March 7, 1998
LAS VEGAS -- The Washington State baseball team dropped two games Saturday in the third day of the UNLV/Coors Desert Classic at Earl E. Wilson Stadium. Oral Roberts silenced the Cougar bats in the morning game while winning 10-6 and Cal State Northridge downed WSU 7-4 in the afternoon game.
In the morning game against Oral Roberts (10-7), WSU (6-7) starter Todd Meldahl (2-2) was roughed up early, allowing five runs to cross the plate in the first frame. Meldahl gave up 10 runs and 11 hits in six and two-thirds innings of work. He struck out three, while walking six batters. In the afternoon contest against Cal State Northridge, Jamaal Gaines (1-2) pitched well enough to deserve the win, but five costly Cougar errors led to two unearned runs. Gaines yielded eight Matador hits and struck out four.
In both games the Cougars received solid performances out of the bullpen. Junior College transfer Robin Guiver threw a scoreless inning and a third against ORU, and Reggie Rivard allowed only three hits in his three innings of work against CSUN.
Oral Roberts starter Seth Mosley (1-0) was touched for all six WSU runs, but only gave up three hits in five innings of work. Mosley had problems finding the strike zone issuing six free passes to the Cougar lineup. Sophomore right-hander Jimmy Bos spelled Mosley in relief and tamed the Cougar bats. Bos gave up only one hit in his four inning stint on the mound to earn his first save of the year. ORU was led at the plate by rightfielder Mike Dean who had a 3-for-4 day with three runs scored.
Cal State Northridge starter Carey Novits (2-2) went the distance for the Matadors and recorded his second win of the '98 season. Novits scattered 10 Washington State hits and allowed only two earned runs to cross the plate. First baseman Adrian Mendoza led the Matador hitting attack with a perfect 4-for-4 day and two runs scored.
Washington State struggled at the plate combining to record only 14 hits and leave 22 stranded on the base paths between both games. Freshman Jason Grove was the lone bright spot for the Cougs in the morning game. Grove had three of the four Washington State hits, including his sixth double of the season. Shawn Stevenson did not have a hit in the game, but did score three runs.
Head coach Steve Farrington made some lineup adjustments against CSUN, but they didn't prove to be enough to the get by the Matadors. Farrington started Justin Mentink in the designated hitter spot in replace of the struggling Steve Curran. Curran is riding an 0-for 14 slump in the Desert Classic. Mentink made his first start of the season a memorable one with a 2-for-3 day at the plate, including his first home run of the season. Boyd Robertson and Ray Hattenburg each added two hits apiece.
In the first game the Cougars collected only four hits, all of which came with the bases empty. The WSU lineup was 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position.
Washington State jumped out to an early 1-0 lead in the first frame when Stevenson scored on a wild pitch. The Golden Eagles then answered with a five-run explosion in the bottom half of the inning. Oral Roberts added one tally in the second and seventh innings and three runs in the fourth.
The Cougars scored four of their six runs in the sixth inning while recording only one hit. Oral Roberts gave up five consecutive walks which led to three runs. The Cougs couldn't manage to put up any more runs as Jimmy Bos took over and allowed only one hit over the next four innings.
In the nightcap WSU again jumped out to an early 1-0 lead which held tell the fourth inning. In the fourth the Matadors used a shaky WSU defense to their advantage tagging Gaines for four runs. The Cougars could not muster any kind of scoring attack with all four runs coming in separate innings. Mentink led the way with his solo home run and scored three runs.
The Cougars are scheduled to play Sunday at 10 a.m. in the fifth and sixth place game against the loser of the Cal State Northridge/Lewis-Clark State game at Earl E. Wilson Stadium. Washington State is now 1-3 in the Desert Classic.
Game 1 WSU 1 0 0 0 1 4 0 0 0 - 6 4 3 ORU 5 1 0 3 0 0 1 0 x - 10 13 4 Todd Meldahl, Robin Guiver (7), and Ryan Smith. Seth Mosley, Michael Rogers (6), Jimmy Bos (6), and Brian Bowman. W - Mosely (1-0); L - Meldahl (2-2); S - Bos (1), HR - None. T - 3:14; A - 150. WSU Hits - Grove 3, Hattenburg. ORU Hits - Weeks 2, Mosher, Dean 3, Hill, Shackleford 2, Vandeventer 2, Bowan, Gann. E - Grove (1), Meldahl (1), Randall (2), Gann, Mosher, Shackleford. 2B - Grove (6), Dean, Vandeventer. 3B - Shackleford.
Game 2 CSUN 0 0 0 4 1 1 0 0 1 - 7 11 3 WSU 1 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 - 4 10 5 Carey Novits and Jeremy Sickles. Jamaal Gaines, Reggie Rivard (7), and Jeff Scherer. W - Novits (2-2); L - Gaines (1-2); S - None, HR - Mentink (1). T - 2:44; A - 150. CSUN Hits - Dyt 2, Mendoza 4, Estrada 2, Sickles 2, McNeely. WSU Hits - Randall, Robertson 2, Scherer, Mentink 2, Mitchell, Hattenburg 2, Edler. E - Estrada, Robertson 2 (7), Stevenson (6), Randall (3), Gaines (1), MacMillan, Patrick. 2B - Sickles, McNeely, Estrada. 3B - None.