May 14, 1999
PORTLAND, Ore. - Zach Fisher scattered five hits over seven innings and Justin Nakaishi worked the final two innings without allowing a hit as Washington State blanked the host Portland Pilots 7-0 in a non-conference baseball game Thursday.
Fisher (1-0) picked up his first decision of the season for the Cougars (22-27), while starter Tony Blackhurst (3-6) took the loss before leaving the game in the sixth inning. Noel Clark and Josh Cram followed Blackhurst to the mound for Portland (21-27).
The Cougars made the most of their seven hits, especially early in the game. In the first inning Ray Hattenburg singled home WSU's first run, scoring Shawn Stevenson, who opened the game with a walk.
In the second frame freshman Evan Hecker doubled home Ryan Smith and Boyd Robertson, while in the third Zach Bode hit his ninth home run, a shot over the right field fence that scored Hattenburg, on base after being hit by a Blackhurst pitch.
WSU's final two runs came in the sixth when the Cougars chased Portland's starting pitcher. Jason Grove did the damage with a two-run single with the bases loaded.
Fisher, a freshman who a year ago at this time was pitching for South Kitsap High, entered the game with just 17 innings to his credit. Against Portland in his second start of the year and ninth appearance, he never gave up more than one hit in any inning.
In fact, Fisher was nearly untouchable after working through some opening-game jitters. Portland leadoff hitter Gavin Hare opened the Pilot's half of the first inning with a double down the left field line and Ryan Powell then worked Fisher for a walk. With Nate Hare at the plate, the Pilot runners pulled off a double steal to put Fisher to the test.
The Cougar hurler proved he was ready for the challenge, striking out Hare. Steve Jackson then ground out and Brendan Wood fouled out to Grove down the right field line..
The Cougar starter then went on to set Portland down in order in the second and third innings. In the fourth a double play wiped out Portland's only base runner, while in the fifth, sixth and seventh innings Fisher stranded one runner in each frame.
Nakaishi, in his eleventh appearance of the season allowed just one walk in the last two innings while striking out three.
The two teams battled through a 42-minute rain delay in the fourth inning after WSU built up a 5-0 lead. The Cougars return to action Friday with the first of three games over three days at Oregon State.
WSU 122 002 000 - 7 7 0 Portland 000 000 000 - 0 5 0
Zach Fisher, Justin Nakaishi (8) and Ryan Smith. Tony Blackhurst, Noel Clark (6), Josh Cram (9) and Gavin Hare. W - Fisher (1-0), L - Blackhurst (3-6), S - None, HR - Bode (9). T - 2:58, A - 143.
WSU Hits - Hecker, Grove, Hattenburg, Bode, Gates, Curran, Smith. Portland Hits - G. Hare, Powell, N. Hare, Wood, Dearinger. E - None. 2B - Hecker, G. Hare, Powell, Wood. 3B - None.