Lincecum does it again

Tim Lincecum continued his torrid pitching with six shutout innings and 14 strikeouts as the Huskies hammered the Brigham Young Cougars 10-1 in the opener of a three game non-conference series on a rainy Thursday night at Husky Ballpark.

The Husky ace allowed only one hit and one walk in improving his record to 8-2. He dominated the BYU batters right from the start, striking out the first six batters he faced on only 22 pitches, 18 of them strikes. He added a strikeout in the third, two each in the fourth and fifth, and ended his night by striking out the side in the sixth.

The only hit he gave up came on a one out double by Marcos Villezcas in the fourth, and his only walk came to Kasey Ko leading off the fifth. Lincecum lowered his earned run average to 1.52 and extended his scoreless inning streak to 34 and two thirds innings and has allowed only one earned run on 13 hits in his last 48 innings.

With the 14 strikeouts he recorded his sixth double digit strikeout performance of the season and increased his nation leading total to 123 and his career total to 415, only 34 short of the career Pac-10 record set by Rik Currier of USC from 1998-2001.

Despite throwing only 82 pitches in six innings, Husky head coach Ken Knutson went to the bullpen, with Nick Haughian pitching the seventh, Richie Lentz the eighth and Brandon McKerney the ninth. They just picked up where Lincecum left off, combining to strike out six more Cougar batters and giving the Huskies 20 for the game. Lentz was particularly impressive, as despite making only his second appearance since having Tommy John surgery, he struck out the side. The only Cougar run came against Haughian in the seventh on a home run to left field by Jeff Hiestand, his fifth of the season.

Zach Clem and Curt Rindal both went 2 for 3 with a run scored and three runs batted in to pace the Washington offense. After squandering a bases loaded opportunity in the first and going in order in the second the Huskies took a 1-0 lead in the third when Matt Hague scored on a fielder's choice grounder by Rindal.

The Huskies then batted around, sending 10 batters to the plate and scoring six runs against Mitch Woolf and James Platt in the fourth. Ryan Anderson led off with a chop single over the head of third baseman Chris Johnson and Danny Cox walked. Brett Kaluza advanced the runners with a sacrifice, and after Jake Rife struck out, Anderson scored on Woolf's third wild pitch of the game. Hague walked and Clem followed with a double deep to center field to score two runs and make it 4-0. Platt came in to relieve Woolf and hit Matt Lane with a pitch. Rindal then lined a double into left center to plate Clem and Lane. Matt Stevens drove home Rindal for the final run of the inning with a line single over the glove of first baseman Hiestand.

Washington added two more runs to make it 9-0 in the fifth. With two outs Rife singled and moved to second on an errant pickoff attempt by catcher J.T. Musso. Hague grounded a single to left to score Rife. Hague took second on his third stolen base of the game and scored on a double by Clem, a pop fly that left fielder Seth Johnson lost in the lights.

Cox completed the scoring when he hit his first career homer, a rising line drive over the Husky Fever logo in right field, in the seventh against reliever Jake Wortham.

With the win the Huskies improved to 23-13 while the Cougars dropped to 14-19. The middle game of the series will take place on Friday at 6:30 p.m. with Tyler Cheney on the mound for Washington and Jesse Craig the probable starter for BYU. Then in the finale on Saturday at 12:00 noon, Kyle Parker will return to the rotation for the Huskies against Brandon Christiansen.

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