After the official school year wrapped up on May 6, most students packed up and went their respective ways for summer break.
The baseball team did not get that luxury.
Following the end of the school year, the WSU baseball team played 14 more regular season games, nine of which were Pac-10 Conference games.
Going 7-7 (5-4) in those final 14 games, which included series wins against Oregon and USC, the Cougs showed late-season improvement from a team that had arguably underperformed all season long.
"Now if you look through the schedule, the schedule was weaker at the end, that's probably why we played better," Head Coach Donnie Marbut said. "But really, the positives we saw were all the guys that are back on this year's club. You saw all the young guys and all the returners start to play some really good baseball, I thought."
The Cougars finished 26-28, (10-17) on the season and failed to make the postseason, finishing ninth in the Pac-10 after a 2010 campaign that saw WSU come in third.
"(Not making the postseason) stung, we were a very talented team," Marbut said. "As a coaching staff, we were very enamored by talent, and that'll never happen again. We had some lofty goals, I personally thought we had the talent to make that happen; we didn't have the chemistry, we didn't have the dedication, we didn't have the commitment."
Missing out on postseason play, the next big event on the calendar for the Cougs was the 2011 MLB first-year player draft held from June 6 to 8. Throughout the course of three days, the Cougars saw five players get their names called, junior Adam Conley (Pick No. 72, Florida Marlins), junior Derek Jones (Pick No. 395, Baltimore Orioles), redshirt sophomore Taylor Ard (Pick No. 772, Boston Red Sox), senior Matt Argyropoulos (Pick No. 828, Colorado Rockies) and redshirt senior Cody Bartlett (Pick No. 1249, Toronto Blue Jays).
Senior Paris Shewey was not drafted but signed a free agent contract with the Houston Astros.
Of the three underclassmen that were drafted, only Conley signed a contract to play, allowing Ard and Jones to come back to school and play since the August 15 deadline to sign passed without them inking a deal.
"It's a blessing, to have two of the premier hitters in the Pac-10 back in your lineup," Marbut said. "To just know that you can plug those two guys into the middle of your lineup... it just gives you a little bit of comfort."
The offense hopes to see improvement next season due in part to the return of sluggers Ard and Jones, the impressive performances of assorted Cougs in their respective summer leagues and a talented incoming freshman class.
Sophomore Jason Monda was among the six current WSU players to earn All-Star honors in summer league play. Playing in the Cape Cod league, along with Ard and sophomore Trace Tam Sing, Monda posted the league's fourth best batting average at .327.
"(Cape Cod) was a great experience, baseball over there is one-of-a-kind," Monda said. "When I first got there, the first couple of games, I was like 'wow, these guys are good.' After I got my first couple of hits out of the way, I just kind of started rolling, kept it going."
Fellow summer league All-Stars included; junior Kyle Johnson (.313 AVG. in the New England Collegiate Baseball League), redshirt freshman Adam Nelubowich (.309 AVG. in the West Coast League), sophomore Richie Ochoa (eight wins, one save, 1.20 ERA in the West Coast League), junior Tommy Richards (West Coast League) and freshman Collin Slaybaugh (.361 AVG. in the Coastal Plains League).
"I've never been more excited for fall," Marbut said.