Huskies sweep Cougs in decisive fashion

Trevor Gibson and Brian Carter combined on a two hitter as Washington defeated Washington Sate 8-1 on a blustery but mostly dry Sunday afternoon at Husky Ballpark. With the win, their fifth straight, the Huskies swept the three game non conference series and improved their overall record to 9-6, while Washington State dropped to 3-13.

Gibson, a junior right hander from Enumclaw, made his first career start, and in the first inning it did not look as if it would last very long. He walked both Justin Hart and Jeremy Farrar, throwing only two strikes in 10 pitches to the first two Cougar batters. After going to a 3-2 count against Derek Bruce, he got the third Cougar batter to strike out into a double play, as catcher Aaron Hathaway threw out Hart attempting to steal third. That seemed to really settle Gibson down, as he got cleanup and designated hitter Wes Falkenborg to foul out to first baseman Kyle Larsen, and then retired the Cougars in order in the second, third and fourth innings. Remarkably, Gibson even had a no hitter through the first four and one third innings before Jeff LaRue doubled down the right field line and scored on a single by Jon Baeder in the top of the fifth. Gibson improved to 1-0, pitching six innings and allowing only the one run on two hits and four walks, while striking out seven. Carter then entered the game in relief of Gibson in the seventh, and pitched three hitless innings with three strikeouts, to record his second save of the season. By the time the Cougars scored, the Huskies already led 5-0, scoring once in the first, three times in the second, and once more in the fourth.

Unlike Gibson, Cougar starting pitcher Karl Mejlholm could not overcome his wildness in the first, and it cost him, as the Huskies scored without even getting a hit. Leadoff batter Greg Isaacson walked on four pitches, and then Mejlholm hit Justin Drake and Mike Wagner with pitches to load the bases. After fanning John Otness for the second out, Mejlholm walked Chad Boudon to force home Isaacson and give the Huskies a 1-0 lead.

Hathaway led off the bottom of the second with his first home run of the season, a shot into the trees beyond the left field wall. Brent Lillibridge then walked, stole second, and scored on a triple by Isaacson, who scored on a double by Drake.

Washington made it 5-0 in the fourth as Lillibridge led off with an infield single and eventually scored on a balk by Mejlholm. Mejlholm did not last past the fourth and suffered the loss for the Cougars to drop to 1-2, allowing five runs on five hits and three walks in only three and a third innings.

Taylor Johnson accounted for the final three Husky runs with two home runs, a solo shot into the visitors bullpen in left field in the fifth against reliever Nick Kenyon, and then a two run shot over the wall in left center field in the seventh off Brian Esparza.

The Huskies return to action with a two game non-conference series against conference foe Oregon State in Corvallis on Tuesday, March 11 and Wednesday, March 12. Clay Johnson will start for the Huskies on Wednesday, with Tuesday's starter yet to be determined. Then after a day off on Thursday, the Huskies return home to face Cal-State Northridge in another non-conference series at Husky Ballpark beginning on Friday, March 14.

NOTES: Tila Reynolds missed Sunday's game due to a pulled hamstring, and Brent Lillibridge replaced him at shortstop. He had a fine game defensively, and recorded five assists, with his most impressive one coming in the ninth, when he dove to his left to keep a ground ball by Cougar batter Robert Stahlke from going into center field, and threw out the runner at first. Top Stories