Yale Rosen was named the Pac-12 Baseball Player of the Week for the week of March 31-April 6 because of his impressive production in Washington State’s three-game series sweep of California.
The junior outfielder batted .700 (7 for 10) with a pair of RBIs, two stolen bases and two doubles. The week raised his season batting average to .396 and gave him a conference-leading slugging percentage of .624.
“I’m just out there having fun right now, sticking to the plan at the plate and having fun in the field and it’s all working out for me,” Rosen said.
Rosen’s performance played a critical role in WSU’s sweep over Cal, in which it won games by scores of 3-0, 3-1 and a 6-5 win in extra innings in the series finale.
Although the Cougars (15-14, 6-3 Pac-12) won just one of their first seven games, they sit third in the Pac-12 standings with a chance to move up when they host third-place Oregon State next week.
“We talked about this early in the season that we thought it was going to be a dogfight throughout the entire year, not that somebody couldn’t get hot and run away with it, there a couple teams that obviously are playing really, really good baseball,” Marbut said. “But if you looked up and down the schedules at how teams are playing there are a lot of teams that could find a way to win that crown.”
Rosen wasn’t the only Cougar to show up big against the Golden Bears. Nick Tanielu was hitless in the series finale but went 4 for 8 in the first two games while driving in three runs. Trek Stemp was 5 of 13 adding to WSU’s punch at the plate.
But it was Michael Monda who played the hero, driving in the game-winning run in the bottom of the tenth inning on Sunday to ensure the sweep in just his fourth game of the season.
That ran the Cougar win streak to six games, before it was snapped Tuesday night by BYU. While WSU has a lot of work ahead of it, it’s dug itself out of its early-season hole and is back in a place where it can control its own destiny.
“It feels like we’re starting to get where we want to be,” Rosen said. “We started out rough but we’re starting to put it together and if we just keep building off of this – we’re trying to win a Pac-12 championship. If we keep building off of this we’ll be set.”
Gonzaga’s dreams of overcoming its own early-season struggles were confronted with reality in San Diego, where the Bulldogs tumbled in the standings after a three-game sweep by the Toreros.
After scoring only a single run in each of the final two losses, GU (10-21, 6-6 WCC) appears to have little chance of catching league-leading Pepperdine and will instead be playing for a shot at one of the top four seeds in the WCC tournament.