Baseball off to best start since 1988.
February 28, 1999
SAN JOSE, Calif. -- Junior starting pitcher Todd Meldahl and hard-throwing reliever Reggie Rivard combined to shut out the San Jose State Spartan baseball team 1-0 in a non-conference game Sunday at Municipal Stadium completing the three-game series sweep for the Cougars.
The win improved WSU's season record to 8-2, which is the best start the Cougars have had since the 1988 team started 9-1. In 1990, 1991, and 1993 WSU came out of the gates with 7-3 records. The win Sunday marked the 100th career victory in head coach Steve Farrington's four-year WSU career.
The last time the Cougars have defeated a team 1-0 was against the same San Jose State Spartans in a 13-inning game in 1992.
After a mediocre first start against New Mexico State, Meldahl (Butte, Mont.) has caught fire over his last two outings to improve his season record to 2-0. Meldahl pitched eight and one-third scoreless innings while scattering 10 SJSU hits. The junior southpaw struck out five and did not walk a batter.
Rivard entered in the ninth assuming his role as the Cougars' closer. With one out and one man on Rivard struck out the first batter he faced and then got Mike Rouse to fly out to Steve Gleason (Spokane, Wash.) in centerfield for his second save of the year.
In the three-game series the Cougar pitching staff combined to give up only 21 hits and one earned run in 27 innings of work while recording 20 strikeouts.
San Jose State starting pitcher Vince LaCorte lived up to his 0.50 ERA he compiled prior to Sunday's game as he allowed only three hits to the Cougar lineup. LaCorte (2-1) went the distance for his first complete game of the year and at one point between the first and eighth innings retired 18 of the 20 batters he faced.
The normally potent Cougar bats were kept in check by LaCorte as only David Perreira (Ewa Beach, Hawaii) and Jeron Gates (Seattle, Wash.) recorded hits. Perreira, who started his first game in the designated hitter role, was 2-for-3 with a pair of doubles.
San Jose State threatened to put a pair of runs up on the board in the third inning when they had the bases loaded and only one out. Meldahl worked himself out of the jam by getting Dan Winterberg to line into a double play ending the Spartan scoring threat.
In the eighth Brad Philley (Puyallup, Wash.) drew a base on balls to leadoff the inning for Washington State. After a sacrifice hit by Gleason and a groundout by Jeff Scherer (Kennewick, Wash.) the table was set for Gates. With two strikes and two outs, the true freshman drove a LaCorte pitch back up the middle to score Philley breaking the 0-0 tie and giving the Cougars their eighth win on the year.
Washington State will next travel to one of the premier college baseball
tournaments in the nation at the Hormel Foods Baseball Classic in
Minneapolis, Minn. The Cougars will face the University of Minnesota
Friday at 4:30 p.m., preseason No. 1 Wichita State Saturday at 5 p.m., and
current No. 1 Florida State Sunday at 3 p.m.
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