WSU Baseball news roundup: A month until first pitch

Head Coach Brian Green starts his fourth year at WSU February 17



WSU pitcher Tyler Hoeft warms up during an NCAA collegiate baseball game against Utah, April 1, at Bailey-Brayton Field.

JAKE HULL, Evergreen reporter

WSU baseball is just over a month away from their opening day game Feb. 17 in Peoria, Arizona as they take on the Villanova Wildcats. 

This season the Cougs will see 12 games that will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks. The televised games will be the series of the UCLA Bruins, Arizona Wildcats, Washington Huskies and Stanford Cardinal.

In the fall semester, the baseball team set a new program record for the highest team GPA with 3.21. This is the fourth semester in a row that the team has set a new team GPA record.

The baseball fall roster saw the additions of 10 freshmen. As well as a mix of players through the transfer portal. 

One notable transfer from the JUCO ranks is Alan Shibley. Shibley spent the last few seasons in Houston at San Jacinto Junior College. His last season he batted .358 and had 11 home runs and 55 RBIs as he led his team to the JUCO World Series. Shibley should bring some offensive firepower to the Cougs’ offense and help them win some conference games this season.

Last season the Cougs finished with an overall record of 27-26 but went just 12-18 in conference play. They just missed out on the inaugural Pac-12 Baseball Tournament by a few games due to some bad losses to conference opponents. Making it into the tournament this season is definitely a goal for the team, as well as having at least an over .500 record against conference opponents. 

As mentioned above, last season was the first year the Pac-12 has had a postseason baseball tournament to determine a conference champion. The Pac-12 has already made some adjustments from 2022’s tournament. 

The first change is that the tournament will expand to nine teams and consist of three different pools of three teams. The teams will play two pool play matches where the winners of each pool will advance to a single-elimination semi-final round. The fourth team added to the semifinal round will be a wild card team of whatever school had the best record in pool play but did not win their group. Every team is guaranteed two games, with the champion and second-place team playing four games. The tournament will last for five days. 

The Cougs’ 2023 non-conference schedule is favorable for WSU but their first eight games of the season will be on the road. The only home non-conference series for the Cougs starts March 3 when they host Southern Indiana. Their first home conference series of the year will start March 17 as they host the Oregon Ducks. 

The Cougs will finish the season May 17 at home as they take on the Stanford Cardinal.