Ben Johnson Homers In Ninth To Beat L-C State
April 25, 2001
SEATTLE - Freshman Ben Johnson belted a two-out, two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to liftthe Washington baseball team to a 7-6 win over 11-time NAIA champion Lewis-Clark StateWednesday at Husky Ballpark. The Huskies had surrendered a three-run homer in the topof the ninth to surrender a two-run lead.
In the top of the ninth, L-C State second baseman Jay Knowlton belted a two-out, three-run homer to give the Warriors their first lead of the day.
In the bottom of the ninth, Warriors reliever Wes Hutchison (2-3), who had fanned nineand allowed only two hits in six and one-third, go two quick outs before allowing a singleto Jefferson Thiel. Johnson, a true freshman catcher from Bellevue, Wash., followed witha long home run to right-center field to end the game. Washington improved to 24-12 whileL-C State fell to 42-11.
Knowlton, who had entered the game as a defensive replacement, belted a 2-2 pitch fromHusky closer Scott Robertson over the left-field fence. Robertson (3-0), who shares thePac-10 lead with seven saves, hadn't allowed an extra-base hit in 15 prior outings thisseason. After a double play cleared the bases in the ninth, Robertson walked one batter andallowed a double before Knowlton's blast.
The Huskies looked as though they would hand L-C State ace Chris Mabeus his first careerloss. The senior righty entered the day with an 18-0 career record and was on the hook forthe loss prior to his team's ninth-inning heroics.
Down 1-0 going to the bottom of the second, Michael Done got the Huskies even when heled off the second with his sixth home run of the season, a towering shot to the gap inright-center. Washington tacked on four more in the third. Tyler Davidson's double to rightplated two runs and Bryan Johnson followed with a two-run homer to chase Mabeus fromthe game.
The Huskies welcomed the return to two regular starters that had sat out over a month dueto injury. Senior Marc Rittenhouse, a four-year starter at second base, went 2-for-4 with arun in his return. Sophomore catcher Thiel, who played as the designated hitterWednesday, singled in four at bats. Rittenhouse had surgery in March to repair a tornligament in his thumb. Thiel had missed the last 23 games after suffering a partial tear in anelbow ligament.
L-C State left fielder Matt Bullen, who doubled with two outs to put runners at second andthird in the ninth prior to Knowlton's homer, finished the day 4-for-4 with two doublesand two runs batted in.
The Huskies travel this weekend to face Washington State in a three-game Pac-10 series inPullman. Next Monday and Tuesday, the Dawgs take on Gonzaga in Spokane in a two-game, non-league series.
LINESCORENon-Conference GameWashington 7, Lewis-Clark State 6L-C State 100 100 103 -- 6 10 0Washington 014 000 002 -- 7 11 1Chris Mabeus, Wes Hutchison (3) and Gabe Stajduhar. Zack Daniels, Tyler Shepple (7),Scott Robertson (9) and Ben Johnson. W - Robertson (3-0). L - Hutchison (2-3). 2B- LC,Matt Bullen 2, UW, Tyler Davidson, Ben Johnson. HR - LC, Jay Knowlton (2), UW,Michael Done (6), Bryan Johnson (3), Ben Johnson (1). T - 2:40. A - 692.