March 31, 1998
PULLMAN, Wash. -- The Washington State baseball team pounded out 13 hits and connected on three home runs to defeat Gonzaga for the fifth time this season 13-6 Tuesday afternoon at Bailey Field.
Washington State (12-11 overall, 2-1 league play) starter Dave Wheeler (1-2) looked sharp in his five innings of work, allowing only two Bulldog (3-23) runs to cross the plate. A host of Cougar pitchers entered the game in relief and kept the Zag's bats in check.
Ole Vigeland entered in the sixth and has still not allowed a hit this year in his seven innings of work. Aaron Cozzens and Les McTavish each added an inning of relief with perfect outings. At one point between the fifth and ninth innings, the WSU bullpen retired 12 straight batters. Reggie Rivard struggled in the ninth, but managed to preserve the win and push the Cougs over the .500 mark for the first time in three years.
Gonzaga starter Tucker Urdahl (0-2) was touched for three runs in his four innings of work and suffered his second consecutive loss at the hands of the Cougs. Urdahl left the game with the Bulldogs trailing by only one, but the relief corps couldn't stop the Coug's hitting attack. The Zag's bullpen gave up 10 runs in the last four innings. George Arnott was the only Bulldog to have more that one hit, going 2-for-4 on the afternoon.
Steve Curran led the way for the Cougs at the plate with a 2-for-4 day including four runs batted in. Curran belted his fifth home run of the year in the seventh and added a two-run double down the right field line in the fifth. Shawn Stevenson scored four runs in the leadoff spot and added three hits to raise his batting average to .333. Casey Kelley put a fastball deep over the left field fence for his league-leading ninth home run of the year. Starting catcher Jeff Scherer also added a home run, his third of the year, in the winning cause.
The Cougs struck first scoring two quick runs in the bottom of the first with the big blow being a run-scoring triple to right field of the bat of Scott Randall. With Wheeler keeping the Gonzaga hitters at bay, the WSU hitters got to work. WSU scored four runs in the fifth, largely in part to three WSU doubles. Washington State scored 10 runs in the last four innings.
With the win the Cougs improved their season record against Gonzaga to 5-1 and have two remaining games, both in Pullman. The Cougs will return to conference play this weekend with a four-game series against cross-state rival Washington. The Huskies are currently ranked 18th in the nation and are coming off a weekend series against Arizona State in which they won two-out-of-three. Washington State will be playing for the first time at Husky Ballpark which is in its inaugural season.
GONZAGA 000 200 004 - 6 6 1 WSU 210 041 23x - 13 13 3 Tucker Urdahl, Kevin Workman (5), Brian Neace (7), Jason Sazama (8), and Scott Asan. Dave Wheeler, Ole Vigeland (6), Aaron Cozzens (7), Les McTavish (8), Reggie Rivard (9), and Jeff Scherer, Ryan Smith (6). W - Wheeler (1-2); L - Urdahl (0-2); S - None, HR - Kelley (9), Curran (5), Scherer(3). T - 2:35; A - 362. GONZAGA Hits - Taylor, Van Anne, Murrell, Stokey, Arnott 2. WSU Hits - Stevenson 3, Randall 2, Kelley 2, Grove, Curran 2, Scherer 2, Robertson. E - Gradishar, Randall, Robertson, Wheeler. 2B - Murrell, Kelley, Curran, Scherer, Robertson. 3B - Randall.