February 22, 1998
PASCO, Wash. -- Coming off a lackluster performance in Saturday's game, the Washington State baseball team pounded out nine runs and 12 hits in route to a 9-2 downing of Gonzaga University under sunny skies Sunday afternoon at Posse Stadium.
Washington State (5-4) was led by starting pitcher Todd Meldahl (2-1) who gave up only one run in six innings on the mound. Meldahl dominated the Bulldogs line-up early allowing only one hit in the first five innings. In his third outing of the year Meldahl struck out five, while allowing three base-on-balls. Reggie Rivard and Aaron Cozzens both helped secure WSU's fifth win of the '98 campaign with three solid innings of relief work.
Gonzaga (1-2) starter Troy Stoppa (0-1) had a rough start to his season in picking up the loss for the Zags. With a shaky defense behind him, Stoppa allowed five Cougar runs to cross the plate in five innings of work. Matt Kearney did not prove to be any more effective in his relief stint, giving up three runs in his two innings of work. Left Fielder Kevin Taylor led the Bulldogs at the plate going 2-for-4.
The Cougars were led at the plate by the a host of players. The top five in the line-up combined for a 10-for-19 afternoon while driving in eight of the nine runs. Lead-off hitter Shawn Stevenson extended his school-record hitting streak to 27 games with a double and a single. In the five spot, junior first baseman Casey Kelley dealt the biggest blow of the day with his fourth home run of the year. Scott Randall, Boyd Robertson, and Steve Curran, two, three, and four respectively in the line-up, all contributed two hits in the winning effort.
The Cougs got on the board first when Stevenson scored on a sharply hit single by Curran in the first frame. Meldahl kept the Bulldog bats in check not allowing a run to score until the sixth. In the sixth, Gonzaga rallied to score their first run of the afternoon, but a bases loaded threat was ended when Meldahl fielded a comebacker, and started a one-two-three double play. The Cougs added two more runs in the seventh on the Kelley home run. Kelley, who had been in a mild slump as of late, broke out of it in a big way with his team leading fourth round-tripper of the year. Reggie Rivard sealed the fate of the Bulldogs allowing just two hits in his two inning relief appearance.
The Cougs came out ahead in the three game series taking two-out-of-three. Washington State and Gonzaga will next meet March 25 in Spokane. The Cougars will be taking the next week off to prepare for the UNLV Coors Desert Classic in Las Vegas, Nevada. They will open tournament play with a familiar opponent in the Lewis and Clark State Warriors. Game time is slated for Thursday March 5th at 1 p.m. The Warriors and Cougars will be meeting for the first of four scheduled game in the '98 season. They will play at Cashman Field, which is home to the Las Vegas Stars of the AAA Pacific Coast League.
Gonzaga 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 1 - 2 7 1 WSU 2 2 0 0 1 1 2 1 x - 9 12 1 Troy Stoppa, Matt Kearney (6), Kevin Workman (8), and Scott Asan. Todd Meldahl, Reggie Rivard (7), Aaron Cozzens (9), and Ryan Smith. W - Meldahl (2-1); L - Stoppa (0-1); S - None, HR - Kelley (4). T - 2:53; A - 419. Gonzaga Hits - Hart, Taylor 2, Arnott, Murrell, Asan, Workman. WSU Hits - Stevenson 2, Randall 2, Robertson 2, Curran 2, Kelley 2, Grove, Edler. E - Gradishar, Gleason (1). 2B - Grove (5), Stevenson (2), Randall (3), Curran (3). 3B - None.