WSU baseball season kicks off Friday

THE COUGS kick off the baseball season Friday with a four-game tournament road trip in Texas, part of an eight-game swing to open the season. The 2015 Washington State squad is vastly different than the one that took the diamond last season.

The primary difference is experience, or lack thereof.

Washington State does have a pair of senior starting pitchers in Joe Pistorese (pictured above; 4-3, 3.31 ERA in 2014) and Sean Hartnett (2-1, 3.67 ERA) plus a senior behind the plate in P.J. Jones (43 starts last season).

But freshmen could start at four of the eight positions in the field. Five Cougars from the 2014 Washington State squad signed MLB contracts, Washington State notes in their official release this week, including four draftees.

The Cougs open the season Friday, Feb. 13 (4 p.m.) against Stephen F. Austin, before facing Texas-Arlington Saturday (1 p.m.), Missouri State, Sunday (10 a.m.) and then wrap up the tourney Monday, Feb. 16 (4:30 p.m.) in facing Stephen F. Austin for the second time.

None of the games are being televised.

However, WSU is scheduled to play 17 games on the Pac-12 Networks during the 2015 season. And four of WSU’s Pac-12 series will be carried in their entirety: vs. Washington (April 9-11), Oregon (May 8-10) and Stanford (May 22-24) and a road series with Arizona State (May 14-16).

Washington State is 285-277 under Donnie Marbut, the third-most wins in program history behind Buck Bailey and Bobo Brayton. Marbut is entering his 11th season as the Cougs’ manager.

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