Amid the disappointment of another mistake-filled loss at the end of a tough season, Washington State baseball coach Donnie Marbut found a chance to smile after Friday night’s 4-3 loss to rival Washington at Gesa Stadium in Pasco.
It came when he was asked about the contingent of Cougars from the Tri-Cities.
Richland’s Brett Jacobs, Kennewick’s Trek Stemp and Southridge’s Matt Mendenhall are on the Cougs’ active roster, and former Suns standout Bryce Jackson is red-shirting after recovering from a shoulder injury.
Jacobs is a red-shirt junior who has turned into a pretty good first baseman for WSU.
“He’s been steady eddy his whole career,” Marbut said, noting he is looking forward to getting a fifth year out of the former Bomber star after Jacobs missed last season with a wrist injury.
“He’s a confident Coug and he’s been great this season.”
Marbut said he anticipates writing Stemp’s name at the top of the lineup for three more seasons after a strong freshman year.
“He has a chance to have an unbelievable college career,” Marbut said, noting that Stemp basically has been “playing on one leg” because of a hip injury.
“He never complains, just grinds it out.”
Mendenhall, also a freshman, has been caught up in a numbers game trying to get playing time. But, Marbut said, college is a four-year career.
“Matt is a solid player, and he’s working extremely hard,” he said. “With the work he’s put in, he’s going to do things.”
Marbut added that the trip to the Tri-Cities is good for the players, perforning in front of a couple thousand enthusiactic fans who celebrate the annual event.
“We want our kids to play in these types of environments,” he said. “That’s a good thing.
“The Tri-Cities is tremendous, the support is overwhelming. They’re great fans.”