Washington State opened a three-game series with the Stanford Cardinal by posting a 3-1 victory.
The Cougars (22-18, 11-5) got some outstanding pitching from senior Matt Way (6-4). It was an impressive outing for Way who went 8 innings allowing Stanford (20-19, 8-11) just 5 hits while striking out 5.
This game had special meaning for Way who moved his career strikeout total to 201, becoming just the ninth Coug to reach that mark.
WSU managed just three hits, all for extra bases, off Stanford starter Jordan Pries who went the distance.
They made the most of all three.
After Stanford scratched out a run in the top of the second, Greg Lagreid blasted a 3-2 pitch down the right field line for a double to begin the bottom half of the inning. Lagreid would advance to third on a ground out, then come home on a sacrifice foul fly ball to left field.
The Cougs used the long ball to collect their other two runs in the bottom of the fourth.
Derek Jones led off the Cougar half of the fourth by sending a 3-2 pitch deep over the fence in right center.
Two batters later, Michael Weber drove in his second run of the game by blasting a 1-0 pitch for a dinger to left center. That proved to be more than enough offense for WSU.
More than a thousand fans on hand were brought to the edge of their seats in the top of the ninth.
Jeremy Johnson came on in relief of Way to close out the win for Washington State.
Johnson struck out the first Cardinal on five pitches but then walked Brent Milleville on five pitches. Catcher Zack Jones grounded a single through the right side of the field with Milleville stopping at second.
Next batter to face Johnson was designated hitter Ben Clowe who was swiftly dispatched on a fly ball to left field.
All Johnson needed to save the win was a final out.
Jonathan Kaskow came in to pinch hit for Adam Gaylord who had left three Cardinal runners on base in his three trips to the plate. Kaskow beat out a ground ball to second base, loading the bases. Jeff Whitlow came into the game to pinch run for Kaskow.
The table was set for Stanford to get back in the game, possibly taking the lead with an extra base hit.
Before there was time for drama to build, Jake Schlander grounded Johnson's first pitch for a force at second to preserve the victory.
These two teams continue the series at Bailey-Brayton Field this afternoon. The first pitch is scheduled for 1pm. If you can't be there for the game, tune your television to FSN Northwest and enjoy Cougar baseball.
Though the WSU football coaches won't hit the recruiting trails until next week, there is already news about the Class of 2010. Coach Paul Wulff has his third verbal commitment.
Another in-state high school prospect has gone crimson and gray.
Jake Rogers, TE/DE, of Shadle Park HS is the latest verbal for the Cougs. The All Greater Spokane League tight end is the prototypical player for Coach Wulff. Good size. Good speed. Good in the classroom.
Rogers is the second student/athlete from Spokane to stay close to home, playing football on the field turf of Martin Stadium in Pullman. He is joined by another tight end, Aaron Dunn, from Mead HS.
Former Cougar quarterback Gary Rogers is working out with the Buffalo Bills of the NFL. According to buffalobills.com, Rogers is the best looking quarterback invited to try out for the team.
Rogers throws a nice looking ball and has great size at 6′5″ and 243 pounds. He has a poise to him and knows when to put a little more on a pass and when to take a little off. - Chris Brown blog.buffalobills.com
Former WSU tight end Cody Boyd is also getting a look by the Bills. Boyd has two years of NFL experience with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Washington Redskins.
The belt tightening for Washington State athletics began with the public announcement by university President Elson Floyd of the proposed budget for 2009-2011.
WSU is faced with maintaining academic excellence despite a $54million reduction in state funding.
Floyd will be making tough choices to address the largest reduction in funding in the history of Washington State University.
$350,000 has been cut from the athletic budget which funded scholarships for Cougar student/athletes. That creates a one-two punch to Cougar athletics when combined with a 14% tuition increase next year. That will create a need for an additional $1million.
President Floyd welcomes public input before the budget is finalized on June 1st.
Originally published on Examiner.com