Chleborad gets the start, Sunday.