Feb. 7, 2003
STOCKTON, Calif. -- - Washington State, trailing host Pacific by one run, allowed two runs in the bottom of the eighth in a 4-1 loss at Billy Hebert Field in the Cougars' 2003 season opener.
Karl Mejlholm allowed three runs on three hits in 1 1/3 innings of relief and received the loss. Mejlholm (0-1) replaced starter Tony Banaszak, who pitched six solid innings, allowing one run on seven hits. Matthew Pena (1-1) pitched eight innings of one-run ball to pick up the win for the Tigers.
Banaszak was making his first appearance since the 2001 season when he was 4-4 with 53.2 innings of work. He missed last season while recovering from elbow survery.
First baseman Grant Richardson led the way for WSU (0-1), going 2-for-4 at the plate and driving in WSU's lone run. Nicholas Sekiya led Pacific (3-2) with three hits and drove in two runs.
The game was a pitcher's duel for most of the afternoon, though both teams would get on the board in the first inning. In the top of the first, Cougar centerfielder Zapper McGrath led off the game with a double to left field. He was brought home three batters later on a single by Richardson to give WSU a 1-0 lead. Pacific responded in its half of the frame, when Josh Snook's single to center field scored Chase Headley to tie the score at one.
The Tigers added a run in the bottom of the seventh, when Adam Ringer's single to centerfield plated Jesse Kovacs giving the Tigers a 2-1 lead. After the Cougars failed to get on base in their half of the eighth, Pacific added two more on a double by Sekiya that brought home Snook and Nate McCall, giving the Tigers a 4-1 lead.
Designated hitter Wes Falkenborg got on base with a one-out single for WSU in the top of the ninth, but Pacific reliever Andy Willick settled down and got the game's final two outs to notch the save.
The two teams continue their series tomorrow at 1 p.m.
WSU 100 000 000 - 1 6 1
Pacific 100 000 12 - 4 10 1
Banaszak, Mejlholm (7), Kenyon (8) and Baeder.
Pena, Willick (9) and McCall.
W - Pena (1-1). L - Mejlholm (0-1). Save - Willick (2). HR - None.
T - 2:15. A - 117.
WSU Hits - McGrath, Richardson 2, Falkenborg, Realini, Henderson.
Pacific Hits - Bishop, Headley, McCall, Snook 2, Sekiya 3, Ringer, Amezquita.
E - Bruce, Kovacs. 2B - McGrath, Sekiya, Amezquita. 3B -None.