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Cougars Open Season with 21-7 Crushing of New Mexico State

Stevenson goes 4-for-6 with three RBI, scores five runs.

February 12, 1999

LAS CRUCES, N.M. - The Washington State Cougar baseball team hammered out 21 runs on 23 hits en route to a season-opening 21-7 non-conference victory over New Mexico State Friday at Presley Askew Stadium.

Washington State (1-0) starting pitcher Wade Parrish (Othello, Wash.) continued the form he showed as a first team all-league selection from a year ago. The junior lefty gave up only one earned run in six innings of mound work while striking out five to earn his first victory of '99. Junior Les McTavish (Slave Lake, Alberta) threw an inning of relief and Tony Dawson (Oakland, Calif.) made a two-inning appearance in his Cougar debut.

New Mexico State (1-7) starter Nick Alvarez (0-3) faired well in his six innings of work, but was touched for three costly unearned runs. A host of Aggie relievers were roughed up for 15 runs and 15 hits in three innings of work.

At the plate the Cougars showed no signs of being outside only eight times prior to Friday's game. Junior shortstop Shawn Stevenson (Everett, Wash.) and sophomore Jason Grove (Walla Walla, Wash.) led the way for the potent Cougar lineup. Stevenson, who was voted the best shortstop in the Pac-10 by Baseball America, was 4-for-6 with a double, five runs scored, two stolen bases, and three RBI. Grove, an honorable mention freshman All-American in '98, was 5-for-7 with four runs scored and three RBI. Grove extended his current hitting streak to eight games, dating back to April 26, 1998. Senior catcher Jeff Scherer (Kennewick, Wash.) added a three-hit game to the Cougs' first win of the year.

Washington State jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first inning, with the help of three WSU singles and three hit batters by Alvarez. The Cougs held a slim 3-2 lead heading into the top of the sixth before breaking the game open. A three-run sixth, followed by six-run seventh and eighth innings put the game out of reach.

Of the Cougs' 23 hits, only three were for extra bases and the first 16 were singles. Stevenson broke the string with a double in the eighth inning. The 21 runs scored by the Cougars are the most since a 21-3 defeat of Gonzaga March 2, 1997, at the Banana Belt Tournament in Lewiston, Idaho.

The last time WSU had 20 or more hits was in an 11-inning game at California, March 16, 1998.

The Cougars will continue its four-game series against New Mexico State Saturday with senior Jamaal Gaines getting the start on the mound. Gaines was 4-4 with a 5.73 ERA in 13 games last year. Saturday's game is scheduled for 3 p.m., with games to follow at 3 p.m. Sunday and 11 a.m. Monday.

WSU   300 003 663 - 21 23 2
NMSU  010 100 302 -  7 10 2

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