April 22, 1998
PULLMAN, Wash. -- First baseman Casey Kelley hit three home runs and drove in seven runs as the Washington State (20-17) baseball team defeated the Gonzaga Bulldogs (10-29) 18-7 Wednesday night at Bailey Field in a non-conference game.
Kelley connected on home runs in the first, fourth, and ninth innings to push his league-leading total to 19. The junior from Ellensburg, Wash. is now only four away from tying the school record of 23 set by John Olerud in 1988. With his three home runs, Kelley tied a Cougar record for the most home runs in a single game. Jim Conner connected on three longballs against Gonzaga in 1987, the last Cougar to do so. Kelley has the most home runs for a WSU player since Beau Campbell hit 20 in 1992.
A host of other Cougars also had great night at the plate as the Cougs had their second highest hit total of the season with 19. Scott Randall improved his team-leading batting average to .357 with a 3-for-4 night and extended his hitting streak to 11 games. Reserve Justin Mentink was 3-for-5 with a double and two runs scored. Along with his three home runs, Kelley also hit a single to complete a 4-for-5 night with seven RBI. Shawn Stevenson was 2-for-4, raising his season average to .344 and extending his hitting streak to seven games.
Boyd Robertson hit his first home run of the year in the ninth inning, leaving only reserve catcher Mark Rindy the only Cougar to not have a home run in 1998.
Head coach Steve Farrington handed the ball to reliever Robin Guiver (2-0) for the start and he faired very well. Guiver, a junior college transfer from Felton, Calif., pitched six innings while giving up four runs on five Bulldog hits. He did not walk a batter and struck out three. Dave Wheeler, Todd Meldahl, Shane Rice, and Aaron Cozzens all saw brief relief action to seal the 20th win of the season for the Cougs. Rice and Cozzens pitched the eighth and ninth innings respectively and were perfect in their outing.
Tucker Urdahl (0-4) pitched well while taking the loss, giving up only three runs in three innings of work. Urdahl left the game with his team down 3-2 at the time, but then the floodgates opened. Brian Newton, Nick Hess, Forrest Higgins, and Kevin Workman combined to give up 10 runs five innings of work.
Bo Hart and Scott Asan led the Gonzaga hitting attack, each going 2-for-3. Hart hit a home run in the first inning, his ninth of the season, and Asan connected on his fifth of the year in the second.
Washington State scored in every inning except for the third, with the four-run eighth being the biggest. Kelley got things rolling with a two-run home run to left field in the first. The Cougs entered the eighth up 13-7 before Kelley and Robertson hit their home runs. Kelley's third of the day was a towering shot over the 385 mark in left center that hit the lights far above the playing field. All but two of the left hander's home runs have been to center or left field.
WSU returns to Pac-10 North play this weekend with a five-game series against league-leading Oregon State. The Beavers are 11-4 in NorPac play and hold a two-game edge over the Cougs. The two teams will square off in back-to-back doubleheaders Friday and Saturday, followed by a single game Sunday. Sunday's game will be taped by Fox Sports Northwest and will be replayed Monday at 1 p.m.
GONZAGA 110 020 300 - 7 7 2 WSU 210 324 15x - 18 19 1 Tucker Urdahl, Brian Newton (4), Nick Hess (6), Forrest Higgins (7), Kevin Workman (8), and George Arnott. Robin Guiver, Dave Wheeler (7), Todd Meldahl (7), Shane Rice (8), Aaron Cozzens (9), and Ryan Smith, Mark Rindy (7). W - Guiver (2-0); L - Urdahl (0-4); S - None, HR - Taylor (1), Hart (9), Asan (5), Kelley 3 (19), Robertson (1). T - 2:38; A - 352. GONZAGA Hits - Taylor, Knight, Hart 2, Murrell, Asan 2. WSU Hits - Stevenson 2, Bode, Randall 3, Kelley 4, Scherer, Mentink 3, Hattenburg, Gleason 2, Robertson, Smith. E -Gradishar (12), Miller (3), Randall (12). 2B - Bode (1), Mentink (2), Hattenburg (5), Smith (7). 3B - None.