March 16, 1999
BERKELEY, Calif. - Washington State starter Jamaal Gaines had been close all year in picking up his first win, and it turns out all it took was a return trip to his native Bay Area as he pitched a spectacular three hitter over eight innings to lead the Cougar baseball team to a 5-2 victory over the University of California Tuesday in a non-conference game at Evans Diamond.
The Cougars took two of three in the non-counting Pac-10 series with WSU winning Monday's game 10-7. Cal took the opening game of the series Saturday with a dramatic 4-3 come-from-behind win. WSU improved its season record to 11-5 while the Golden Bears fell to 9-17.
Gaines (Antioch, Calif.) started shaky loading the bases in the first inning, but worked out of the jam allowing only one run to cross the plate on a sacrifice fly by Cal catcher Mike Tonis. After the first inning the hard-throwing junior right-hander cruised to his first win of the '99 season allowing only three hits while striking out two.
Gaines retired nine of the last 10 batters he faced before handing the ball over to WSU closer Reggie Rivard (Bonnyville, Alberta). Rivard pitched a solid ninth inning giving up only one hit to pick up his third save of the year.
The Cougars jumped into the lead in the second inning when Steve Curran (Bellevue, Wash.) crushed a ball deep over the right field fence for a three-run home run. The junior first baseman/designated hitter finished the day 3-for-3 with three RBIs and improved his season batting average nearly 100 points from .148 to .233.
The Cougars added to their lead in the fourth inning when two-sport star Steve Gleason (Spokane, Wash.) connected on a run-scoring double. Zach Bode (Issaquah, Wash.) continues to swing one of the hottest bats in the Cougar lineup as he hit his second home run in as many days with a solo shot in the fifth inning. Bode, a junior utility player, is now 5-for-13 in his last four games with two home runs, a double, and 7 RBIs.
California added their only other run off Gaines in the fourth inning when Tonis connected on his third home run in as many games against the Cougs. Tonis ended the three-game series going 6-for-10 at the plate. Cal's Trevor Hutchinson picked up the loss giving up five runs off five Cougar hits in five innings. Reliever Jason Dennis struck out four and did not allow a run in four solid innings on the mound.
Washington State will next play a single game at the University of San Francisco at 2 p.m. at Benedetti Field. Freshman Tyson Thompson (Bothell, Wash.) will be making his first collegiate start.