March 2, 2001
WALLA WALLA, Wash. - The WSU Cougar baseball team scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning but could not overcome a seven run defecit to Gonzaga in a 12-9 loss to the Bulldogs Friday afternoon at Walla Walla CC. The Cougs fell to 4-9 for the season while Gonzaga improved to 3-5.
"We lost, but I thought we played really well out there," said WSU head coach Tim Mooney. "The pitching struggled again, our offense was good, and our we played great again on defense."
Down 12-5, designated hitter Adrian Thomas gave WSU hope with two outs in the ninth when he hit his first home run of the season off Bulldog reliever Kyle Nearhood, a three run shot scoring Mike Knight and Evan Hecker. First baseman Stefan Bailie prolonged the inning with a double to the gap in right-centerfield, and Bookie Gates singled in Bailie in the next at bat to put the Cougs within three runs. Nearhood then walked leftfielder Justin Williams but struck out Jamin Svendsen to earn his first save of the year.
In the fourth inning, Knight started the Cougars' scoring with a home run that just stayed fair as the ball cleared the right field fence. In the fifth, WSU shortstop Richard Hall tied the game by driving in Williams, and Evan Hecker broke the tie as Hall scored on a sacrifice bunt that Hecker ran out for a single. Knight closed out the scoring in the inning with a single to centerfield that sent Jon Baeder across the plate to give the Cougs a 4-2 lead.
Gonzaga took control of the game with a four-run fifth inning after starter Zach Fisher left the game with the bases loaded. The Bulldogs cut the lead to 4-3 with a sacrifice fly off reliever Tyson Thompson, and Gonzaga third baseman John Gebbers gave the Bulldogs the lead for good with a three run blast. The Bulldogs scored two runs in the seventh and four more off Cougar southpaw Sean Donlin in the eighth to secure the lead at 12-5.
"Once again, pitching was our problem. Right now, we need to find someone who can give us a quality start, and today we could have used better relief," Mooney said.
WSU's next game is the first of a doubleheader against Gonzaga Saturday starting at 11 a.m. at Walla Walla CC.
WSU (4-9) 000 130 014 - 9 13 1
Gonzaga (3-5) 200 040 24x - 12 13 0
Zach Fisher (1), Tyson Thompson (5), Sean Donlin (7), Tony Auckland (8), and John Baeder.
Barry Matthews (1), Eric Everson, David Hixson (8), Kyle Nearhood (9) and Brian Munhall.
W - Matthews (2-0), L - Fisher (0-3), S - Nearhood (1).
T - 2:55, A - 67.
WSU Hits - Hecker 3, Knight 3, Thomas, Bailie 2, Gates, Kahler, Hall, Baeder.
Gonzaga Hits - Rodland, Matthews 2, Hertz 3, Munhall 3, Richardson 2, Gebbers 2.
E - Robertson. 2B - Bailie, Hall, Hertz, Munhall, Gebbers. HR - Knight, Thomas, Matthews, Gebbers.