Huskies win Apple Cup of Baseball

Trevor Petersen singled home the tie-breaking run in the bottom of the eighth inning to give the Huskies a come from behind 5-3 victory over Washington State in the regular season finale on Senior Day at a rainy Husky Ballpark on Sunday afternoon.

The Huskies took the series two games to one and improved to 36-25 overall and 11-13 in the Pac-10, good for a fifth place tie with Stanford and USC. The win also sent out seniors Nick Burnham, Zach Clem, Matt Kasser, DJ Neyens, Cory Rickard and Curt Rindal on a victorious note in their final home appearance.

Trailing 3-2 going into the bottom of the eighth, Rickard drew a one out, four pitch walk from reliever Jeremy Johnson. Michael Burgher pinch ran for Rickard scored to tie the game on a line double into the left field corner by Rindal. The Cougars walked Clem intentionally to put runners at first and second but set up a double play possibility. After taking a ball, Petersen foiled that strategy with a single to left to score Rindal and put the Huskies ahead. After Matt Lane grounded into a fielder's choice, Matt Stevens gave the Huskies an insurance run and a 5-3 cushion with a line single to left, scoring Clem.

The Cougars gave starter Reese Baker a 3-0 lead, scoring their runs on a double play in the first, a bases loaded walk by Kasser in the second, and a sacrifice fly by Jay Miller in the seventh. Meanwhile Baker efficiently shut out the Huskies through six innings, throwing only 61 pitches and allowing a bloop single to Petersen in the fifth and a line single off the glove of third baseman Jeff Miller by Bradley Boyer in the sixth. Baker looked like he would have an easy seventh as well when Petersen grounded into a double play following a single by Clem. However, Lane kept the inning alive with a single to right and Stevens walked. Kyle Conley then pinch hit for Danny Cox and got his first hit since April 29, lining a double into the left field corner to score Lane and Stevens and bring Washington to within 3-2.

On the mound closer Elliott Cribby got the win for the Huskies to improve to 7-6, giving the Huskies one and one thirds innings of scoreless relief while allowing only one hit and striking out one. After Kasser started and gave up two runs on one hit and four walks in only one and two thirds innings, freshman left hander Tyler Cheney kept the Huskies in the game. He inherited a bases loaded situation from Kasser in the second and got Jay Miller to foul out to right fielder Matt Hague at the railing by the Husky bullpen. He went six innings, allowing only one run on five hits and a walk. He struck out one.

Despite entering the finale with a 1-6 record and 5.56 earned run average, head coach Ken Knutson said, "Tyler's been great out of the pen. At times this season our ballpark has played really small with the wind blowing out. He gave up some fly balls that ended up as home runs (16 allowed). He's working on a new pitch and will be a really good pitcher for us."

Johnson suffered the loss for the Cougars, dropping to 1-1. He allowed three runs on two hits and two walks in only two thirds innings. He struck out two.

With the regular season complete, the Huskies hold out minimal hope that they will make the NCAA tournament when ESPN announces the 64 team field at 9:30 a.m. on Monday, May 29.

Knutson said, "Had we won on Friday night, we would be in. Now I really don't know. I think we're one of the 64 best teams in the country and can beat anyone on any given day but there are only 32 at-large bids so we'll see what happens."

Dawgman.com Top Stories