Three Cougs off on right foot in pro baseball

MATT WAY, coming off an outstanding senior season at Washington State, pitched four innings of one-hit, shutout ball in his professional debut Friday night in Williamsport, Pa. He is just one of three Cougs whose new pro careers started off right.

Way, Philadelphia's fifth-round draft pick, struck out three in the New York-Penn League game with Mahoning Valley of Nilles, Ohio. He did not earn a decision in the short-season Class A contest.

Jeremy Johnson, WSU's closer this season, threw a 1-2-3 ninth inning in his pro debut with Mahoning Valley at State College, Pa., on Thursday. Johnson was the 13th-round pick of Cleveland.

Jared Prince, a right fielder during most of his four years at WSU, played first base Wednesday for the Spokane Indians and smacked a homer and double for his first two pro hits. Prince was a 34th-round pick by Texas. Spokane plays in the short-season Class A Northwest League.

Alex Burg, the fourth Cougar who was drafted and signed a pro contract this month, has yet to play with Scottsdale, Ariz., in the Rookie-class Arizona League. Burg, San Francisco's 24th-round pick, is recovering from a knee injury.

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