BASEBALL: Cougar bats heating up

EVEN THE PAC-12 can't believe the Cougs' start on the baseball diamond, it seems. The Pac-12 on Saturday listed WSU as 7-3 and tied for 7th for a time. In actuality, Washington State was 7-2 and tied for 3rd. The Cougs split this weekend's games but the bats remained hot, and WSU leads the conference in several hitting categories.

It's early yet and the competition will only get tougher. But Washington State is off to a solid start at 8-3 and leads the Pac-12 with a .319 batting average.

The Cougs also lead in homers (10), slugging percentage (.493), doubles (22) and total bases (170). Washington State is second in hits (110) and runs scored (70).

On the mound, the Cougars' ERA is 2.86, around the middle of the pack in the conference.

Where WSU has faltered statistically is in fielding percentage, where they're last in the league at .954.

Third baseman Nick Tanielu leads the Pac-12 in hits (19) and total bases ( 31). His.452 average is second in the Pac-12 and he's first in slugging percentage (.738). Outfielder Yale Rosen leads in home runs (5).

Meanwhile, Joe Pistorese is second in the Pac-12 in ERA (0.50) while J.D. Leckenby leads in saves (4).

Washington State missed a chance to sweep Cal State Northridge on Sunday and had to settle for taking three of four. The Cougs next take on UTSA in San Antonio, opening a four game set on Friday. UTSA, picked to finish eighth in a 10 team league, are a perfect 7-0 at home and 8-3 overall.

The Cougs don't return home until March 19 when they host Gonzaga at 6 p.m. ($2 Tuesday promotion).

Just prior to that will be the biggest series of the year to date, when WSU visits No. 25 Arizona State starting on March 15.

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