May 22, 2006
PULLMAN, Wash. - On a night when Jay Miller tied the school record with a pair of hits, Washington State University scored four early runs and made them stand up in a 4-2 win over Lewis-Clark State College Monday evening at Bailey-Brayton Field.
With the win the Cougars improved to 35-21 on the season and sweep the two-game season series over LCSC, while the Warriors fall to 42-7.
Entering the game needing two hits to tie career leader Mike Kinkade's record of 304, Miller wasted no time getting to work. After a 43-minute rain and lightning delay prior to the game, Miller led off the bottom of the first with a clean single through the right side. In his next at-bat, Miller's two-out double to right in the third inning scored Scott Suttmeier, tying the game at 1-1, and tying Kinkade's 11-year old mark.
Fittingly, Miller's record-tying hit came on a double, which gives him 73 for his career. That places him just two doubles shy of another Kinkade record, whose 75 career doubles has stood since 1995.
Miller had three more chances to break the record in front of the home crowd but came up short, flying out twice and grounding out to second. His next opportunity at the record comes Friday at Washington.
In the fourth the Cougars took their first lead on Paul Gran's, bases-load single, scoring Jared Prince who led off the inning with a single to left. WSU added two more runs in the fifth thanks to a pair of walks, a single and a balk. With the bases loaded and one out, Chris Palma, the third Warrior pitch of the night, balked home Travis Coulter. One out later, Jeff Miller reached on an infield error, scoring Prince to make it a 4-1 Cougar lead.
Both Warriors runs came via the long ball as Jessie Roehl and Allen Balmer each hit solo shots. Roehl led off the third with a home run down the right field line for the first run of the game. Balmer led off the seventh with his seventh home run of the season, this one clearing the wall in right field. That was as close as LCSC came as Cougar reliever Jayson Miller allowed just one hit over the final two innings.
WSU collected nine hits on the evening, two from Jay Miller, Prince and Jim Murphy, while Prince added a pair of runs scored. On the mound Mike Wagner earned the win to move to 5-6 this season. Wagner worked four innings in relief of starter Jeremy Johnson, allowing one run on seven hits with three strikeouts.
Jose Castenon and Paul Martin led a 10-hit Warrior attacked with two hits each. Jeff Duda suffered the loss as he allowed two runs on five hits in relief of starter Mike Miller.
The Cougars are next in action as they conclude their conference schedule this weekend with a three-game series at Washington. Friday's first game is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.