February 21, 1998
PASCO, Wash. -- The Gonzaga Bulldogs capitalized on five Washington State errors and the solid relief pitching of Nick Hess to capture a 10-4 baseball win over the Cougars on a cold and windy Saturday afternoon game at Posse Stadium.
Hess was dominating in his five innings of relief work, giving up just two Cougar hits. He struck out five and walked just one in shutting out WSU for the Zags first win of the season. Shortstop Bo Hart paced the Bulldog hitters with a 3-for-5 afternoon.
Jamaal Gaines (1-1) started on the mound for WSU (4-4) and struggled with his control in his third start, walking four. He was also hurt by three costly Cougar errors which accounted for two unearned Bulldog runs. Gaines worked into the sixth inning before Less McTavish came on in relief.
Gonzaga (1-1) starter Steve Bennett had a rough go at the Cougar (4-4) lineup in his first start since recovering from elbow surgery one year ago. He gave up four runs, five hits and three walks in four innings before Hess (1-0) came on to shut down WSU.
Cougar freshman Jason Grove led WSU at the plate, collecting two hits, including his second home run of the season. Steve Curran also had two hits and sophomore shortstop Shawn Stevenson extended his school record hitting streak to 26 games with a single in the fourth inning.
The Cougs got on the board first when Scott Randall scored on a wild pitch in the first frame. After the Bulldogs tied the game with a single tally in the second, WSU regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning. The Bulldogs came back with three runs in the fourth inning to go on top 4-2, but Grove evened up the score with his two-run blast over the right field fence in the bottom of the fourth.
Grove's run producing home run, however, was the end to the Cougar scoring. Gonzaga, on the other hand, took command in the sixth with three runs, then added two more runs in the eighth and one in the ninth, all off McTavish. The go-ahead run in the Gonzaga sixth inning came via a balk by Gaines with the bases loaded.
The two teams, feeling the effects of the cold and windy conditions, stranded 17 base runners between them and committed seven errors. The four pitchers also combined for 11 walks and each staff allowed two unearned runs.
WSU and Gonzaga conclude their three-game weekend series Sunday with a 1:00 p.m. contest at Posse Stadium. WSU is expected to start Todd Meldahl, while Troy Stoppa will start on the mound for WSU.
Gonzaga 0 1 0 3 0 3 0 2 1 - 10 11 2 WSU 1 1 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 - 4 7 5 Steve Bennett, Nick Hess (5) and Scott Asan. Jamaal Gaines, Les McTavish (6) and Jeff Scherer. W - Hess (1-0); L - Gaines (1-1); S - None; HR - Grove (2). T - 3:05; A - 346. Gonzaga Hits - Hart 3, Taylor, Murrell 2, Workman 2, Asan 2, Miller. WSU Hits - Stevenson, Randall, Curran 2, Grove 2, Scherer. E - Hart, Asan, Stevenson, Kelley 2, Mitchell, Scherer. 2B - Murrell, Curran. 3B - None