April 15, 2003
COUGAR DIAMOND SUMMARY
WSU HOME FOR ARIZONA SERIES: The Washington State Cougars, 11-24 overall and 3-6 in league play after two wins at Oregon State last weekend, return home this week to host #24 (CB) Arizona in a three-game Pacific-10 Conference series beginning Thursday.
The weekend series has been moved up one day to avoid playing Easter Sunday. Arizona enters the series with a 26-13 record and a 5-4 league mark.
Friday's pitcher for another 3:00 p.m. contest is expected to be sophomore Bruce Chamberlin (3-4, 7.21), while junior Aaron MacKenzie (2-3, 4.94) will get the start Saturday at noon in the final game of the series.
Senior Justin Hart continues to lead WSU at the plate with a .347 average after hitting .500 at OSU last weekend.
Freshman Jay Miller, who hit .467 at OSU, has boosted his average to .312, while sophomore Grant Richardson enters play this week with a .299 average. Richardson hit .462 last weekend, drove home five runs, and blasted a home run in each game against the Beavers. He now has a team-leading six home runs.
WSU hit .339 against the Beavers, their best series total of the year. Another freshman who had a fine series at OSU was Dustin Realini, who has taken over the third base duties. He started all three games and hit .571. He also drew three walks and has two sacrifice hits.
Richardson continues to lead WSU with 27 RBI, while Derek Bruce, with a .286 average, leads the Cougars with 24 runs scored and nine doubles. Miller is tops in hits with 39, has eight doubles and has scored 24 runs. Banaszak has the best ERA for the Cougars at 4.14. He has made 10 starts and thrown 74.0 innings while striking out 31 and walking 19. MacKenzie leads WSU pitchers with 44 strikeouts in 54.2 innings. WSU RADIO: Cougar baseball games are carried on KCLX (1450AM, Colfax, Wash.) and on the WSU web site at www.wsucougars.com.
MILLER GETTING BETTER: One of the bright young stars for the Cougars this year is freshman outfielder Jay Miller...he currently sports a .312 batting average, second-best on the team...Miller has been on fire the last two Pac-10 series against Stanford and Oregon State...in each three-game series he went 7-for-15, which is a .467 average...he has at least one hit in 11 of WSU's last 12 games and during that span is 21-for-51, a .411 average.
REALINI GETS THE CALL AT THIRD: Freshman third baseman Dustin Realini has started the last nine WSU games at third base and has played flawlessly on defense with steady improvement at the plate...in those nine games he has made 18 fielding plays without an error...meanwhile, his batting average has improved from .100 when he started at UC-Irvine to .196 after last weekend's series at Oregon State...against the Beavers he hit .571, drove home four runs, walked three times and recorded two sacrifice hits...Sunday he drove home three runs with three hits...he is hitting .292 in the last nine games.
Jon Baeder hits .459 advancing runners, .400 with a runner at third and less than two outs, and .357 with two outs...he also hits .450 when leading off an inning...Derek Bruce is hitting .355 against left-handed pitching and .265 against the right-handers...he is hitting .387 when the bases are empty and .394 as a leadoff batter...he hits .500 with runners on third and less than two outs, .300 with two outs and .312 when advancing runners...Wes Falkenborg, WSU's regular DH, is hitting .429 when he leads off an inning and .316 advancing runners...Jeremy Farrar advances runners at a .489 percentage and hits .391 as a leadoff hitter...Justin Hart hits .400 in limited action against left-handed pitchers and .343 against right-handers...he is hitting .419 with the bases empty and .455 as a leadoff hitter...he also advances runners at a .452 percentage...Jeff LaRue is hitting .350 when leading off an inning and .600 with the bases loaded...Zapper McGrath hits .524 when in the leadoff spot and .500 when advancing runners...Jay Miller is hitting .315 against right-handed pitchers and .303 against lefties...he hits .361 with runners on base, .375 with runners in scoring position, .778 with runners at third and less than two outs (7-for-9) and .515 while advancing runners...Dustin Realini is hitting .375 against left-handed pitchers, .364 as a leadoff hitter and .500 when advancing runners...Grant Richardson hits .404 with runners on base...he also hits .382 with runners in scoring position, .818 (9-of-11) with runners at third and less than two outs, .429 with two outs and .554 when advancing runners...Robert Stahlke hits .500 in the leadoff position and .333 as a pinch hitter.
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 .299 overall, third among Cougar regulars, and leads the team with six home runs and 27 RBI...he had home runs in each of WSU's three games at OSU last week and hit .462 (6-for-13) against the Beavers with five RBI and a slugging percentage of .479.
BACK ON THE MOUND: Despite his 2-7 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 10 starts this year and leads the Cougar pitching staff with a 4.14 ERA in 74.0 innings of work...unfortunately, in his 10 starts, WSU has been shut out three times (4-0 each time) and lost by scores of 7-1 and 6-1...in his 10 games the Cougars have scored just 29 runs and hit .223 (73-for-328)...only five times has WSU had more than six hits in a game started by Banaszak.
PAC-10 PLAY: WSU has five starters hitting over .300 after nine Pac-10 games...Justin Hart leads the team at .407 in league games, followed in order by Jay Miller .381, Dustin Realini .333, Jeff LaRue .316 and Wes Falkenborg .304.
COUGS PICK UP THE PACE: In WSU's last 12 games, including a three-game series with nationally ranked Stanford, the Cougars are 6-6...since a two-game series with OSU in Pasco in mid-March WSU is 8-10 over the last 18 games.
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.
SAC STATE START TIME CHANGES: WSU has changed the starting time of the series opener with Sacramento State May 9 to 2:00 p.m. The game, originally slated for a 6:00 p.m. start, was moved to 2:00 p.m. to avoid conflicts with WSU Graduation Weekend activities, which begin Friday evening.