February 27, 1999
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- The Washington State baseball team scored three runs in the eighth inning to help give the Cougars a 6-3 non-conference victory over San Jose State Saturday afternoon at Municipal Stadium. The win improves the Cougars season record to 7-2 while the Spartans fell to 7-7-1.
Washington State starter Jamaal Gaines (Antioch, Calif.) rebounded from a pair of tough pitching outings earlier in the season to keep the Spartan bats in check. Despite picking up the no-decision, Gaines (0-2) looked sharp scattering six hits and only one earned run in six innings of work.
The Cougar relief corps continued to dominate the late innings as left-hander Matt O'Brien (Seattle, Wash.) picked up his second win of the season out of the bullpen. O'Brien entered in relief of Gaines in the seventh and did not allow a run in his inning of work. Junior Les McTavish (Slave Lake, Alberta) picked up his first save of the year to put the game away for the Cougars. McTavish allowed only one hit in two innings of relief work.
SJSU starter Steve Murphy gave up three runs and six hits in six and one-third innings while picking up a no-decision. Reliever Joey Baker (1-2) gave up two runs in two-thirds of an inning while picking up the loss.
Despite being out-hit eight to seven by the Spartans, WSU used clutch hitting from Shawn Stevenson (Everett, Wash.) and Steve Gleason (Spokane, Wash.) to beat SJSU. Stevenson was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and is now hitting at a .390 (16-for-41) clip for the season. Gleason recorded his second multiple-hit game of the year with a 2-for-3 game, and after a slow start has raised his batting average to .250 (8-for-32).
Washington State jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the second inning when Gleason got the rally started with a solo home run, his first of the year. Stevenson capped off the three-run second inning with a two-run double scoring Ryan Smith (Port Orchard, Wash.) and Boyd Robertson (Richland, Wash.).
The Spartans battled back with two runs in the fourth and then tied the game with a single tally in the seventh. Dan Winterberg led the hitting attack for SJSU 3-for-4 game including three doubles.
After two walks to open the eighth inning, Gleason scored on a throwing error by Spartan reliever Chris Sherman to break the 3-3 tie. Stevenson added a run-scoring single to give WSU the 6-3 advantage.
The Cougars and Spartans will meet for the final time in the three-game series Sunday at 1 p.m. at Municipal Field. Washington State will send lefty Todd Meldahl (Butte, Mont.) to the mound and the Spartans will throw their ace Vince LaCorte. Cougar head coach Steve Farrington will be going for his 100th career victory in his four-year Washington State career.
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