March 16, 1998
BERKELEY, Calif. -- Washington State belted five home runs among 21 hits, but still came up short in a 17-16 loss to the host California Bears in an 11-inning marathon baseball game Monday at Evans Diamond.
The two teams combined for 43 hits, nine home runs, four doubles and two triples off nine pitchers in the four-hour, 15-minute non-league game. The win boosted California (11-11-1) to an eighth straight win, including a sweep of its three-game series with WSU (7-10).
Jason Dennis (3-1), the fifth and final California pitcher, picked up the win by limiting WSU to four hits and one run over the final four and two-thirds innings. Dennis also picked up the win in the first game of the series with four innings on no-run ball.
Todd Meldahl started for WSU and was followed in order by Dave Wheeler, Aaron Cozzens and Reggie Rivard (0-1), with Rivard throwing the final three innings. He yielded five hits and two runs, both in the eleventh inning when the Bears battled back from a 16-15 deficit.
Scott Randall and Shawn Stevenson led WSU at the plate with five and four hits, respectively, while Ryan Smith had three hits. Randall and Smith each hit their first home runs of the season, while Stevenson hit his fourth round-tripper of the year, Steve Gleason his second and Jason Grove his third.
Xavier Nady was the hitting star for the Bears, ripping two home runs and four hits while scoring five times and pushing six runners home. Brian Oliver, Aaron Gordnier, Jason Hill and Mike Tonis each had three hits for Cal. Nady also had two home runs in the first game of the series and ended the three-game set with a 10-for-12 performance.
The Cougars scored eight times in the first inning, but each time WSU jumped out to a lead, California battled back. Greg Mitchell had a two-run single in the opening inning, while Grove's home run to left center field accounted for three runs and Gleason's home run to center scored two more runs.
After the Bears tied the game with four runs in each of the first two innings, including Nady's first home run that scored three, WSU went back on top 10-8 with a pair of runs in the third. Randall and Boyd Robertson each had run-scoring singles in the inning.
The Bears then took a brief 11-10 lead with three runs in the fourth inning, but WSU bounced back with three runs in the fifth to go ahead 13-11. Stevenson did the damage with his home run that scored Smith and Gleason ahead of him. Not to be outdone, the Bears responded with two runs in the bottom half of the inning on Nady's second home run that evened the score 13-13.
WSU then jumped out to a 15-13 lead in the seventh when Smith opened the frame with his home run to center. Later in the inning Kelley singled home Stevenson. An inning later, however, California evened the score again on Hill's run-scoring single and a sacrifice fly from David Sark.
In the top of the eleventh inning WSU pushed across the go-ahead run when Randall homered with two out. But once again the Bears answered. With one out, Oliver and Gordnier singled and Nady followed with his fourth hit of the game to drive home Oliver with the tying run. Hill then followed with a single to center that scored Gardnier from third.
Meldahl allowed California's first eight runs before Wheeler entered the game with two out in the second inning. Meldahl, however, was the victim of two crucial errors that led to five unearned Cal runs. Wheeler allowed six hits and five runs before Cozzens took over in the sixth, allowing three hits and two runs. Rivard threw the final three innings for WSU, shutting down the Bears for the first two frames.
WSU returns to action Wednesday at Spokane, where they take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs in a 2:00 p.m. game.
WSU 802 030 200 01 - 16 21 3 California 440 320 020 02 - 17 22 0 Todd Meldahl, David Wheeler (2), Aaron Cozzens (6), Reggie Rivard (8) and Ryan Smith Ryan Atkinson, Jon Cuccias (1), Reed Goemann (5), Rob Meyer (6), Jason Dennis (7) and Jason Hill. W - Dennis 3-1; L - Rivard 0-1; S - None, HR - Stevenson (4), Randall (1), Grove (3), Smith (1), Gleason (2), Nady 2, Tonis, Hernandez.. T - 4:15; A - 302. WSU Hits - Stevenson 4, Randall 5, Robertson 2, Kelley 2, Mitchell, Mentink, Grove, Smith 3, Gleason 2. CAL Hits - Oliver 3, Gordnier 3, Nady 4, Hill 3, Tonis 3, Sark 2, Hernandez 2, Johnson, Meyer. E - Randall, Robertson 2. 2B - Smith, Gordnier, Tonis, Johnson. 3B - Oliver, Nady.