Dawgs down Portland

Freshman Jordan Ponzoha picked up his first career win as the 13th ranked Huskies defeated the Portland Pilots 5-1 in non-conference action at Husky Ballpark on Tuesday night. For the season, they improved to 30-15-1 while Portland dropped to 10-38.

The game took only one hour and 57 minutes, the fastest game in duration for the Huskies this season, as Ponzoha, Jamie Hawkins and Josh Conover limited the Pilots to four hits. Ponzoha earned the win in his first career decision despite pitching only three innings as Husky coach Ken Knutson determined before the game that he would pitch only three innings. Ponzoha retired the first seven batters he faced before Billy Krause flared a single into right field. He struck out two batters and threw only 34 pitches, 23 for strikes.

Hawkins relieved Ponzoha in the fourth and also went three innings, allowing only two hits and a run on Travis Vetters' third home run of the season, a solo shot into the screen in center field in the fourth inning. Hawkins did not walk a batter and fanned three. Conover pitched the final three innings to earn his first save of the season, allowing only one hit while striking out two.

The Huskies got two quick runs in the bottom of the third as John Otness and Ben Johnson hit back to back home runs on consecutive pitches. Otness lifted a fly ball into the visitors' bullpen in left field for his ninth home run of the season, and then Johnson hit his seventh of the season, a line drive over the right field wall.

The Huskies got a valuable insurance run to make it 3-1 in the bottom of the sixth as Brent Lillibridge and Greg Isaacson drew back to back walks against Kutz and advanced 90 feet on a wild pitch. Then Nick Batkoski lifted a sacrifice fly to shallow right center field to score Lillibridge. Third base coach Travis Jewett decided to waive home Lillibridge and he just did beat the tag of catcher Jeffrey Crinklaw.

In the seventh, the Huskies got their final pair of runs with two outs as Otness doubled, Ben Johnson walked, and Taylor Johnson drove them both in with a line double into the right field corner.

Offensively for the Huskies the bottom of the order did the most damage. Otness finished 2 for 3 with a home run, a double, two runs scored and a run batted in. Ben Johnson went 1 for 2 with two runs scored and a RBI, and Taylor Johnson finished 2 for 3 with two doubles and two RBI.

The Huskies, who currently reside in second place in the Pac-10 with a 12-6 mark, return to league play when they make their final road trip of the season, to Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles to face USC in a three game series Friday, May 14 through Sunday, May 16. The opener will feature a match up of freshmen on the mound, with Kyle Parker (2-2, 3.70) taking the ball for the Huskies and Ian Kennedy (6-2, 2.58) for the Trojans. Kennedy comes into the game with 100 strikeouts, good for second in the Pac-10 behind only the 127 of the Huskies' Tim Lincecum.

In the middle game, Matt Kasser (2-0, 7.51) will start for Washington and Bret Butler (4-2, 5.74) for USC. The series finale will pit Lincecum (7-1, 3.51) against a starter to be determined. All three games will air on 1150 AM KKNW radio, with first pitches on Friday night at 7 p.m., Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m., and Sunday at 1 p.m.

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