May 31, 2006
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State senior Jay Miller and freshman Jared Prince were named to the All-Pacific-10 Conference first team, Pac-10 Commissioner Tom Hansen announced Wednesday. Cougars Travis Coulter, Jeff Miller, Jim Murphy and Travis Webb also received honorable mention recognition.
Miller, an outfielder from Bellevue, Wash., batted .361 for the season, sixth in the Pac-10, and led the conference in hits (88) and doubles (28). His doubles total were second in the NCAA while he also ranked No. 25 in the nation in toughest to strikeout (16.1). He began the season with a 15-game hitting streak and tied a school record by scoring five runs in an 18-10 win over Gonzaga (Mar. 3, 2006).
Miller finished his career as WSU's career hits leader with 308. That total places him ninth all-time in the Pac-10, while his 74 career doubles are second all-time at WSU and the fifth-most in Pac-10 history. Miller also ended his Cougar career as the all-time leader in at-bats (224), tied for third in games played (227), fifth in walks (107), sixth in runs scored (161) and tied for ninth in RBIs (147).
"It is nice to see Jay named to the all-conference team after being an honorable mention pick the last three years," said WSU Head Baseball Coach Donnie Marbut. "It is a well-deserved honor and a great way for Jay to cap one of the finest careers in WSU history."
Prince, a pitcher/outfielder from Poulsbo, Wash., becomes the first Cougar freshman to earn All-Pac-10 first team honors as he had arguably the finest freshman campaign in Cougar history. He led the conference in hitting with a .401 average, which also ranked 24th in the nation among all Division I players, and on-base percentage (.492). Prince also ranked among the Top 10 in RBIs (58, 3rd), slugging (.618, 4th), hits (83, T-4th), runs scored (50, 9th) and total bases (128, 5th).
On the mound, Prince went 6-2 with a 4.53 ERA. He began the season with 24 innings without allowing an earned run or a walk and had a 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
"Jared had one of the finest freshmen seasons in the history of WSU," said Marbut, who also noted that Prince, Jeff Miller and Webb will serve as co-captains for the 2007 season. "He certainly deserves to be recognized among the top payers in the conference."
Coulter, a freshman from Kennewick, Wash., hit .345 for the season and had the team's longest hitting streak of 20 games. He finished in the conference Top 10 in runs (54, 6th), hits (78, 8th), sacrifice bunts (13, 2nd) and stolen bases (10, T-8th).
Jeff Miller, a junior from Bellevue, Wash., started all 59 games at third base, batting .285 with seven home runs and 35 RBIs. He collected three hits in three of his first five games this season and had home runs in back-to-back games at Hawaii-Hilo.
Murphy, a sophomore from Kirkland, Wash., hit .333 for the season, including eight home runs and 46 RBIs. He set a WSU single-season record with 526 putouts from his first base position and moved into fifth place on the all-time list with 966. His solo home run against Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year Tim Lincecum proved to be the winning margin in the Cougars' 3-2 win over Washington last Friday.
Webb, a sophomore from Spokane, Wash., posted a 4-0 record with eight saves and a 2.17 ERA. His saves total was tied for second on WSU's single-season list and third in the Pac-10 Conference this season. Opponents hit just .215 against him this season as he picked up conference saves against Stanford, UCLA, USC and Washington.
"To have Jimmy, Jeff and Travis (Coulter) earn honorable mention honors is a good sign for the future of our infield," said Marbut, referring to three of his four returning infielders. "Travis (Webb) was as good as any closer in the conference this year. All four players deserved to be recognized for the seasons they had."