April 3, 1998
SEATTLE -- Catcher Jeff Scherer hit two home runs and had five RBI to lead the Washington State baseball team past the 16th ranked Washington Huskies 12-8 Friday in front of 690 fans at the new Husky Ballpark.
Washington State (13-11, 3-1 Pac-10 North) starter Jamaal Gaines (2-3) was very impressive in his outing. Gaines threw 6.2 innings while giving up six earned runs against the powerful Husky lineup. Gaines struck out a season-high eight batters, while not recording a walk.
Les McTavish (2-1) threw one and a third scoreless innings to pick up the win. He allowed one hit while striking out three. Ace reliever Ole Vigeland continued his streak of hitless innings while throwing a perfect ninth to pick up his first save of the year. The Redmond, Wash. native threw just five pitches in the ninth to secure the win for the Cougars. For the season, Vigeland has thrown eight innings while not giving up a hit, much less a run.
Washington (17-8, 4-1) starter Jeff Heaverlo (1-1) struggled at times against the Cougs. Heaverlo, the son of former major leaguer Dave Heaverlo, went six innings on the mound, giving up eight runs on nine Cougar hits. Heaverlo was touched for three home runs in his outing, but did strike out nine Cougs.
The Husky relief corps, which has been solid all year, allowed four costly runs to cross the plate. Matt Gardner, Matt Massingale, and Ken Ferguson combined to give up five hits and four runs in just three innings of work. Massingale, a freshman out of Kennewick, Wash. entered the game with a 2-0 record and a 0.63 ERA, but was touched for the go-ahead run in the eighth to record his first loss of the '98 season.
On a day where balls were flying out of Husky Ballpark left and right, it was Washington State's Jeff Scherer who hit the biggest home run of the day. Scherer hit his second home run of the afternoon in the eighth inning to give the Cougs a four-run cushion. On the day, the catcher was 2-for-5 with the two home runs and five RBI. Third baseman Greg Mitchell recorded a three-hit day to boost his season average from .306 to .325. Casey Kelley was 2-for-4 in the contest, including his league leading 10th home run of the season. Designated hitter Steve Curran added two hits to the winning cause.
For the Huskies, the longball didn't prove to be enough to get by the Cougs. Pete Orgill provided the big bat for the day with a 2-for-4 afternoon, connecting on two round trippers. Two-time Pac-10 North player of the year Kevin Miller was just 1-for-5 on the day, but with the one hit he forever etched his name in the Husky record books. His third inning home run was the 24th of his career, which is the highest total in Husky baseball history.
The Cougs waisted no time putting a run on the board as Casey Kelley put a fastball deep over the right centerfield fence to give the Cougs an early 1-0 lead after the first frame. In the third, Washington took their first and only lead of the day, pushing three runs across the plate. Miller hit a two-run shot well over the scoreboard in left field for his sixth homer of '98.
Down 3-1, WSU answered with a three-run rally of their own in the top of the fourth. Kelley led off with a single down the right field line and advanced to third after an error by right fielder Jim Na. He scored on a double off the bat of Mitchell. Freshman phenom Jason Grove kept the rally going with his sixth home run of the year. The Walla Walla native drove a fastball deep over the 395 mark in straight-away centerfield to give the Cougs a 4-3 lead. In the bottom half of the fourth, Orgill connected on the first of his two homers to tie the game at four.
The Cougars and Huskies exchanged two-run rallies in both the sixth and seventh innings. With the scored tied at eight in the eighth and two outs, center fielder Steve Gleason hit a his league-leading fifth triple down the right field line. He scored the go-ahead run on a wild pitch by Massingale. In the ninth, Scherer provided the four-run cushion, driving his second homer of the day well over the left field fence.
In the ninth, Team USA member Chris Magruder led things off reaching on an error by shortstop Shawn Stevenson. With no outs and two runners on base, WSU head coach Steve Farrington called on Vigeland to stop the Washington rally. Against his first batter, Vigeland got Miller to ground into a 6-4-3 double play. Pinch hitter Nick Stefonick became Vigeland's next victim, grounding out harmlessly to second base to clinch the upset victory for the Cougs.
On the afternoon, WSU out-hit the Huskies 14 to 10 and the two teams combined to hit eight home runs. Washington State snapped a 11-game loosing streak to UW and with the win pulled to within a half game of the lead in the Pac-10 North. The series will conclude Saturday with a doubleheader starting at 12 p.m. Todd Meldahl (2-3) is scheduled to open the first game, while staff leader Wade Parrish will take his 4-1 record to the mound in the nightcap. The win was the second of the season for WSU against nationally ranked opponents. The Cougs beat Arizona State back in February when they were #6 in the national polls.
WSU 100 302 213 - 12 14 2 UW 003 102 200 - 8 10 1 Jamaal Gaines, Les McTavish (7), Ole Vigeland (9), and Jeff Scherer. Jeff Heaverlo, Matt Gardner (7), Matt Massingale (8), Ken Ferguson (9), and Ryan Bundy, Kevin Ticen (9). W - McTavish (2-1); L - Massingale (3-1); S - Vigeland (1), HR - Kelley (10), Grove (6), Scherer 2 (5), Miller (6), Erickson (4), Orgill 2(4). T - 2:49; A - 690. WSU Hits - Stevenson, Randall, Kelley 2, Mitchell 3, Gove, Curran 2, Scherer 2, Gleason, Robertson. UW Hits - Magruder 2, Miller, Erickson 2, Orgill 2, Na 2, Woods. E - Stevenson (9), Robertson (12), Magruder. 2B - Randall, Mitchell 2, Curran. 3B - Gleason (5).