February 15, 1998
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Washington State Cougars needed all 17 runs, and a 3-for-6 day from Jason Grove to hold off a late inning rally by Arizona State to secure a 17-12 win Sunday afternoon in front of 1,419 fans at Packard Stadium.
Washington State (3-3) starter Todd Meldahl (1-0) was in command early against ASU (10-3), striking out seven and allowing only three earned runs in six innings on the mound. Jason Grove led the Cougars at the plate going 3-for-6 falling just a home run away from hitting for the cycle. The freshman right fielder pushed across five WSU runs, and scored two more. For the three game series against the nationally ranked Sun Devils, Grove was 5-for-12 (.417), and is now hitting at a .417 clip for the season. Steve Curran, Steve Gleason, and reserve catcher Ryan Smith all added two hits in the Cougars third win of the season. Shawn Stevenson also had a hit in the win, stretching his hitting streak to six games.
Sun Devil starter Jay Gehrke (2-1) gave up five runs on three WSU hits, while lasting only two-thirds of an inning. The ASU bullpen couldn't cool the Cougar bats, as WSU scored 12 runs on six different Sun Devil relievers. Robby Milner was hit the hardest giving up four runs in just 1.1 innings of work. Willie Bloomquist (Port Orchard, Wash.) paced the ASU hitting attack with three hits in five at-bats. Richy Leon added a three-run home run, and third baseman Andrew Beinbrink was 2-for-5 with a two-run home run of his own.
Washington State got on the board early and often, scoring 12 runs through the first four innings. Grove led a five-run first inning attack with a bases clearing three-run triple. Timely hitting by the Cougar line-up, and Steve Gleason's two-run triple led to a constant dosage of scoring over the next three innings. Every Cougar starter, with the exception of Greg Mitchell who did not record an official at-bat, had at least one hit.
Arizona State scored four runs in the sixth and chased Meldahl from the game. ASU took advantage of the Cougar bullpen, scoreing six quick runs off of WSU releiver Robin Guiver. Leon and Beinbrink both connected on their home runs off of Guiver. Arizona State scored all 12 of their runs in the last four innings, while five Cougar releivers gave up eight runs in only three innings of work.
Jamall Gaines, who started Friday's game, pitched a near perfect eighth inning to help stop a potential ASU rally. Reggie Rivard, who has struggled at times this season, closed the door on the Sun Devils in the ninth, and preserved the upset victory.
Washington State will now travel to Pasco, Wash. to take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs in a three game series. The Cougars and Zags will meet Friday at 2 p.m., and at 1 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday. All games will be played at Posse Stadium.
WSU 5 0 3 4 0 0 5 0 0 - 17 15 2 ASU 0 0 0 0 0 4 6 2 0 - 12 14 3 Todd Meldahl, Robin Guiver (7), Dave Wheeler (7), Les McTavish (7), Jamaal Gaines (8), Reggie Rivard (9), and Ryan Smith, Jeff Scherer (8). Jay Gehrke, Chad Pennington (1), Robby Milner (3), Drew Friedberg (5), Colin Call (7), Chuck Crumpton (8), Richy Leon (9), and Greg Halvorson, Jeremy Jones (9). W - Meldahl (1-1); L - Gehrke (2-1); S - , HR - Leon (1), Beinbrink (2). T - 4:00; A - 1,419. WSU Hits - Stevenson, Randall, Robertson, Curran 2, Kelley, Mentink, Bode, Grove 3, Smith 2, Gleason 2. ASU Hits - Moreno 2, Leon, Blomquist 3, Beinbrink 2, Myers 2, Meier, Gosewisch, Delucchi 2. E - Robertson, Smith, Leon, Gowewisch 2. 2B - Randall, Grove, Smith, Bloomquist, Beinbrink, Myers. 3B - Grove, Gleason.