April 10, 2003
COUGAR DIAMOND SUMMARY
WSU CONTINUES PAC-10 ACTION AT OREGON STATE: The Washington State baseball team (9-23 overall, 1-5 Pacific-10 Conference) returns to conference action this weekend with three games at Oregon State (15-15, 2-4).
The Cougars played tough against fourth ranked Stanford last weekend in WSU's home openers, but came away without a win after losing 6-1, 12-5 and 8-5 (11i). Tuesday the Cougars stepped out of league action, but came away from Gonzaga with a 10-1 loss.
Outfielder Justin Hart leads the Cougars at the plate with a .328 average. Freshman outfielder Jay Miller, .291, sophomore shortstop Derek Bruce (.286) and sophomore first baseman Grant Richardson (.279) follow Hart. Richardson leads WSU with 22 RBI, while Bruce's four home runs, seven doubles and 34 hits is tops among Cougar batters. Bruce and Miller both have scored a team-leading 21 runs.
Last weekend against Stanford, Miller led WSU at the plate, hitting .467. Wes Falkenborg also had a good series, hitting .417, while Hart hit .375.
MacKenzie had one of the best outings of the year against Stanford. He threw the first 10 innings in a 8-5 loss that ended with Stanford scoring three runs in the eleventh inning.
Banaszak continues to lead WSU pitchers with a 4.27 ERA while throwing 65.1 innings. MacKenzie is next with 50 innings and a 4.32 ERA.
WSU RADIO: Cougar baseball games are carried on KCLX (1450AM, Colfax, Wash.) and on the WSU web site at www.wsucougars.com.
HITTERS FALL OFF FROM 2002: A year ago 32 games into the 2002 season, WSU was hitting .307 as a team, with Jeff LaRue flirting near the .400 mark with a .393 average...the pitching staff, however, had a 6.65 ERA...this year the Cougar hitters have slumped, while the pitching has improved...currently WSU is hitting .251, while the mound staff has posted a 6.21 ERA...WSU's best hitter this year through 32 games is Justin Hart at .328...WSU's top two pitchers this year, Tony Banaszak and Aaron MacKenzie, have posted 4.27 and 4.32 ERAs respectively...last year at this point in the season the top two starters were Brandon Hundt and Eddie Bonine, who had 4.20 and 5.06 ERAs, respectively.
MILLER GETTING BETTER: One of the bright young stars for the Cougars this year is freshman outfielder Jay Miller...he currently sports a .291 batting average, second-best on the team...last weekend against #4 Stanford, Miller started all three games and hit .467 while leading the team with seven hits.
REALINI GETS THE CALL AT THIRD: Freshman third baseman Dustin Realini stepped into a starting role last weekend against Stanford and responded to the challenge...he hit .200 against the Cardinal and did not have an error in four chances...going into the series he had been hitting just .121.
Jon Baeder hits .316 with runners in scoring position, .385 with two outs and .469 when advancing runners...he also hits .467 when leading off an inning...Derek Bruce is hitting .357 against left-handed pitching and .264 against the right-handers...he is hitting .377 when the bases are empty and .367 as a leadoff batter...he hits .429 with runners on third and less than two outs, .326 with two outs and .321 when advancing runners...Wes Falkenborg, WSU's regular DH, is hitting .429 when he leads off an inning...Jeremy Farrar advances runners at a .474 percentage...Justin Hart hits .400 in limited action against left-handed pitchers and .320 against right-handers...he is hitting .395 with the bases empty and .429 as a leadoff hitter...he also advances runners at a .464 percentage...Bruce Jacobsen is hitting .750 with runners at third and less than two outs, .333 with two outs and .452 when advancing runners...Jeff LaRue has still not found his hitting stroke, but the senior is hitting .368 when leading off an inning...Zapper McGrath hits .333 against left-handed pitchers and .524 when in the leadoff spot...he is hitting .500 when advancing runners...Jay Miller does well against right-handed pitching, hitting .300...he is hitting .365 with runners on base, .393 with runners in scoring position, .778 with runners at third and less than two outs (7-for-9) and .526 while advancing runners...Dustin Realini is hitting .308 against left-handed pitchers and .333 when advancing runners...Brandon Reddinger is hitting .417 when advancing runners...Grant Richardson hits .408 with runners on base...he also hits .393 with runners in scoring position, .818 (9-of-11) with runners at third and less than two outs, .406 with two outs, and .536 when advancing runners...Robert Stahlke hits .500 in the leadoff position and .321 with runners on base...he is hitting .429 as a pinch hitter, .484 when advancing runners and .316 with runners in scoring position.
RICHARDSON STEPS UP PLAY: First baseman Grant Richardson has stepped up his play from last year when he started just 14 games and hit .245...this year he is hitting .279, fourth-best on the team, with 29 hits (third on the team) and a team-leading 22 RBI.
BACK ON THE MOUND: Despite his 1-7 record, senior pitcher Tony Banaszak has made a tremendous turnaround from this time last season...the Puyallup native sat out the 2002 season after undergoing "Tommy John" surgery on his elbow...Banaszak has made nine starts this year and leads the Cougar pitching staff with a 4.27 ERA in 65.1 innings of work...unfortunately, in his nine starts, WSU has been shut out three times (4-0 each time) and lost by scores of 7-1 and 6-1...in his nine games the Cougars have scored just 19 runs and hit .206 (60-for-291)...only four times has WSU had more than six hits in a game started by Banaszak.
OLE, OLE: Former WSU pitcher William "Ole" Vigeland is now on Coach Tim Mooney's staff as a volunteer assistant coach. Vigeland spent the past few seasons in the Texas Rangers organization. Vigeland was an infielder and pitcher for WSU from 1995-1998. He was drafted in the 15th round by the Rangers in the 1998 Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, despite pitching only 15 innings, all in his senior campaign, at WSU. Vigeland pitched in the Ranger organization for four seasons, before returning to Pullman this season as a coach.
DOUBLE DUTY: In 2002 outfielder Collin Henderson turned out for baseball for the first time since his high school days and ended the year hitting .297 with 24 RBI...his best series came against Arizona near the end of the year when he hit .455 and belted a game-winning, bases loaded double in the ninth inning of game three, providing WSU with a 9-7 win...Henderson was a three-year starting wide receiver for the Cougar football team...he ended his football career last fall with 62 career receptions for 566 yards...he also completed 11 of 12 career passes for 499 yards and six touchdowns.
COUGAR BASEBALL RANKS SIXTH IN ALL-TIME NCAA VICTORIES: Washington State University ranked sixth in all-time NCAA Division I baseball victories with 2,282 at the end of the 2002 season.