March 28, 1998
PULLMAN, Wash. -- In an exhibition game Saturday, freshman phenom Jason Grove hit for the cycle and gave up only three hits in four innings on the mound to help the Washington State baseball team defeat a squad of former Cougar players in the annual alumni game at Bailey Field.
Grove gave up only one earned run in his work on the mound before exiting after the fourth inning. At the plate Grove was perfect for the day, going 4-for-4. The Pac-10 North player of the week hit for the elusive cycle. He started with a single in the fourth, then a double in the fifth, a triple in the seventh, and finally a three-run home run in the bottom of the eighth inning to complete the cycle. He was responsible for eight of the 18 runs while scoring four and knocking across four more.
Robin Guiver picked up the win in relief while pitching two solid innings. Shane Rice, Reggie Rivard, and Aaron Cozzens also pitched in the game. Cozzens entered in the ninth and threw a perfect inning to secure the win.
At the plate the Cougar varsity was solid pounding out 23 hits off four different alumni pitchers. Starting third baseman Greg Mitchell continued his hot hitting with a 4-for-5 day, including a solo home run. Steve Gleason, Casey Kelley, and Boyd Robertson each added three hits. Scott Randall finished the day 1-for-5, with his only hit being a line drive home run over the right field fence. Reserve catcher Jeff Scherer was 1-for-3 with a two-run home run.
Alumni coach and Washington State baseball legend Bobo Brayton called on right hander Brady Crook for the start. Crook, who was a four-year letterman for the Cougs from 1987-1991, looked to be in mid-season form, giving up only one run in three innings of work. He left the game with a 6-1. Wayne Vezzetti, who pitched for the Washington State in '95 and '96, was tagged for the loss giving up six runs in his two innings of work.
At the plate the alumni were shaky, but capitalized of several WSU varsity errors to score their 11 runs. Pete Blanksma, an all-district first team pick in '88, led the Alumni hitting attack. He finished the day 3-for-5 with two runs batted in. Center fielder Rob Smith ('83-'87) added two hits in four at-bats.
The Cougs started to come alive in the fourth in what proved to be the first of four consecutive three-run innings. In their last at-bat, the Cougars scored five runs to seal the exhibition victory. Statistics from this game will not count.
The Cougars will return to action Tuesday with a 4 p.m. contest with non-conference rival Gonzaga. The Cougars lead the season series with the Zags 4-1. Next weekend the Cougs will head west to take on cross-state rival Washington in a four-game series. The Huskies are ranked as high as No. 20 in the polls and are coming off a victory against No. 1 Stanford. The Cougars are 2-1 in Pac-10 North action.
ALUMNI 300 310 220 - 11 10 3 WSU 001 333 35x - 18 23 4 Brady Crook, Jason Evenhus (4), Wayne Vezzetti (6), Jered Fowler (8), and Rick Poznanski, Beau Campbell (6). Jason Grove, Robin Guiver (5), Shane Rice (7), Reggie Rivard (7), Aaron Cozzens (9), and Ryan Smith, Jeff Scherer. W - Guiver; L - Vezzetti; S - None, HR - Mitchell, Scherer, Grove, Randall. T - 2:55; A - 220. ALUMNI Hits - Blanksma 3, Webb, Campbell, Smith 2, Poznanski, Muehlbauer, Marquart. WSU Hits - Gleason 3, Randall, Kelley 3, Mitchell 4, Grove 4, Curran 2, Bode, Mentink, Scherer, Robertson 3. 2B - Gleason 2, Mitchell, Grove, Webb. 3B - Grove.