Derek Bruce Leads WSU Past LCSC 7-2
April 23, 2002
LEWISTON, Idaho - Washington State freshman Derek Bruce, who a year ago was playing high school ball for nearby Lewiston High, hit for the cycle and Brandon Hundt and Garrett Alwert combined to shut down the host Lewis-Clark State Warriors in WSU's 7-2 win Tuesday at Harris Field.
Hundt (5-4) pitched five innings of four-hit, five-strikeout ball, allowing no runs and no walks. Alwert pitched four innings in relief to notch his second save of the season for the Cougars (15-23). Kevin Welch (3-1) received his first loss of the season for LCSC (29-12).
"The difference today with pitching was location," WSU head coach Tim Mooney said. "Hundt and Alwert did a good job pitching to zones. They threw it where we wanted it."
Bruce, 4-for-4 on the day, singled in the third, homered in the fourth, tripled in the sixth and completed the cycle with a double in the eighth. Not to be outdone by Bruce was center fielder Evan Hecker, who went 3-for-5 and drove in two RBI. The duo combined for seven of the Cougars' 12 hits.
"I'm taking better pitches," Bruce said. "Early in the year I was swinging wildly. Today I just saw the ball better."
WSU got the jump on the Warriors in the top of the fourth inning. Wes Falkenborg hit his fourth home run of the season, a solo shot over the left field wall to give WSU a 1-0 lead. Four batters later, Bruce hit his team-leading seventh homer of the season - a two-run blast that scored Jeff LaRue to give WSU a 3-0 lead.
The Cougars added to their lead the next inning when Hecker scored from third base on a throwing error by LCSC catcher Gabe Stajduhar, extending the Cougar lead to 4-0.
LCSC answered with a run in the bottom of the sixth on Mike Madrid's solo homer off Alwert, but WSU responded with a three-run eighth to take a 7-1 lead.
Tyson Boston's RBI single plated Chris Todd. Bruce followed with a double to right field that completed his cycle. Jon Baeder then singled to right and advanced to second on the throw home. Hecker followed with a double to left center field to score Bruce and Baeder to give WSU a 7-1 lead.
Alwert surrendered a solo home run to Tory Haven in the bottom of the ninth, but settled down to retire the side and record the save.
The Cougars' next action will be a three-game Pacific-10 Conference series, beginning Friday at 6 p.m. against UCLA.
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