Cougs Split Doubleheader
March 9, 2002
The Washington State baseball team concluded its weekend series at Sacramento State by splitting a doubleheader Saturday at Hornet Field.
In the first game, starter Brandon Hundt (4-0) pitched eight innings of scoreless ball, allowing just four hits and striking out six to lead the Cougars to an 8-4 win. Marshall Plouffe (1-2) got the loss for the Hornets.
"Hundt pitched outstanding," WSU head coach Tim Mooney said. "It was a great performance. We pulled him with an eight-run lead and then our bullpen got sloppy in the ninth."
In game two, WSU (10-7) dropped an 11-10 decision to the Hornets (11-7), when Cougar reliever Billy Gorrell (0-1) allowed the winning run to score on a wild pitch in the bottom of the tenth inning. Jeff Groeger (4-1) notched the win for Sacramento State.
"To the team's credit, we battled back," Mooney said. "But the pen couldn't hold the lead in the last inning. It was a game we should have won. We certainly played better than it looked, maybe even better as team than in the first game."
The Cougars had no such problems, though, in game one. WSU jumped out to an 8-0 lead after eight innings, before the Hornets did all their damage in the ninth.
WSU had four-run innings in the fourth and eighth. In the fourth, Derek Bruce got the Cougars on the board when his single to center field scored Wes Falkenborg. Steve Mortimer then followed with an RBI double that plated Jeff LaRue and Bruce followed by scoring on a fielder's choice. Mortimer capped the inning by scoring on Brandon Reddinger's single to centerfield.
In the eighth, Bookie Gates led off the inning with his second home run of the season, a solo shot to left field. Collin Henderson followed with a double to left field that plated Bruce. Henderson and Mortimer then both scored on an error by Hornet second baseman Everett Rincon.
Hundt had a no-hitter through four innings, while Gorrell and Lanakila Niles threw the ninth inning.
Game two was a much more high-scoring affair. Again, WSU got out to a large lead early.
In the first inning, the Cougars put up four runs. Gates' single to centerfield brought home Justin Hart. LaRue followed two batters later, with a single to score Gates. LaRue then scored on a double by Bruce, who came home on a single by Mortimer.
The Hornets added a run in their half of the first, but the Cougars added two more runs in the second, when Hart scored on a Gates sacrifice fly and Evan Hecker came home on a LaRue single.
Sacramento State scored three runs in the third and one each in the fourth and sixth to tie the score at six, then took its first lead of the day with a three-run seventh inning.
WSU rallied in the ninth inning, scoring three runs to knot the game at nine and send it into extra innings. Falkenborg hit a two-run home run to score Hart, and later Bruce came home on wild pitch to tie the game.
Falkenborg came up big again in the 10th, with an RBI single that plated Hart giving the Cougars a short-lived 10-9 lead. Then, with two outs in the bottom of the tenth, the Hornets loaded the bases on a single, a walk and a wild pitch third strike to Keith Carson. Chris Kinsey then singled home the tying run and Chris McCormack came home on the crucial wild pitch to end the marathon game.
Next for WSU is a three-game set at Oregon State beginning Friday at 2 p.m. at Coleman Field in Corvallis, Ore.
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