UW Sweeps Apple Cup of Baseball

One week after getting swept by Stanford, the Huskies rebounded to sweep Washington State in convincing fashion at Bailey-Brayton Field in Pullman. The Huskies hammered Cougar pitching for 44 runs on 56 hits in the three game Pac-10 series, and improved to 27-17 overall and 7-8 in league play, while the Cougars dropped to 18-27 and 0-15.

In the finale on a sunny Sunday afternoon, Zach Clem and Curt Rindal both homered and drove in four runs to power the Huskies to a 14-2 rout.

Rindal gave the Huskies a 1-0 lead in the top of the second inning with his fourth home run of the season, a shot over the left field wall.

The Cougars made it 1-1 in the bottom of the second when Jason Freeman led off with an infield single, moved to second on a wild pitch, took third on a flyout and scored on a ground single to center by Jeff Miller. The Huskies took a 2-1 lead in the top of the third as Taylor Johnson walked and Clem singled. After Kyle Larsen popped out to short, Matt Hague grounded into a force at second. In attempting to double up Hague at first, Miller's relay sailed into the first base dugout, allowing Johnson to score the go-ahead run.

The Cougars came right back to tie the game at 2 in the bottom of the inning when Brady Everett drove Brandon McKerney's first pitch over the wall in left field for his team leading 10th home run of the season. The Cougars threatened to add more as Freeman got aboard on his second infield single of the game and Jim Murphy got hit by a pitch with none out. However, McKerney got what he needed, a double play grounder from Jeff Miller, and then struck out Nick Hall on three pitches to end the inning.

After a scoreless fourth, the Husky bats came alive in the fifth, scoring four runs on five hits and knocking Cougar starter Wayne Daman Jr. out of the game. Brent Lillibridge and Johnson singled and Clem hit a 1-0 pitch from Daman over the wall in left field for his team leading eighth home run of the season and a 5-2 Husky lead. Larsen then singled, advanced to third on a double by Matt Hague, and scored on a sacrifice fly to right by Rindal. In the sixth, the Huskies made it 7-2 as Lillibridge singled, raced to third on another single by Johnson and scored on a sacrifice fly by Clem. The Huskies put the game away in the seventh, scoring three more runs to make it 10-2. Rindal reached on an infield single, Nick Batkoski singled and Joey Dunn doubled to score Rindal. Mike Rundle then singled to center to plate Batkoski and Dunn.

The Huskies capped the scoring with a pair of runs in both the eighth and ninth. In the eighth Clem singled to center and two outs later scored when Rindal hit his second homer of the game and fifth of the season over the left field wall. In the ninth, pinch hitter Andy Lentz singled and pinch hitter Cory Rickard followed with his second homer of the season, an opposite field shot over the left field wall.

On the mound, McKerney, a freshman making his first career Pac-10 start and second overall, improved to 3-0 with seven solid innings, allowing both runs on six hits while striking out three. Closer Josh Conover pitched two scoreless innings in mop-up duty. Daman, Jr. suffered the loss for the Cougars to drop to 5-4. He gave up six runs on 11 hits and one walk in four plus innings. He struck out three.

On Saturday, the Huskies got all the offense they needed with a trio of two run homers in the top of the second inning as they rolled to a 13-5 victory in the middle game of the series.

Batkoski got hit by a pitch from Cougar starter James Freeman to lead off the second inning. After Larsen struck out, Rindal launched a 1-0 pitch from Freeman into the trees to the left of the scoreboard in left center field for his third home run of the season, giving the Huskies a 2-0 lead. Freeman then hit Dunn and Rundle made it 4-0 with his second homer of the season, a shot to the right of the scoreboard. The Huskies went up 6-0 when Lillibridge lined a single to center and Clem hit a two run homer, his seventh, to straightaway left field.

The Huskies added three runs in the top of the fourth to make it 9-0. With two outs back to back doubles by Lillibridge and Johnson made it 7-0. Clem walked and Hague singled to score Johnson. Then Clem scored on a single by Batkoski.

The Cougars got on the board and made it 9-2 with two runs in the bottom of the fifth. Murphy led off with a single and walks to Garrett Kimbrel and Matthew Thomas loaded the bases. Murphy scored on an errant pickoff attempt by Husky starter Kyle Parker and Kimbrel scored on a single by Scott Suttmeier. The Huskies came back with three runs in the sixth to make it 12-2. Lillibridge and Johnson drew walks from reliever Steve Kost and both scored on a double by Hague. Rindal then singled to score Hague.

Parker seemed to tire in the bottom of the sixth as he walked three batters and gave up two runs, the first on a base hit by Jeff Miller and the second on a walk to Kaeo Rubin with the bases loaded.

Washington scored again in the seventh to make it 13-4 as Rundle singled to center, advanced to third on a two base error by Kimbrel when he failed to field Rundle's hit to center, and scored on a sacrifice fly to left by Johnson. The Cougars completed the scoring in the bottom of the ninth on singles by Suttmeier and Jay Miller and a sacrifice fly by Trent Smith.

Parker earned the win to improve to 7-5. He yielded four runs on six hits and six walks in six innings while striking out six. Keaton Everitt recorded his first save of the season, pitching the final three innings, allowing one run on three hits and a walk. He struck out none. Freeman suffered the loss to drop to 6-5. He got pounded for nine runs on eight hits and a walk in only three and two thirds innings.

In the opener on Friday night, the Huskies roared back from an early 4-0 deficit to pound the Cougars 17-5.

They roughed up six Cougar pitchers for 18 hits, led by Hague and Rindal. Hague went 3 for 5 with a homer, three runs scored and two runs batted in while Rindal went 3 for 6 with two doubles, a run scored and five RBI.

With the offensive outburst the Huskies also overcame a poor outing by ace Tim Lincecum on the mound. He went only four innings, allowing five runs on three hits and 10 walks. He struck out four. The Cougars took advantage of Lincecum's wildness to score a run in the first, a run in the second and two in the third.

In the first, they loaded the bases on walks to the first three batters and plated a run on a groundout by Everett. Washington State made it 2-0 in the second on a single by Kimbrel, a walk to Thomas, and an RBI single by Suttmeier. In the third, the Cougars scored twice with two outs. Hall walked and Jeff Miller lined a single to left center. Lincecum walked Kimbrel and Thomas to force Hall home. Miller then scored on a balk. The Huskies rallied to tie the game with four runs in the fourth. Lillibridge led off with a bloop single to center. Johnson lined a single to center and Clem grounded a single to left to score Lillibridge. After Larsen flied out to right for the first out, Hague singled to load the bases and Rindal drove in Johnson with an infield single to make it 4-2. Batkoski got the Huskies even with a two run single to center to score Clem and Hague.

Washington State took advantage of Lincecum's control problems to regain the lead at 5-4. Suttmeier and Everett walked and advanced 90 feet on a groundout by Murphy. Suttmeier then scored on a passed ball by Dunn.

From that point it was all Washington. The Huskies scored twice in the top of the sixth to take a 6-5 lead. Hague led off with an infield single and scored on a double into the left field corner by Rindal. Rindal moved to third on a groundout and scored on a single by Dunn. In the seventh, the Huskies made it 8-5 on a out out single to center by Larsen and a line shot over the 375 marker in right center field by Hague, his seventh of the season. The Huskies put the game away with seven runs in the ninth. With out out Batkoski singled, Dunn walked and Rundle reached on an infield single to load the bases. Lillibridge walked to force home Batkoski and Dunn scored on a groundout by Johnson. Larsen hit a ground ball up the middle for the apparent inning-ending out but shortstop Justin McClure bobbled the ball for an error, allowing Rundle to score and make it 13-5. Michael Burgher, pinch hitting for Hague, drew another bases loaded walk to force home Lillibridge and Rindal cleared the bases with a double into the left field corner, scoring Clem, Larsen and Burgher.

While the Huskies brought the heavy lumber, David Dowling shut down the Cougars on the mound. He did a magnificent job in relief of Lincecum, throwing five no-hit innings and allowing only one walk while striking out four. Dowling earned the win to improve to 6-0. Reliever Brett Sommer took the loss to drop to 0-1. He allowed two runs on five hits in two and one thirds innings. He struck out one.

With 44 runs everyone contributed to the Husky attack in the series. Rindal led the way, going 8 for 15 with three homers, two doubles, five runs scored and 12 RBI. Clem went 6 for 10 with two homers, six runs scored and seven RBI. Lillibridge went 8 for 15 and got on base 11 times. He scored eight runs and drove in one. Johnson finished 7 for 13 with five runs and five RBI. Hague finished 6 for 15 with a home run, four runs and five RBI.

Following the sweep of the Cougars the Huskies have a rare eight days off before traveling to Portland to face the Pilots on Tuesday, May 10. They then host Oregon State, which currently holds second place in the Pac-10 with an 11-4 mark, in a big series at Husky Ballpark from Friday, May 13 to Sunday, May 15. Friday's opener will begin at 6:30 p.m. with first pitch on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m.

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