March 24, 1999
PULLMAN, Wash. - Lewis-Clark State starter John Foster threw 140 pitches and gave up only two runs to pick up a complete-game victory over the host Washington State baseball team Wednesday afternoon in a non-conference game at Bailey Field.
The Cougars have now dropped two games in a row after earning a No. 29 national ranking in Collegiate Baseball magazine and are 15-7 on the season. The LCSC Warriors continue to find their way into the win column improving their season mark to an impressive 23-5.
Foster, a junior left-hander from Stockton, Calif., scattered seven WSU hits and struck out 12 to pick up his fourth win of the year. It was Foster's second complete-game victory of the year with his first being a no-hitter against Cal State-LA on Feb. 19.
WSU starter Justin Nakaishi (Syracuse, Utah) pitched well in his first start of the year, but was credited with the loss giving up two runs off four hits in four innings of work. Todd Meldahl came out of the bullpen and threw two perfect innings. Meldahl (Butte, Mont.) will start Sunday's series finale against the defending National Champion USC Trojans. Matt O'Brien (Seattle, Wash.) and freshman Zach Fisher (Port Orchard, Wash.) also pitched effectively in their relief appearances.
LCSC jumped out to an early 2-1 lead after three innings and took a slim 3-2 lead into the ninth inning. The Warriors added two insurance runs off WSU reliever Reggie Rivard (Bonnyville, Alberta) to push their lead to 5-2. In the ninth Foster set the WSU lineup down in order to seal the victory for LCSC.
Shortstop Shawn Stevenson paced the Cougars at the plate going 2-for-4 with a run-scoring single in the seventh inning. Steve Curran (Bellevue, Wash.) was credited with the Cougs only other run when he drove home Bookie Gates (Seattle, Wash.) on a single in the second inning.
Sophomore Jason Grove (Walla Walla, Wash.) returned to the lineup for the first time since Feb. 26 and extended his current hitting streak to 15 games. Grove was sidelined with a broken right thumb and should be in the starting lineup all this weekend for the Cougs' Pac-10 opener.
For LCSC it was the first four hitters in the lineup who combined to do most of the damage. Jason Ellison, Kendrick Wallace, Brandon O'Leary, Ray Vodegel, and Toby Cheff combined to go 8-for-18 with all five RBIs. Wallace came up with the big hit in the ninth with a run-scoring triple.
The Cougars will take a day off Thursday before returning to the diamond Friday against the preseason No. 1 ranked USC Trojans at 3 p.m. Cougar pitching ace Wade Parrish will look to improve his 4-1 season record while the Trojans will send one of the hottest pitchers in the nation in Barry Zito to the mound for the first of a three-game series. Zito (4-2) is 2-0 in both of his Pac-10 starts while striking out 32 batters. USC is 14-15 overall after falling to No. 6 Pepperdine 6-4 Wednesday and boast a 5-1 Pac-10 record. The Cougars have yet to play a Pac-10 game.