Feb. 28, 2006
PULLMAN, Wash. -
A QUICK LOOK AT THE BANANA BELT FIELD: Washington State University competes at the Banana Belt Tournament this weekend, hosted by Lewis-Clark State College...The four-team field consists of WSU, Lewis-Clark State College, Gonzaga and Chicago State...WSU is the two-time defending champion of the tournament, having gone 7-1 in that winning stretch.
RIVER CITY CLASSIC RECAP: The Cougars captured their second tournament titles in as many outings this past weekend as they went 4-0 at the River City Classic...WSU defeated Portland, Brigham Young, UC Davis and San Francisco as it was the only team to go undefeated in a field that also included No. 6 Oregon State...WSU led wire-to-wire against Portland and BYU, twice rallied from deficits against UC Davis, and used a Zach McAngus, pinch-hit, three-run home run in the eighth innings to defeat USF...the Cougars out-hit their opponents .290 to .241, had a lower ERA (3.50 to 6.88) and committed two fewer errors (3 to 5)...the tournament also ended a 12-game road swing for WSU which encompassed over 11,000 miles in 17 days.
COUGARS OFF TO FAST START: The Cougars are off to a 10-2 start through the first three weekends, marking their best opening stint since going 10-2 during the 1988 season...the Cougars' best start occurred during the 1980 season when they opened the season with an 18-0 record....that team went on to post a 36-10 record.
HOME OPENER SET FOR MARCH 2: Following 12 straight road games to open the 2006 season, the Cougars return to Bailey-Brayton Field to face Chicago State for their home opener, March 2...The game kicks-off the Banana Belt Tournament for WSU and is the first of seven consecutive games in either Pullman or nearby Lewiston, where two of WSU's Banana Belt contests will be played...following the Banana Belt, WSU hosts Chicago State in a three-game series next week.
CHICAGO STATE AT A GLANCE: Chicago State has played just two games so far this season, splitting a doubleheader against Lipscomb ...Thursday's meeting marks the first-ever between the two teams.
GONZAGA AT A GLANCE: The Bulldogs are off to a 7-6 start this season, including wins over No. 10 Arizona State and No. 2 Oregon State...those wins earned Gonzaga a No. 29 national ranking earlier this season...WSU holds a 172-83-1 advantage in the all-time series.
LEWIS-CLARK STATE AT A GLANCE: LCSC brings a 10-1 record into the weekend, including a seven-game winning streak to start the season...the all-time series has WSU leading 136-100.
SCHEDULE CHANGE AT JOHNNY QUIK: WSU's spring break tournament, the Johnny Quik Classic in Fresno, Calif., has announced a change in the tournament schedule...rather than play a tournament format, WSU will face six opponents over the break, with the team posting the best record declared champion...starting March 13, WSU will playing single games against Bucknell, Binghampton, Lafayette, Fresno Sate, Gonzaga and Miami (OH).
DAMAN, McANGUS EARN ALL-TOURNAMENT HONORS: Pitcher Wayne Daman, Jr. and outfielder Zach McAngus were both named to the River City Classic all-tournament team...Daman worked 7.0 innings, allowing two unearned runs on four hits while matching his career-high with nine strikeouts... McAngus drove in a team-high eight runs as he hit .333 (4-12) with two home runs, a double and single...McAngus drilled a pinch-hit, three-run home run in the eighth against USF that proved to be the game-winner.
MILLER RUNS HITTING STREAK TO 15: With his 2-for-5 performance Sunday against USF, senior Jay Miller ran his hitting streak to 15 games, dating back to the final three contests of the 2005 season...Miller has hit safely in all 12 games this season, including seven multi-hit games...after collecting just a single hit in four of the first five games, he has found his stroke, hitting .484 (15-31) over the last seven contests...the streak is the longest of Miller's four-year Cougar career.
COUGARS IN HOME OPENERS: Dating back to the 1990 season, WSU is 10-6 in home openers...the Cougars have won their last two openers in Pullman...this year's home opener marks the earliest the Cougs have played in Pullman since the 1995 season, when WSU posted a 7-5 win over Lewis-Clark State, March 1.
DAMAN OFF TO FAST START: Pitcher Wayne Daman, Jr., is off to an impressive start in 2006...the junior has won each of his three starts while surrendering just one earned run in 20.0 innings of work...he has matched his career-high strikeout total of nine in each outing while walking six batters... opponents are hitting .147 off him this season and have connected for two extra-base hits...Daman was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week for Feb. 7-12 and earned all-tournament honors at the River City Classic.
MILLER CLIMBING CAREER HITS CHART: Following a 2005 season in which he led the Cougars with 74 hits, senior Jay Miller broke into the school's Top 10 career list with 219 hits...the senior from Bellevue has picked up right where he left off, pounding out 14 hits in the opening two weekends...he currently has 230 career hits, seventh on the Cougar list and five shy of No. 6 Kevin Brunstad (1991-94)...Miller averaged 73 hits per season in his first three years, which if he continues that pace will place him second all-time...Miller needs 64 more hits to tie all-time leader Mike Kinkade's (1992-95) mark of 304, the only Cougar to break 300 career hits.
WSU CAREER HITS LIST
1. Mike Kincade ('92-95) 304
4. Greg Hunter ('87-90) 263
5. Ray Hattenburg ('97-00) 255
6. Kevin Brunstad ('91-94) 245
7. Jay Miller ('03-06) 240
COUGARS IN TOURNAMENT PLAY: Starting with the 2000 season, the Cougars have fared well in tournament play, finishing no worse than tied for second in 11 tournaments played...in that span, the Cougars have captured seven tournament titles, including last weekend's River City Classic and the season-opening Buccaneer Baseball Classic, tied for first in another and finished tied for second in the remaining three.
COUGARS LEAD PAC-10 IN PITCHING: Following the most recent release of the Pac-10 statistics, the Cougars continue to lead the Pac-10 in pitching...WSU's 3.33 team ERA is ahead of Stanford (3.38) and UCLA (3.73)...The Cougars' have allowed 34 walks in 12 games, second in the conference to Stanford's 30...offensively, WSU leads the conference in doubles (29), stolen bases (28), steal attempts (36), and are second in fewest strikeouts (56).
TOURNAMENT MADNESS: After playing in just one tournament last season, the Cougars will compete in four during the 2006 schedule...WSU opened at the Charleston Southern tournament, taking three of four games, including a 9-3 win over No. 10 Missouri in the championship game...last week WSU made it 2-for-2 in tournaments this season, sweeping all four games at the River City Classic at Sacramento, Calif...the Cougars finally play in front of a home crowd this weekend at the Banana Belt Tournament and will spend Spring Break in Fresno, Calif. at the Johnny Quik Classic, hosted by Fresno State.