Cougs Down Kent State 7-3
March 3, 2002
TROY, Ala. - Washington State continued its successful run of late in tournaments, defeating Kent State 7-3 Sunday on the final day of the Troy State Wiregrass Classic at Riddle-Pace Field.
The tournament was shortened by a day and moved from Dothan, Ala., to Troy State's campus because of inclement weather, but it did little do stop the streaking Cougars (9-5), who went 2-0 at the tournament and have now won their last four and seven of their last eight. Kent State dropped to 1-2.
WSU starter Brandon Hundt (3-0) struck out 11 while allowing just six hits and two runs in six innings to notch the win. Garrett Alwert pitched three innings of relief, allowing one run on three hits to receive his first save of the season. Matt Lorenzo (0-1) got the loss for the Golden Flashes.
"Hundt had 11 strikeouts, which shows he had the stuff to get people out," WSU head coach Tim Mooney said. "But I wish he was more efficient - he had 80 pitches through four innings. Alwert, though, pitched great. His curveball was the best I've ever seen it."
At the plate, the hot-hitting Cougars had 13 hits. Freshman shortstop Derek Bruce, who went 7-for-8 at the tournament, continued his tear. Bruce went 4-for-4 with four runs and his team-leading sixth home run, a solo shot to centerfield in the fifth inning. Centerfielder Evan Hecker went 3-for-5 and designated hitter Wes Falkenborg went 2-for-4.
"I liked the team's approach today," Mooney said. "They did a good job with overall play and worked really hard. We really saw the ball well."
The Cougars jumped out to a 2-1 lead, scoring runs in the first and second innings. Hecker scored on an error by Kent State third baseman Brady Glass in the first to take a 1-0 lead. The Golden Flashes answered with a run in the top of the second, but WSU responded in its half of the second when Collin Henderson's RBI single plated Bruce.
Kent State tied the score in the top of the third, but WSU took the lead for good in the bottom of the inning. Justin Hart came home on a balk to open the scoring. Bookie Gates then scored on a fielder's choice and Bruce capped the inning by scoring on a Steve Mortimer double to give the Cougars a 5-2 lead.
WSU added runs in the fifth and seventh. Bruce's homer in the fifth made it 6-2 and Falkenborg's single in the seventh scored Bruce to give WSU a 7-2 lead. Kent State ended the scoring by adding a run in the top of the ninth.
The Cougars return to the road next week with a three-game set at Sacramento State. WSU begins the series with a 2 p.m. game Friday, March 8.
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