Washington State Magazine

Spring 2002


Spring 2002

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In This Issue...

Features

Nurses to the homeless :: Gypsy's camp is evidence of the harsh living conditions faced by a growing number of homeless in Spokane. It also doubles as a classroom, and a lesson in reality, for student nurses. By Andrea Vogt.

A campus full of wonders :: All over campus, curiosities emerged from closets to form one of the most popular and unusual shows ever to fill the art museum. By Tim Steury.

What don't we know? :: James Krueger wants to know why the average person will spend 219,000 hours asleep. By James Krueger and Tim Steury.

Memories are made of this :: Neuroscientists Jay Wright and Joe Harding can approximate Alzheimer's symptoms in a rat by injecting a certain protein into its hippocampus. What's more, they can reverse those symptoms. By Tim Steury.

Catherine Mathews Friel is thankful for...Life in a small college town :: Catherine Friel has lived in Pullman nearly 100 years, and she has some stories to tell. By Pat Caraher.

Opening Day...a great way to reunite Cougars :: Cougars batten their hatches and hoist their mainsails. By Pat Caraher.

Fiction

The Peking Cowboy :: He wanted to tell the story in the third person, but it came out in the first; he wanted to tell it in the past, but it came out happening in the now; even if he wanted to, he could not change a word of it, its sequence and language clarifying its own shape and direction in his voice. A short story by Alex Kuo.

Panoramas

Departments

Tracking

Cover: Student Jennifer Schwarzer and Intercollegiate College of Nursing instructor Carol Allen. Read the story here. Photograph by Ira Gardner.

Sports

Mooney banking on improved pitching

by | © Washington State University

Good pitching is like money in the bank. It’s there when you need it, and it can carry you over the rough spots.

That’s the philosophy of Washington State University baseball coach Tim Mooney.

Last season, Mooney’s first at WSU, quality pitching was thin, particularly in the tough Pacific-10 Conference where teams typically play three games in three days. Too often, he was forced to remove his starting pitcher as early as the second, third, or fourth inning of a game and bring in a succession of other arms. That’s no way to succeed, he says. If a starting pitcher can go seven innings “that’s great,” and six innings is “good.”

Mooney has been around baseball enough to win 527 games and the 1998 NAIA World Series in 14 seasons at Albertson College in southern Idaho before coming to Washington State in 2000. He knows what it takes to win, and pitching is said to be “90 percent of baseball.” Lack of pitching depth proved to be the Cougars’ downfall last year. They went 15-39 overall. Their six wins—against 18 losses—in conference play, however, equaled the school’s best mark.

In preparing for the new season, Mooney’s number one recruiting priority was pitching. “We definitely made improvement there. That’s where we put our scholarships.” The Cougars added 22 new players—12 from the junior college ranks and 10 freshmen. Of that total, 10 are pitchers.

In a quick overview of his first Pac-10 season, Mooney notes that superior pitching carried Stanford and USC to the NCAA World Series.

“Good pitching gives you a chance to win. A pitcher shows up every pitch. You can’t hide him,” Mooney says. He and his staff looked for a pitcher who can control the pitch count…one who can throw three pitches for strikes. Eddie Bonine, a junior college transfer from Glendale, Arizona, fits the profile. Another transfer, Billy Gorrell from Oregon’s Treasure Valley Community, could become WSU’s long sought-after closer.

“We need players that can help us tomorrow in the Pac-10,” says Mooney. He predicts Josh Bartlome, Bryce Chamberlain, and Austin Harvie are “going to contribute as freshmen and be the starters of the future.

“We still need one more infielder n to step up and play good defense, specifically at third base.” Elsewhere, the infield is solid. Derek Bruce, a talented freshman from Lewiston, Idaho, is a good field, good hit shortstop. Versatile senior Bookie Gates (.327, 8 HR, 60 RBI) returns at second base. He can play third or shortstop as well.

While the Cougars lost All Pac-10 first baseman Stefan Bailey (.352, 18 HR, 56 RBI) to the pros after his sophomore season, Gates decided to stay.

“That was a real blessing for us,” Mooney says of Gates’s decision. “He’s a big part of our team. He brings leadership. He knows how the [Cougar baseball] system works…what we want. He sees a real value in finishing his degree. He wants to be a Cougar. He can play pro ball after this season.”

Mooney wants to keep Bruce and Gates in the middle infield with newcomer Steve Mortimer (Yakima Valley College) replacing Bailie at first. Catching is strong and deep with Jon Baeder (.266) and Brandon Reddinger (.344) returning. Garrett Alwert, Zach Fisher, Lanakila Niles, Nick Kenyon, Tony Banaszak, and Jamin Svendsen are returning pitchers.

“I think we have enough offense,” Mooney says. He’s counting on Wes Falkenborg (.333), sidelined last season after suffering a broken leg, as a designated hitter. He can provide the long ball. Mooney describes Tyson Boston (25 RBI) as a “three-tools player” with a strong arm, speed, and the ability to hit with power. But can he do it consistently?” the coach asks.

Boston should start in centerfield, with quick senior and leadoff hitter Evan Hecker (.321) moving to leftfield. Newcomer Jeremy Steve Farrar, junior college transfer from Mansfield, Texas, is slated for rightfield.

The Cougars’ goal is to get to the regional tournaments, which means winning non-conference games.

“Our players need to learn how to win,” says Mooney. “We need to win early and often.”

Categories: Athletics | Tags: Baseball

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